Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 18, 2013
I commend Dr. Seuss for his creative writing that intertwines silly and ingenious rhyming with a heartfelt message and story. In Hollywood, you can't just let talent like that be untouched, so what's Hollywood gonna do? They've gotta transform his book into a movie, and you know what? Surprisingly, this animated adaptation stays true to the source material... to an extent. Let's set this on a scale: the movie's an hour and 26 minutes long while the masterfully written counterpart hits less than 50 pages. An adaptation of the book would hit a mere 20 minutes. So, to prolong the running time, the creators of the adaptation decided to bring on additional writers to fill in the gaps. Let's say this: these writers hardly compare to Dr. Seuss. It's the same old "MTV-esque" jokes and pop culture references thrown in just so kids could get a quick laugh. Don't get me wrong though, the movie follows the same twists and turns as the book, but in between those turns are prolonged sequences of average dialogue. And the quality of this dialogue sticks out like a sore thumb especially when the film itself has sequences of Dr. Seuss' own writing within the mix. As you can see, there's two jarringly different types of dialogue within the film: one is witty, sharp, and smooth while the other is like any other average everyday type of banter. It gives the entire film an inconsistent tone. The original story had an incredibly pure and powerful message that was both direct and deeply moving. Fortunately, Hollywood didn't strip it out, but because of these tonal inconsistencies, by the time the film reveals its message, it isn't as powerful. As a matter of fact, even the 1970 TV adaptation of "Horton Hears a Who" executes its message and story more cohesively than this film.

All in all, Dr. Seuss' writing was so creative and influential that in fact, it brings out the rough edges to what may seem like Hollywood's attempt to revive a "non-relatable children's book", when in fact, the original children's book is the best version of the story. But, there's no doubt that if you haven't even touched the original story, this version'll suffice.
Super Reviewer
March 15, 2008
Great animation about an elephant called Horton who hears the Whos calling for help. They live in a speck on a clover.
Super Reviewer
½ March 24, 2012
Dr seuss is a genius!
Super Reviewer
½ November 26, 2011
Sometimes silly, but this Dr. Seuss adaptation brings a emotional and powerful message that fascinate children and adults.
michael e.
Super Reviewer
½ November 30, 2010
This movie follows the ideas and imagination of Dr. Seuss, though it doesn't follow the book that well, it still is a great feast for the eyes.This film is one of Carrey's weaker films, but he does a fantastic job as Horton, Steve Carrel and Jim Carrey work off each other very well and very funny to listen to. All the other cast did a great as well, Seth Rogen, though having a very small part (no pun intended) is still very funny and the character is pretty interesting. Jesse Mcartney does a great job as the mayor's son Jojo as well, though he only talks about 4 times in the ending, its still a well done character, even though he has little to no dialogue in this whole film. The comedy is also very well done in this film too, my favorite scene being when the Mayor goes to the dentist and Horton is holding the clover while crossing a rickety old bridge that is falling apart.
Super Reviewer
July 18, 2011
It was really cute, visual and bright. I liked the cast of voices as well. I thought the theme was a little grown up.. believing in something that you can't see while the rest of the world is calling you crazy. It's about having blind faith. I watched it with my nephew.. he didn't notice.
Super Reviewer
February 28, 2011
Funny and cute for kids. After a fun and nice elephant named Horton (Jim Carrey) finds a clover with a speck on it because he heard a voice on it, he discovers a entire city of Whos live on that speck, and the stressed but kind and happy Mayor (Steve Carell). Horton must put the clover on top of a mountain to save the Whos, but only if the unapproving and mean Kangaroo doesnt stop him first. The story is for kids and they will have Jim Carrey and Steve Carell have a very nice charming voice to there characters. Overall I found it funny and nice, but maybe too kiddish for me.
Super Reviewer
January 22, 2011
Consistently funny while maintaining a safe plot that sometimes gets ahead of itself but nevertheless, this is a very entertaining movie for the kiddies.
Super Reviewer
March 17, 2008
Mildly amusing and funny. I didn't really follow the story but what I saw was good. The part I liked best was when the mayor was running around with his long arm with it flapping around. Made me giggle.
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2008
"In my world everyone is a pony, and they all eat rainbows, and poop butterflies."

Blue Sky Studios biggest successes are the 'Ice Age' films. But they've also made 'Robots' and this adaptation of Dr. Seuss' 'Horton Hears a Who!'. Simply put I like 'em all. I'll admit that the before mentioned films are no Pixar movies in overall quality but this film has something that no other animation studio has come up with.. The freakiest character ever made: Katie!

In the jungle of Nool, a tiny speck is pushed of a flower and in to the jungle. Horton (Jim Carrey), an elephant, hears a faint, high-pitched voice from the speck and rescues it from falling to the water. He puts it on a flower and realizes that he is the only one who can hear it. On the speck is the town of Whoville, who's Mayor McNodd (Steve Carell) is the only one who hears Horton. None other in Whoville understands the danger they're in. The Kenguru, the leader of the jungle, holds Horton in ridicule when he attempts to rescue the citizens of Whoville and tries her everything to make Horton fail.

The films target audience is the smallest in the family. I mean the ages between 3-12... I think. The plot is simple, shouldn't be a problem for the kids to follow, and the animation is top-notch. The colors couldn't be more vivid. The detail of the animation and the backgrounds is one of the highlights of the film. I'm sure that a lot of what's happening may not be seen on the first viewing. I saw this now for a third time and still found out some new funny details that's going on in the background.

The films narrator, voiced by Charles Osgood, reads intros to the key scenes throughout the film. Osgood is in fact a famous radio commentator in the States. His voice, how he dictates Dr. Seuss' genious text from the book is simply put marvelous.

The voice cast, consisting of several well known comedians, starting from Jim Carrey and Steve Carell and ending in Amy Poehler and Seth Rogen, do a very good job in their respective roles. I especially enjoyed Carell's performance as the Mayor but the one person who steals the entire film is voiced by Joey King, a 9 year old kid.

Her small role, but oh so memorable, as the creepy.. I don't know what she is... thingy, is animated magic at its best. She is furry, has a frog's tongue and the ability to float. Say what now?! Aside from saying "Aaah" on a few occassions, her only line is the above mentioned quote. Every time she is on the screen, I could not but laugh out loud. I felt like a little kid and almost clapped my hands together and jumped on my seat. I love this Katie character!

'Horton Hears a Who!' is very funny and entertaining and has several simple things to teach for the kids. The importance of friendship, loyalty, acceptance and forgiveness. These things are important for any person, no matter of age or size and this film message couldn't be easier to understand. The film also succeeds in being moving and exciting without being too scary for the kids. For the mature audience, 'Horton Hears a Who!' will not give anything out of the ordinary. Like I said, this ain't no Pixar feature (yes, I fuckin' love Pixar!) but seeing your kid enjoy this one fully, will surely make you love this altogether high-class animation.
Movie Monster
Super Reviewer
½ August 6, 2010
I liked how Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios, the people behind the Ice Age Trilogy, decided to make a Dr. Seuss adaption and not Universal Studios after the disastrous film known as "The Cat in the Hat."

Suprisingly, the film keeps the charm of the Grinch film since Jim Carrey once again plays a Dr. Seuss character.

Horton Hears a Who is a charming, funny, well-animated film that Theodore Seuss Giesel would be proud of.

I hope sometime in the future, Blue Sky and Fox plan on making a "Horton Hatches the Egg" film. That'll make me proud.

FUN FACT: Anyone noticed that the Mayor's ninety-six daughters were eating green eggs and ham? Also, one of the whos was wearing the same hat the cat wears. Only it was blue and white.

"Seriously, who is this? Is this Burt from accounting?"
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2010
Super Reviewer
April 8, 2010
Was that a Henry Kissinger reference I heard? I know it's cool to put jokes for parents in kids movies...maybe that one was for the grandparents.
Super Reviewer
½ February 6, 2010
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2009
an amazing concept with two different worlds of very different proportions. horton is loveable, the mouse is funny and the movie iteslf is a lot of fun.
Super Reviewer
½ March 31, 2008
This is a nice film, it really looks great, the animation is smooth, fluid and is very close to the Seuss material. Its the best Seuss film so far, much better than the live action versions but I suppose its easier with animation.
Its so close to the books, really good and the voice acting is great all round. Carrey is slightly annoying and is trying his best to steal the show as usual but seeing as you cant see him its not too bad. Carrell is much better.
The only thing is its for kiddies really, anyone over 8yrs old isnt really gonna stick with it. Its a really pleasant film but its just very childish, obviously, and only for the young. There are plenty of silly faces, prat falls, cute animals and sillyness which kids will lap up but for us oldies its abit kindergarten based hehe

Thats fine its not for adults anyway.
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2008
i was blown away by how much i enjoyed this "G" kids flick. on an adult level, this story plays as an alegory into the conversation of theism vs. naturalism, and for the kids, its a great way to encourage them to flex their imaginations. my kids loved it and i enjoyed watching it with them. the design was a lot of fun and the characters were great. there were some points in the story that defied common logic, like the way the characters would respond in certain situations, but its a kids flick so what do you expect?
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2007
Great animation, but once again 20 minutes of material is stretched to like 2 hours
Super Reviewer
½ June 5, 2007
Horton: All right, I gotta get this speck up to the top of Mount Nool A.S.A.P, whatever that means, probably 'act swiftly, awesome pachyderm'! I mean, how hard can that be?

Another entry into the Dr. Suess theatrical features. While this one isn't great, it is certainly very entertaining, featuring good, stylized animation and fun voice work.

Its strange that Jim Carrey hasn't done more voice work, but anyway, he stars as the voice of Horton, an elephant living in a jungle, who happens to come across a speck. But this is no ordinary speck. No sir, this speck happens to be an entire universe full of Who's. The Who's are a community of people with their own world, who have gotten loose from their regular surroundings (think the marble at the end of Men in Black accidentally rolling out of the bag and getting lost).

Fortunately, Horton's ears pick up the sounds of this speck and he attempts to communicate. Horton finds himself having conversations with the mayor of Whoville, voiced by Steve Carell.

The Mayor of Who-ville: I have 96 daughters and 1 son.
Horton: [laughing] Whoa! Busy guy.

In the land of Whoville, everything is perfect so of course when the mayor tries to explain the situation to the city council and others, he is labeled a boob and a moron.

The Mayor of Who-ville: They called me a boob! Do I look like a boob to you?
Miss Yelp: You don't want me to answer that.

Despite the lack of belief from anyone in either Whoville or the jungle Horton lives in, Whoville is still threatened by destruction if it is not placed somewhere safe from possible harm. Horton now must find this safe haven for Whoville.

Once again, the main problem with this Dr. Suess adaptation is stretching a fairly short children's book into a 90 minute feature. It gets by, but not without resorting to pop culture references and various added inclusions to the story to further pad the film.

That's not to say it isn't funny, but I do notice these things and it does effect the overall movie.

This being said, the movie does have a lot of good vocal talent. Obviously Carrey and Carell do a good job, but supporting work from Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, and Amy Poehler, among others, is all welcome.

The animation also looks very good. It doesn't go for anything way too detailed, although there are a number of very well handled sequences, but it has a good look well suited to a Dr. Suess style story, which of course makes sense to do.

Its an entertaining animated feature working with its book counterpart well enough to make it the best Dr. Suess adaptation thus far.

The Mayor of Who-ville: Listen, Horton, I've gotta go. Apparently there's a problem with a giant meatball.
Horton: You just take care of that meatball sir and leave the freaking out to me.
Super Reviewer
½ May 29, 2008
Adorable! Great animation too. "Serious" adults should recognize the dystopian, anti-authoritarian themes in Dr. Seuss' works and give this movie a gander.
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