Horton Hears a Who! (Twentieth Century Fox, G)

horton-header.jpgWhoville is exactly how it looked in Dr. Seuss’ books except here we get to dive deeper into the town and its citizens and the wild lives they lead.



Few movies that are aimed at children can be as smart and well-crafted as Ratatouille, The Incredibles or Shrek; movies that entertain children and adults alike. The hardest element to critique in these movies is the soundness of the story and whether or not we are being cheated. With Horton Hears a Who!, we can assume the story is going to be fun and entertaining, as it’s based on the Dr. Seuss classic. What is unexpected is the brilliance of the animation and how wonderfully clear Dr. Seuss’ world is brought to life.

Horton the Elephant (Jim Carrey) is a happy, worry-free citizen of the Jungle of Nool who spends his days teaching young ones about the ways of the jungle. One day, he hears a voice from a speck of dust that floats past his ear. Horton is the only one that can hear the voice, which turns out to be that of the Mayor of Whoville (Steve Carell). On this speck, an infinitesimal world exists, and Horton resolves not to let anything happen to it.

Horton encounters several obstacles on his mission to find a safe resting place for the Whos. Kangaroo (Carol Burnett), the self-appointed order keeper of the Jungle of Nool, doesn’t like Horton giving the children, including her own, ideas about using their imagination, the worst thing she can fathom. The Mayor of Whoville also has to convince the citizens of Whoville how much danger they are in, but Councilman (Dan Fogler) does everything in his power to stop him and to keep peace in Whoville.

Visually impressive, Horton Hears a Who! is true to the world Dr. Seuss envisioned and created. The Jungle of Nool is a lush, Garden of Eden-like world filled with animals that we recognize but have no business cohabitating together. Whoville is exactly how it looked in Dr. Seuss’ books except here we get to dive deeper into the town and its citizens and the wild lives they lead.

Carrey is as fun as ever as Horton. His recent string of movies has made most people forget the enormous range of voices and characters he is capable of. He makes Horton lovable, goofy and wise all at the same time. Carell is terrific also. He brings out the Mayor’s anxiety-stricken character, but imbues him with human emotions and reactions. The rest of the cast is perfect as well. Seth Rogen, Isla Fisher, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett and a bunch of others makes listening to Horton Hears a Who! like a dream reading of the story.

The movie is fun to watch and teaches a few valuable lessons for the young audience members. Adults will be amazed at the quality of the animation and the number of familiar voices they will hear. All in all, Horton Hears a Who! is everything a Dr. Seuss story aims to be: fun, entertaining, and able all, magical. |Matthew F. Newlin

Visit Horton‘s official website at http://www.hortonmovie.com

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