4/08/2008

Movie Review: Horton Hears a Who

Dr. Seuss would be proud with this adaptation of Horton Hears a Who, a whimsical animated feature highlighted by the comic talents of Jim Carrey and Steve Carell.

Horton the Elephant (Carrey) is a determined but kind elephant in the Jungle of Nool who teaches the community's children on various biology and life lessons. One day, he hears a voice from a little speck and he soon discovers that a world exists in that speck-- the city of Who-ville. The city is inhabited by a happy race called the Who's and they are being led by a city council and a Mayor (Carell). The Mayor soon interacts with Horton and asks him to protect their city and bring them to a safe location, which Horton obliges. Horton faces ridicule from the community and the anger of their leader, Kangaroo (voiced by Carol Burnett). Horton and the Who's must convince the community of the value of "a person is a person, no matter how small" before it's too late for Who-ville.

I haven't read the children's book that first appeared in 1954, but the movie was able to flesh out lovable characters and breathe life into the supporting characters. The story is good for kids with a good and clear moral-- the value of life, perseverance and trust on other people. The ridicule Horton and The Mayor faced in their respective domains is a nice touch. The animation is also fluid and colorful. It apparent that the creators learned a lot from animating Ice Age, where a similar pachyderm character figures heavily in the story.

What makes Horton Hears a Who truly enjoyable is the work of Carrey and Carell. They bring great energy to Horton and the Mayor and they work well for over-the-top characters. A must watch for the family this summer.


Rating: 4/5


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