It may sound odd, but as a poet, Dr. Seuss is my hero. His books helped to shape a generation, as countless parents read The Cat in the Hat or Bartholomew Cubbins to their children as bedtime stories, including my own. His poetry and art are iconic, and no other film captures his whimsical style better than Horton Hears a Who! Also, while I haven’t seen a few, like Robots or Epic, I think this film is Blue Sky Studios’ best work as well.
The animation is way beyond the original Ice Age, and, while not quite Pixar quality, it brings to life the world of Dr. Seuss, particularly in the town of Who-ville with its curved arches and buildings and fantastical unicycle devices. Despite some overly odd scenes, such as Horton’s anime parody or that little furry creature continually yawning, the humor is actually funny, which is more than I can say for some other recent comedies. The part with the Mayor at the dentist’s office had my VC and me in stitches. Plus, it ends with an REO Speedwagon song, so what’s not to like?
While Jim Carrey’s track record has been rather mixed over the years, his quirky impressions and tones are excellent through the mouth of Horton the elephant. Steve Carell is perfect as the Mayor, with his constant nervous groans, sighs, screams, yells, chuckles, and hollers. Plus, the kangaroo is made appropriately sour by Carol Burnett’s deep and threatening voice. When she demands something, one half expects to hear “Yes, Miss Hannigan.”
When you think about it, aside from an unnecessary joke thrown at homeschooling, the film actually has many good lessons: faith in something beyond ourselves, tolerance for others’ views, and, of course, “a person’s a person, no matter how small.”
Best line: (the Mayor’s wife, to her daughter) “No, you need to go to bed. Daddy’s having a breakdown.”Artistry: 2 Characters/Actors: 6 Entertainment: 7 Visual Effects: 8 Originality: 5 Watchability: 7 Other (a few unnecessary weird parts): -4 TOTAL: 31 out of 60
Next: #296: The Day after Tomorrow
© 2014 S. G. Liput