Everyone loves Dr. Seuss. I remember reading it to my children at bedtime. My son liked “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” but my daughter loved “Horton Hears a Who.”
I think I was every bit as enchanted by Seuss’s books as my children were. Because of that, I waited with anticipation for the movie “Horton Hears a Who” to come to the theatre. However, because I was sick at the time, I didn’t have the opportunity to take my grandson to see it.
A couple of weeks ago my grandson ended up in the hospital with what everyone thought might be appendicitis. It turned out to be something else altogether. Nonetheless he was happy to get back home. The first thing he wanted was Nana and Papa to come to spend the evening with him. We did, of course, since it is our favorite pastime.
Together all of us watched “Horton Hears a Who.” It was magical! I could see the light shining in my beautiful daughter’s eyes once more as the story she loved so much as a child unfolded before her.
Horton – – voiced in the movie by Jim Carey – – is one of Seuss’s best characters. He is a great role model for tiny children to emulate. He is bright, funny, friendly, and utterly dependable. So it came as no surprise, when he discovered a whole town of people living in a speck of dust on top of a dandelion, that he would not only except them but do everything within his power to help them.
Not all of Horton’s friends are convinced his story is true. In particular, Kangaroo – – voiced by Carol Burnett – – is unmoved. In fact she detests Horton and all that he stands for. Throughout the film she does everything in her power to destroy him and his dandelion.
While she is working behind the scenes to discredit him, Horton is trying to communicate with his new friends, the Whos. He eventually makes contact with the Mayor – – voiced by Steve Carell.
What follows is a story about faith, friendship, and hope. As Horton tries to find a place where the Whos will be safe indefinitely, the Mayor is trying to convince his people that there world could be in danger.
Will Horton be able to save the Whos from certain annihilation at the hands of Kangaroo? Will the Mayor be able to convince his own people to believe in him and their elephant savior? Obviously, I can’t answers those questions. That would ruin the whole movie, which is just too delightful to be missed.
Carey is, as always, spot on in his interpretation of Horton. Only he or perhaps the comedy genius of Robin Williams could have ever done justice to such an important Seuss character.
Carell is equally endearing and utterly charming as the Mayor of Whoville. It seems that his comedic timing and expertise only increases as time goes by.
Burnett is chilling as the evil Kangaroo. It’s a hard pill to swallow, at first, having a beloved comedienne play such a maniacal character. However, that’s a real testament to the talent of this often-underrated actress.
I’m not a huge fan of Seth Rogen. I find much of his work juvenile and somewhat offensive. However, he came through in a pinch playing the role of Horton’s best friend, Morton. He was cute, playful, and so much fun.
In a surprise turn of events, the adorable actress Isla Fisher voices the character Dr. Mary Lou Larue. She’s one of the few Whos that immediately believe the mayor when he shares his story. While the role was small, it was interesting to see a new side of this up-and-coming actress.
The cast, as a whole, was well chosen. Voice actors included Will Arnett, Dan Fogler, Jonah Hill, Amy Poehler, Jaime Pressly, Charles Osgood, Jesse McCartney and so many more. I thought all of them did a remarkable job.
The screenplay penned by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul remained pretty true to the Seuss story. Directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino also worked hard to hold on to the story’s integrity.
The animation in this film was beyond beautiful. The colors were vibrant and perfectly blended. The characters came across real and multi-dimensional. The voice overs were so on mark that one felt truly a part of the story.
I didn’t see many cartoons as a child. I was busy taking care of the house and my siblings. I’m only now beginning to understand what I missed. But I have to say it just might be 10 times better because now I can see through my grandson’s eyes.
This film is destined to become a childrens’ classic. It, along with the wonderful Seuss book, should be a part of every child’s life. I give this one four and one-half stars out of five. It may not be perfect, but it is darn close.
RATING SCALE USED:
0 = A stinker. Don’t waste the money!
1 = Bad. Rent it at your own risk.
2 = Below average. See only if you have time to kill.
2.5 = Average. A toss up.
3 = Good. Worth a looksee.
3.5 = Very Good. I recommend it.
4 = Excellent. Don’t miss it!
4.5 = Outstanding. What are you waiting for?
5 = Destined to become a classic. You will be sorry if you don’t see it.