Horton Hears a Who!
Horton Hears a Who! (also called Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! or simply known as Horton) is a 2008 American computer animated adventure comedy film based on the 1954 book of the same name by Dr. Seuss, produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Directed by Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino in their directorial debuts, the film's screenplay was written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, and features the voices of Jim Carrey and Steve Carell as Horton the Elephant and Mayor Ned McDodd, respectively, alongside Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Dan Fogler, Isla Fisher, Jonah Hill, and Amy Poehler.
Animated elephant Horton (Jim Carrey) finds a speck of dust floating in the Jungle of Nool. Upon investigation of the speck, Horton discovers the tiny city of Who-ville and its residents, the Whos, which he can hear but cannot see. Horton forms a friendship with the mayor of Who-ville, Ned McDodd (Steve Carell), and promises to transport Who-ville to safety. However, Horton encounters opposition from his jungle neighbors, who don't want to believe in the existence of Who-ville.
Why It's Dr. Seuss At His Best
- While the live-action Dr. Seuss movies aren't very faithful to the books and had too much suggestive humor for kids, this animated movie stays true to the source material and is very clean for younger kids who have hardly seen Horton Hears A Who prior to this film's release and families to enjoy, which fixes a problem with the mediocre Dr. Seuss movie adaptation stereotype.
- It has very excellent vocal performances. Notably from Jim Carrey and Steve Carell.
- The bond between Horton and the mayor is quite relatable.
- It has very cartoonish and fluent animation that fits Dr. Seuss's tone very well.
- The Sour Kangaroo is an entertaining and intimidating antagonist and her son, Rudy, is changed into much nicer in this movie than in the book and special where he has his own mind and actually likes Horton and believes in the Whos.
- The isolation of the Sour Kangaroo is absolutely satisfyingly justified.
- Hilarious cameos from Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Isla Fisher, and Jaime Pressly.
- Hilarious slapstick that actually works.
- The Whos are given more to do than in the source material, especially Jojo ￼who is now the only son of the Mayor.
- The "Light As A Feather" scene has some clever juxtaposition with Horton and the Mayor.
- Steve Martino and Jimmy Hayward’s direction are better in this movie than in Johan Hex (2010) and Free Birds as well as Ice Age: Continental Drift.
- Great soundtrack by John Powell that could be considered one of his best work.
- Some pretty flat jokes, such as twerking in one scene.
- The cringe-worthy anime sequence, which hasn't aged well, not even for 2008 standards.
- The bizarre structure of the Whos' buildings and instruments, as well as some of the background creatures in the jungle, can weird out, or even disturb younger audiences.
- Despite staying true to the original character from the book it was based on, Horton can be pretty stupid and annoying at times but Jim Carrey can give a great performance as this kind-hearted elephant and Horton still a little close to the true loyal and noble character that he is in the book.
- The film kinda has a mean-spirited tone towards the characters of Horton and The Mayor throughout the worlds around them but it doesn't go too far to keep it from being light-hearted and true and it balances the character development of Horton's big and nice personality to Mayor Ned McDodd's delusional and responsibility setting of themselves in their bonding relationship.
- Compared to the official release, most of the bootleg downloads seem to have the international title that simply say "Horton" for no apparent reason.
- Some very unlikeable characters such as the wickersham brothers and the head chairman of whoville
Horton Hears a Who! received positive critical reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 80% of critics gave the film positive reviews, with an average rating of 7.00/10, based on 137 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Horton Hears A Who! is both whimsical and heartwarming, and is the rare Dr. Seuss adaptation that stays true to the spirit of the source material." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, calculated a score of 71 out of 100 based on 31 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews." According to CinemaScore, the film version rated an "A−" on an "A+" to "F" scale.
- This is the first Blue Sky Studios film to have a G rating, unlike their first three films which were rated PG.
|Blue Sky Studios|
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