Movie Name: Horton Hears a Who!
Studio: Sky Blue Studios
Release Date(s): March 14, 2008
MPAA Rating: G
Ned McDodd, the Mayor of Whoville, finds things are changing in his peaceful town. Something is happening outside of Whoville that could destroy the Whos’ world. An elephant named Horton in the jungle of Nool hears something that none of the other animals can hear. The voice of a small person on a speck on a clover seems to be speaking to him. Horton can hear Ned, and Ned can hear Horton. Together they must save Whoville, but people find that things cannot see cannot exist…and both Horton and Ned find convincing their worlds that the other world exists could be the biggest challenge.
Directed by Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino, Horton Hears a Who! is a feature length animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s 1954 children’s book. The story previously was brought to television in 1970 in a TV special. The movie had a strong showing at the box office and was relatively well received by critics.
Horton Hears a Who! is one of Dr. Seuss’s “message” stories. Like other stories like The Lorax and Yertle the Turtle, Horton Hears a Who! tries to teach children, and the movie does a decent job bringing this message to the big screen.
The idea that something that you can’t see or hear is important…especially in today’s day and age. There are tons of things that can’t be seen or heard but are either important or dangerous. Germs or dangers to or from the environment can’t often be seen but can affect young and old. Here, the message is more spiritual in that Horton is almost like a god to the Who, and it is up to him to protect them. They might not be able to physically see each other, but they are both there.
The movie has a strong vocal cast. Jim Carrey tones it down from his irritating Grinch and gives a nice performance as Horton with Steve Carell playing the Mayor of Whoville. I’m always for Carol Burnett getting performances though it is odd to hear her as a mother (I guess it doesn’t matter since it is a cartoon). Other voice actors include Will Arnett, Seth Rogan, Amy Poehler, Jaime Pressly, Niecy Nash, Selena Gomez, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Charles Osgood, Dan Fogler, and Isla Fisher.
The animation for the movie does capture the imagery of Dr. Seuss’s stories. It is one of the most important parts for a Seuss movie since Seuss’s illustrations are just as important and iconic as the stories (maybe even more). The movie gives the nice whimsical world a real view that works.
Horton Hears a Who! is a decent and fun little film. It does have to provide “filler” since it is a short story, but as opposed to movies like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, it doesn’t feel like they altered the main story much to do it. Check out Horton Hears a Who! for a nice family film (or you could just read the short book instead).