Horton Hears a Who! (1970)

horton hears a who poster tv special dr seuss
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good Dr. Seuss

Not great Dr. Seuss

TV Show Info

TV Show Name:  Horton Hears a Who!

Studio:  Cat in the Hat Productions

Genre(s):  Animated

Release Date(s):  March 19, 1970

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


What the hell was that?

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.


Smack this lady around and her little kid too

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.


Always remember…”We Are Here!!!”

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.

Related Links:

Horton Hears a Who! (2008)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response