This is one of the better kids' movies I've seen recently, though nowhere near a Pixar calibre, Horton Hears a Who! successfully soars on vulture wings above the other animated films I reviewed, Astro Boy, Despicable Me and TMNT: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
It's always sweet to see Dr. Seuss stories get made into films, particularly successful ones like this (reigning in almost $300 million at the box office). It's a great original, that's been transferred amd adapted very well to the screen. Unfortunately, the voice acting is sort of a falling point. With the two exceptions of Will Arnett (Ice Age: The Meltdown, Grindhouse: "Don't" Trailer, Ratatouille, Wristcutters: A Love Story, Monsters VS Aliens, Jonah Hex, Despicable Me) as Vlad Vladikoff the Vulture and Seth Rogen (Donnie Darko, Superbad, Pineapple Express, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Monsters VS Aliens, The Green Hornet, Paul) as Morton the Mouse the voices are either distracting, annoying, or unneventful, rather than impressive and characterisation-y.
Horton Hears makes and effort to convey the original message of the Seuss tale, which is that everybody deserves to be heard, no matter how society might see them. This is explored to some extent, but ultimately gives way in favour of good story telling, which, let's be honest, isn't such a terrible thing. In fact all over it deviates from the source material, but I think it's unlikely that there are any die-hard Horton Hears a Who fans out there who won't be seen standing for that sort of thing.
Though I may have whinged about some of the voice acting, there's an imperfect but still winning script that's good enough to hold up against them. I enjoyed Horton Hears fine enough, but I'm more impressed by the fact that I think children would actually enjoy it based on some form of basic merit, rather than pretty colours and animals falling over, saying "oof". Which is always a plus.
Horton Hears a Who! is not my type of movie, it's not even a particularly funny movie. But the warmth and imagination it bears capture me more than most kids' movies I've seen released recently, which scream nothing but "Okay I'm done, now throw me my money!".