Someday, if we’re all good little boys and girls, Hollywood will hand us a Dr. Seuss film as wonderful as one of his books.
With "Horton Hears a Who!” they have come pretty darn close by Blue Sky Studios (the same guys who brought us "Ice Age".)
Ya' know reading "Horton Hears a Who!" takes all of seven minutes, so I was more than a little curious to see what the filmmakers would do with the story.
Up until now Dr.Seuss movies have been well ...how shall I say it ...not so good! That's right, I did not like it here or there. I did not like it anywhere, did I like that "Cat in the Hat", there I said it, how do you like that!?
I See Little People
Horton (voice of Jim Carrey) is a happy-go-lucky elephant in the Jungle of Nool, an elephant who lives his life much as animated elephants in animated jungles do, until one day a remarkable thing happens. He discovers voices coming from a speck of dust on a blossom as it floats by his big pachydermy ears.
Horton begins a conversation with the speck, who turns out to be the (voice of Steve Carell)Mayor of Whoville (yes, of Grinch fame, but that comes later) who begs Horton to find a safe place for them or else the entire world of Who's will be wiped out.
Horton agrees to help him, because as we all know -all together now, ''A person's a person, no matter how small". Of course all of Horton's friends think he has lost his mind and he soon becomes the laughing stock of the jungle. All for claiming to hear little voices that no one else hears and for believing that there's life that we can't see! Geez.
The Mayor of the jungle, Sour Kangaroo (voice of Carol Burnett) even starts a witch hunt to bring down both Horton and the flower. She sets out to have the speck destroyed and Horton caged.
SideNote: "When it was first printed in 1954, the book was viewed by many as a reaction to the McCarthy hearings that accused certain people of being Communists.Horton the elephant represented the victims of the McCarthy hearings, who stood by their convictions despite the ridicule and threats being thrown at them. The villain in the story- the Sour Kangaroo was a very McCarthy-ish figure in the way she whipped up the other jungle animals into a frenzy of paranoia." Wikipedia
Your Ad Here
Snort I don't know about all of that, maybe I missed something. After seeing the film and hearing all of the controversy surrounding it's 'hidden message", I decided to reread the book. I mean, I’d read it as a kid, but, you know, kids don’t pick up on those things, and maybe there was something I’d missed as a little girl. After reading it again, I've come to this conclusion, there’s no “hidden meaning ” at all to Dr. Seuss's book, it's merely a sweet book about a kind elephant who believes it's always better to be nice to people, even if they don’t look like you.
So anyway, back to the story, shall we?
So did Horton and the Mayor be able to make everyone see the truth in time, or will it be the end of Who-ville and all its people! The big moment, the "climax" if you will, happens when all the Whos in Whoville band together to make enough noise so that the big critters can hear them. And then they all hold hands and sing kumbaya and I got all misty eyed because gosh darn-it I'm a big softy and it was so sweet.
The Doctor Is In
The animators at Blue Sky Studios are doing a great job of reminding Pixar that it's not the only king in the computer-animated jungle.The colors are bright and the characters actually look like Dr. Seuss drawings, not like someone else’s interpretation of Dr. Seuss characters!
So in the end, what did I think of it? Well let's just put it this way:
When the weekend arrives,
And you're looking for something to do.
Consider spending the afternoon with Horton and the residents of Who.
A treat for the eye, a huge event.
This film is just wonderful, one hundred percent!
Horton Hears A Who Trivia:
-The quote "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant: An elephant's faithful one hundred percent," is actually from "Horton Hatches the Egg,"the first Dr. Seuss story featuring Horton the elephant.
- Green eggs (from “Green Eggs and Ham”) are seen really quickly during the breakfast scene with the mayor and his 97 kids.
- This isn't the first time the book was made into a movie, it was adapted into a 1/2 hour animated TV special by MGM in 1970, directed by Chuck Jones (who also directed the television version of " How the Grinch Stole Christmas"