TV Show Name: Horton Hears a Who!
Studio: Cat in the Hat Productions
Release Date(s): March 19, 1970
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
In the Jungle of Nool, Horton the Elephant learns that there is a whole world on a small speck of dust. The Whos live upon the dust, and Dr. H. Hoovey tries to prove his theories that there are worlds outside of Whoville. Dr. Hoovey and Horton try to prove that the other exists while facing criticism. Horton’s must show the population of Jungle of Nool that a person is a person no matter how small.
Directed by Chuck Jones (who also provided voices), Horton Hears a Who! is a TV special adapting the 1954 book of the same title. The special originally aired on CBS on March 19, 1970.
Like a lot of Dr. Seuss’s story, Horton Hears a Who! has a message. The message is that things are important no matter how big or small and one person can make a difference. This was important in 1954 when the book was written but maybe even more important in 1970 when much of the world was once again in turmoil. The special presents this message rather smartly and smoothly to young viewers.
The message of the movie is still carries weight today. Everyone has a role in the world and everyone is can make a change. We do not exist in an bubble. The movie also as a result has a strange religious side. Horton is like a god to the Whos and at the end of the film, the Whos are almost gods to the speck found by Dr. H. Hoovey…it is kind of subtle but it is there.
Chuck Jones provides slick animation. He captures Seuss’s style but also puts his own Looney Tunes style into the characters and animation. The movie has a few musical numbers but they aren’t as distinctive as the song from How the Grinch Stole Christmas (which as a whole is till the most memorable Dr. Seuss special).
It turns out that almost everyone in every Dr. Seuss world is a jerk. People refuse to quit polluting (the Lorax), hate Christmas (the Grinch), and refuse to eat Green Eggs and Ham. Here, the population of both Whoville and the Jungle of Nool refuse to recognize there can be something bigger than themselves. The message is as important then as it is now and the special has held up as a result. It might not be my favorite Seuss work, but it is a good one. Horton Hears a Who! was remade into a big screen picture in 2008.