Horton Hears a Who! (2008) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
152 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
I do like, Sam I am
cryofry14 March 2008
So far, this is the best possible example of bringing a Dr. Seuss book to life. The animation is top notch and the design of the characters stay true to Dr. Seuss' vision. Overall, a splendid effort from 20th Century Fox.

"Horton" tells the story of an eccentric elephant named Horton (voice of Jim Carrey) who stumbles upon a floating speck that is actually an infinitesimal world that is home to thousands of tiny little creatures called Whos. Though microscopic, the world known as Whoville is a land of technological achievement. The Whos are intelligent little creatures who are strange in appearance.

The Major of Whoville (voice of Steve Carell) is the first person to come into contact with Horton after he hears his voice in a drainpipe. Like Horton, he has a somewhat bizarre personality, so no one believes him when he claims that the world is going to end. Likewise, no one believes Horton when he claims that a race of people are living on the diminutive speck.

After he is somewhat shunned by his friends and society, Horton sets off on the misadventure of his lifetime to relocate the speck to a safe location so that the citizens of Whoville can live in peace once more.

Again, this is a great film for all ages. Kids will lap up the lush animation while parents can have a chuckle at the adult jokes that are scattered throughout. Dr. Seuss would be proud.
77 out of 95 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fast-paced and touching step up for Blue Sky
Jay_Exiomo21 March 2008
I guess it wouldn't be remiss if I've approached "Horton Hears a Who!" with some reservations as the trailers were anything but something to be excited about. Had it not been for the Whos and the Dr. Seuss tag that comes with the title, this latest computer-animated film from the "Ice Age" team would come off as yet another animal-on-a-mission flick straight from the assembly line. And films adapted from one of Dr. Seuss' books haven't been as successful as when they were in print, to put it lightly.

A relatively neutered Jim Carrey provides the voice for Horton, an elephant who hears a voice from a floating speck and discovers that there are people actually living in it in a place called Who-ville. Called the Whos, these people have a Mayor (voiced by an also-neutered Steve Carrell) who has 96 daughters and a son who won't speak. It's up to Horton to find a safe place for the speck to save Who-ville from destruction, even as the well-meaning pachyderm has to avoid all sorts of obstacles, including Sour Kangaroo, Vlad the Vulture, the Wickersham brothers, and other metaphors of McCarthyism.

As usual with such a thin material, the film has the obligatory additional scenes to pad the running time but all in all, it captures the spirit of its source, and it's a case where a G-rated film provides entertainment both to kids and their older companions as well. (I would have said "a rare case" but in this country, the G-rating is applied more liberally by the local censor board.) The animation is consistently good and a Japanese-inspired traditional animation does not feel out of place from the overall enjoyment material. The voice cast, according to the credits, involves some relatively big names, but other than Carrey and Carrell, none of the actors take attention from their characters and thus do not distract.

Fast-paced and touching, "Horton Hears a Who!" represents a step up for Blue Sky Studios, who has played supporting roles to Pixar and Dreamworks. I'm tempted to say that it's the best Dr. Seuss film adaptation ever, but that won't be saying much considering the other films involved. So maybe I'll just say it's one of the best animated films, which is anyway true.
34 out of 41 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
fwgrhouse14 March 2008
I went and saw this movie with my high school drama group, we had recently done Suessical for a school musical and I played the Mayor of Whoville, and I enjoyed the whole thing from start to finish. The cast of this film did an outstanding job with the voices of the characters, Jim Carrey is most notable in my opinion. Steve Carell also did an amazing job as the Mayor of Whoville.It also has good, clean humor that is both funny and suitable for all ages. I laughed through nearly 90% of the film and I didn't see one thing that would be deemed inappropriate for someone young. This movie lives up to the legacy of the book and I don't care what age you are, you will laugh out loud and enjoy this hilarious Dr. Seuss movie.
104 out of 146 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Very cute and so much fun! Dr. Suess would be proud
Smells_Like_Cheese14 March 2008
I saw the first teaser trailer for Horton Hears a Who a few months ago, and I have to say that it was a little off putting, it looked kind of strange and like it might be another Cat in the Hat lousy movie, but then they started advertising it a little more and it looked more cute. So I decided to check the film out today and I am really impressed, so far I'd say this is the best animated film of 2008 that I've seen. I remember reading the book as a child, it's one of my old time favorite's, you could never go wrong with Dr. Suess. When it comes to his films being put up on the silver screen, excluding the 40 minute cartoon classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas, other films like The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat have been ultimate flops and horrible. But Horton Hears a Who proves otherwise and is a wonderful film to watch.

Horton is an elephant just enjoying life, he's a teacher and is loved very much by the little animals of the jungle. But his life is about to change when he sees a little speck and saves it, inside this speck is a little town of Whoville. The mayor of Whoville has asked Horton to take them to a safe place before his town is destroyed. Seems like an easy enough task for Horton, until an angry mother, Kangaroo, feels like Horton and his speck are a bad influence amongst the children, and wishes to destroy the speck and trap Horton.

Horton Hears a Who is such a wonderful film. For a book that you can finish in half an hour, they did a great job filling in other lines and such great jokes. The great thing is there is no pop culture or over the top jokes, they just go old school and make this film fun and original. The actors seemed like they just had a great time getting into character, Steve Carell and Jim Carrey are a brilliant combination, so their voices added a lot to the film. The animation was clever and colorful, it was a joy to watch. I very much recommend Horton Hears a Who, it's a terrific family film and just a fun movie to watch for the afternoon, I think Dr. Suess would be very proud too.

50 out of 67 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Finally, a film that does justice to one of Dr. Suess's childhood favorites!!
johnnymacbest11 March 2008
For the first time in years, I can state wholeheartedly that this film is the most faithful adaptation of Dr. Suess's children's books EVER being brought to the big screen with the voice talents of Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, and of course, Carol Burnett. I've never thought that Suess's cartoon illustrations can be so wonderfully spot on in this film with its bright, crisp colors, and flawless animation. What's great about all this is that they expand upon the film, rather than improving it with excess baggage like they did in 2004's live-action flop "The Cat in The Hat" which pretty much was "The Batman & Robin" adaptation of the classic children's book and I hated that film with an utmost loathsome passion. At least "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" was entertaining in its own right, though I admit it too was a little nauseating; namely because some scenes had so many garishly lit colors and was a bit too over the top. With all that aside, "Horton Hears a Who" not only will be the best animated film of the year, but may also win an Oscar for "Most Faithful Adaptation of a Children's Classic". I think this film will appeal to children and adults and for those who read the book since childhood not to mention serve as another venue of wholesome family entertainment for the general audience.
104 out of 148 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Knock knock, whos are there
shrinkingman0614 March 2008
It's interesting to see a pretty big creature like Horton concerned with protecting the tiniest creatures of all...even if the others in the jungle of Nool may not believe that's he's right about all those tiny people on the speck (well, maybe Rudy, the Sour Kangaroo's son, may think he could be right...)

Lovable characters like Horton, who can be serious at times (and is truly determined) but also wild-and-crazy, full of imagination and whimsy. Like the mayor, who is determined to protect his city from the dangers they're now being exposed to (who will protect the protector? "A giant elephant, up in the sky!... Don't bother to look, he's invisible...")

Had to admit a tear--of joy--rolled down my cheek at the end. Highly recommended! The look of the film is visually stunning, and a good voice cast (CBS Radio's Charles Osgood narrates; the mayor and his wife are Steve Carrell and Amy Poehler, and Jim Carrey of course is Horton. Carol Burnett plays the sour Kangaroo. And Jesse McCartney voices JoJo, and let's just say he didn't have too many lines to remember :)
50 out of 73 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Person Is a Person No Matter How Small
claudio_carvalho5 October 2008
In the jungle of Nool, the elephant Horton hears a voice in a speck; he uses a clover to rescue the speck of dust and he makes contact with the Mayor of Whoville. Horton discovers that in that tiny speck there is a city crowded of people and he decides to leave Whoville in a safe place. However, the evil Kangaroo does not believe in his words and finds Horton dangerous for the children of Nool, making them believe in what they can not see, hear or feel, and incites the animals against Horton.

With the message "A Person Is a Person No Matter How Small", "Horton Hears a Who!" is a lesson of respect and rights of the minorities through hilarious situations. The animation is awesome, the characters are nice and I liked this great family entertainment. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Horton e o Mundo dos Quem!" ("Horton and the World of Who!")
14 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
moutonbear2516 March 2008
Dr. Seuss has not always found fortune when making his way from page to screen. But, this latest incarnation is the most who-larious I've ever seen. Get it? Who-larious? Like "hi-larious" but with "who". As in all the Who's down in Whoville and little Cindy Lou Who? Fine, roll your eyes but you'd be rhyming too if you stopped being so cynical and saw HORTON HEARS A WHO! It's funny; it's goofy; it's surprising and loopy. It's colorful and flashy; it's unexpected and splashy. Wait. Splashy? Is that even a word? I needed something to rhyme with flashy and what I came up with was absurd. Sorry, I promise I won't rhyme all the way through. Besides I'm no match for Dr. You-Know-Who. It's just that this movie is so darn adorable when all the previous Seuss movies have been basically horrible. The spirit of the book remains completely intact but it's modern somehow and as a matter of fact, the ideas have expanded without looking back. Now, thanks to the good folks at Blue Sky, the studio that gave us ICE AGE before this, Dr. Seuss can rest easy, his legacy revered and no longer amiss. So pack up your car, pack up your girl and your boy and bring them to see Horton, a movie the whole family can… hmm, what rhymes with "boy"? Employ? Coy? Toy? Nevermind. Bring them to see Horton, a movie the whole family can appreciate.

All that rhyming was mildly exhausting. Let's move on to the intellectualizing portion of this review. When HORTON HEARS A WHO! was originally published in 1954, Dr. Seuss gave his young readers an important lesson about how any voice, no matter how small it may appear to be, can change the world. Screenwriters, Ken Dario and Cinco Paul, have developed the confidence-boosting tale into a much grander take on societal hierarchies, the power of the imagination and the possibility that we are not alone in this universe. The very big elephant, Horton (voiced in a lovably whimsical fashion of fancy by Jim Carrey), randomly finds the tiniest world in the most unexpected of places, a spec of dust that has flown past him to eventually rest comfortably on a clover. It turns out that this world is known as Whoville. It plays home to hundreds if not thousands of Who's and is run by a Who known only as The Mayor. You can only imagine The Mayor's surprise when Horton finally makes contact with him. Now imagine that surprise voiced by the self-deprecating, neurotic genius of Steve Carrell. Together, Carell and Carey play perfectly off each other as their performances are based in the knowledge that Horton and The Mayor are not nearly as different as they initially appear. Though one is huge and one is small, they both know the meaning of responsibility and importance of helping all who need.

Of course, back in the Jungle of Nool that Horton calls home, no one believes his story about the people on the spec, so he must go it alone. This would be fine if it weren't for one kangaroo (Carol Burnett), the self-proclaimed ruler of this particular jungle. Horton's flagrant use of his imagination could inspire others and before you know it, all you got is anarchy. And so the door is opened to one of many lessons that give this fable a great richness. While children are not often discouraged to use their imaginations, here they are encouraged to support what they believe to be true inside of their hearts. In doing so, they should even challenge the status quo. Combine that with Horton's perseverance, dedication and loyalty to his cause as well as The Mayor's ability to rally his people together by overcoming his insecurity to become a great leader and you've got a family film focused on promoting fine values instead of promotional products for a refreshing change. The best part is that the lessons never take away from the fun!

I know I wouldn't have an easy time if a giant elephant I couldn't see informed me that my whole universe was nothing more than a spec of dust. This is why I'm not in charge of the planet, I suppose. Although slightly less jarring, I was also thrown and most certainly impressed by the existential depth of HORTON HEARS A WHO! Who knew that an animated family flick could challenge the young minds of children the world over to think for second about the fragility and preciousness of life itself while cracking them up non-stop and without freaking them out? Horton knew; that's who!

Oh wait … JOY!! Joy rhymes with boy. Right.
60 out of 95 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
True Telling instead of an Adaptation
voicesmp10 March 2008
Third time seems to be a charm for the big screen adaptations of Dr. Seuss. Finally, the film world has gotten it write in the presentation of Horton Hears A Who. There is no added surprises to this film, unlike its predecessors The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat. The storyline follows the book almost exactly, with the extra time coming from adding detail instead of adding new events.

Jim Carey does a great job in bringing the character of Horton to live, without being completely over the top. Carol Burnett as the Sour Kangaroo brings just enough fright to her role as to not completely darken the story. The characters are brought to live with the pure intent of the Dr. Seuss without seeming fake.

This is a great film for kids, especially those who know the story very well. There are enough jokes that sneak over little heads to keep adults entertained as well.
49 out of 77 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Very Well Done Film
joecantongamingguru6 March 2008
I'm telling the truth...i thought this movie would be a stinker from the teaser trailer and TV spots but this surprised me as well as every other person at the screening. It even surprised the film operator! Anyway, the great voice cast voiced by some great actors, Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell and even Seth Rogen(which is a nice change for him, from all his dirty cursing roles(don't get me wrong,i love him in those roles)). Dane Cook was a little annoying, but it wont really distract you from the big picture. In this film, Steve Carrell is the Mayor of Who-Ville, a town on a dandelion full of tiny people. Jim Carrey plays Horton...who is a elephant who finds a dandelion, picks it and figures out he must protect it because of Who-ville. Seth Rogen plays a rat like creature in his role. A supporting cast with Amy Poehler, Jonah Hill, Dan Fogler and much more. This film is great for little kids and a surprising delight for adults.
67 out of 112 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Well, who knew!
imnotinsane19 April 2008
There is a world out there that if you haven't heard of it, you're not a kid or never even *been* one. A world of insane imagination and the most creative ideas imaginable, told in the form of wacky but forever appealing poetry-style story-telling. This is the world created by Dr. Seuss, possibly one of the most iconic children's authors of all time. But his stories are in an odd place as of late, as the world of Hollywood looks up to his stories for inspiration on new movie projects. The first one was carried off well ("The Grinch"), but the next one didn't ("The Cat in the Hat") but there was still something missing to make these adaptations just right and that was to give up doing live-action and do it in animation, where practically anything could happen without as much pressure to make as live-action movies would be so to hear (pun unintentional, title's pun is) about "Horton Hears a Who" being an animated production, unlike these two movies, naturally I was very excited to see the end result.

Now, I have just yesterday so off I go with a review! The first thing that really struck me with this movie, which is also the best thing about it overall, was the animation. Blue Sky Studios, the people behind the "Ice Age" trilogy (third movie in production) are a trustworthy studio when it comes to making some really delightful and appealing pieces of CGI but with "Horton", they seem to have outdone even what they themselves thought about their talents! Without exaggeration, the animation is effortlessly stunning through and through and remained absolutely true to Dr. Seuss' playful and appealing drawing style as well as putting in a few new things that don't get in the way. In short, the animation *alone* is a good enough reason to see the movie, hands down.

There are added characters in the movie that weren't from the original book but pretty much all of them are not a nuisance and don't get in the way of the storyline so no one should worry, even if a lot of them don't add much. As for the original characters themselves, they are portrayed as they should be and any change to the characters is not easy to notice which is good enough.

Original story itself is adapted and carried off well and isn't spoilt by anything else in the movie. The back story of JoJo and the Mayor's relationship can feel a little odd at first but they've managed to blend this well with the original story and it's easy to get used to after a tiny amount of time.

The movie's most obvious problem however is that it does tend to focus heavily on humour in a lot of scenes and there are too many jokes that aren't really necessary, a few of them will sadly even date the movie in coming years (I won't say which ones they are here, you have to see for yourself) but thankfully the story manages to stay intact still and besides, there is quite a lot of jokes (that had a purpose) that were really *hilarious* so it's not a total disappointment. As for Jim Carey and Steve Carell? Well, they could have been better but they were good enough for me to say that they were good choices.

So overall, "Horton Hears a Who" is a good enough effort from Blue Sky Studios and good enough for me to say that it's a decent film. Really could have done without so many unnecessary jokes but the animation and good story adaptation make up for it. Worth checking out! I rate this: 6 out of 10.

  • Eric.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
High-Def Really Makes This Come Alive
ccthemovieman-114 January 2009
There is a stunning difference in watching this animated feature on regular DVD and viewing it on Blu-Ray. The latter dramatically elevates my rating of this movie, because the story is just so-so.

It's a nice story, but nothing that will leave you laughing like in "Cars," or "Madagascar" or a bunch of other recently-made animated features. However, on Blu-Ray, this is so flat-out awesome to look at, that's is well worth seeing and adding to your movie collection. The brilliant colors and razor-sharp images are just amazing and totally stunning!

Jim Carrey does a nice job as "Horton." You might not even recognize his voice. He plays a character who hears a voice nobody else hears; the voice of a tiny person on top of flower/weed which is part of a tiny town on the top of that plant. Hey, "size matters," I guess, but far more important is the value of living beings regardless of their size. That's the general message of the story. All lives are worth saving, no matter how supposedly small and allegedly insignificant.

The story is the typical frustrating one in which nobody believes the one who is telling the truth, until near the end, and then all of them do the right thing.

Overall - a good message, presented in a so-so story but a gorgeous one to watch on Blu-Ray.
13 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Who Awakening
dfranzen7018 March 2008
Oh, thank goodness, the third time IS the charm. Finally, finally, and finally, Hollywood gives us a movie that actually and perfectly embodies the spirit of Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. Criminey crickets! Horton Hears a Who! is wholly imaginative fun that feels like it's channeling the good doctor's playful exuberance and ingenious creativity with every syllable and splotch of animation.

The biggest difference between this movie and the recent adaptations of Seuss's The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas is that Horton Hears a Who! was created using CGI animation, not live action, not adults in goofy costumery. And that permits directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino to, well, animate a Dr. Seuss book. Part of the charm of Seuss's books was their otherworldly atmosphere, with just a touch of reality thrown in so kids could identify with the characters and underlying themes. And it makes such a wonderful difference! When you throw actors into suits, you take away both the personality of the actor and the appeal of the Seussiverse, if you will. What you're left with is an overproduced, unpleasant mess that tries desperately to be relevant and interesting and fails miserably at both.

Anyway, back to this movie. Horton (voiced by Jim Carrey) is an elephant in a world sort of like ours, but not really (as evidenced by the myriad odd creatures inhabiting Horton's jungle). Now, if you've read the books you know that Horton's a bit of what we'd call a free spirit. He has a short attention span, and he's always so hap-hap-happy. The kids in the jungle (er, animal kids) look up to him, sort of as a big plaything (since Horton's an adult, supposedly), and he in turn tries to teach them about the jungle and its mysteries and dangers.

Well, one day Horton spots a stray clover floating by on a breeze, and he hears what he believes is a cry for help. Oh, but it's not the clover, it's a speck ON the clover. And way down within the heart of that speck, there's a whole 'nother world, the land of Whoville. Populated by the Whos, of course. And it seems that when the flower became detached from its root, strange things had been afoot in the land of the Whos, like strange cloud formations and odd weather patterns.

The mayor of Whoville (voiced by Steve Carell) is a bit of a screw up, a patsy, a boob (in the words of the town's head councilman, voiced by Dan Fogler of Knocked Up); he's in his position to look nice and smile wide. The Mayor has 96 daughters - and one son! - and a lovely wife, and between spending time with them and planning for the Whocentennial, he's worrying about the signs of impending doom he keeps seeing.

And then Horton says hello, and those signs become reality. And it's up to Horton to find a safe place for the speck to sit, so that the Whoniverse (see what I did there?) can survive in peace, as it has for centuries. But there's a problem - the other denizens of the jungle, led by Kangaroo (voiced by Carol Burnett, who's apparently alive and well), who believes the speck represents imagination, which she doesn't want the jungle kidlets to have - because then they'll be questioning authority, and we can't have that! (Seuss was quite the subversive.) So Horton races to get the speck to shelter while fending off attacks from monkeys and vultures and whatnot.

Carrey is awesome as the childlike Horton, a kind-hearted, if perhaps a bit naive, pachyderm who truly believes in what he cannot see (i.e., the Whos), because he can be wild and spastic and hilarious. I mean, after all, it is a cartoon; characters should be outlandish, not subtly shaded. Carrey's riffing (and ad-libbing, I bet) will remind you of Robin Williams or Eddie Murphy in their signature animated roles - untethered joy and comedy. Steve Carrell is aces as the beleaguered mayor who does believe in Horton's existence, even if no one else does; he has sort of an easygoing flustered personality about him that is the counterbalancing adult to Horton's whimsy.

The movie's basically a metaphor for love, frankly. Kangaroo says she does not believe in anything she cannot see or touch, and it's evident that she lives on the fear of the other animals, not on their love. She doesn't even appear to love her own son; she thinks of herself more of a caregiver than a mother. Kids should always mind their parents, no matter how dumb their requests and actions are. So Kangaroo does not believe in the Whos, because she cannot see them, just as she does not believe in love. But of course, since this is an animated movie, all does turn out okay in the end, with Lessons Learned.
18 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Seuss would have hated it.
coneyretard12 April 2008
This movie fell into the same trap as just about every Hollywood animation of the last 6 years. It talks down to the kids while spending too much time throwing zingers over their heads to keep the parents engaged. There's no story told here in any sort of engaging way. It relies on the brightness of the animation, attention deficit editing and over the top scoring to keep the young ones stunned while hitting their parents with soggy hidden adult jokes and nostalgic music. The moral of the story is supposedly that imagination is something to be valued but the story telling on display actually does a horrible job of leaving any room for kids to actually use their own imaginations in engaging with the story. It does more to deaden the complicated sentiments expressed by Seuss so well in the original book. Instead of activating kids' imaginations, this movie simply displays the self satisfied and over saturated imaginations of it's directors and animators. There's literally no room left for the audience in this movie.
25 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Didn't care for it
aholster-119 April 2008
My daughter talked about seeing this movie for weeks before we went to see it, as it is based on two of her favorite Dr. Seuss books - Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches an Egg. Unfortunately, they completely twisted the characters around and stuck in too much cinematography and filler and got away from the plot. The jokes were corny and my 4-year-old daughter was visibly bored throughout the whole movie. She has loved the movies we went to see in the past, but she said the movie wasn't anything like the book and wanted to know why Horton acted so crazy in the movie. She didn't let out a smile or a chuckle throughout the entire movie (and neither did I). While I appreciate that the movie wasn't offensive (We made the mistake of suffering through Cat in the Hat), it just didn't successfully stretch out two short children's books into a full-length movie. It sacrificed plot for visual effects and forced jokes and I just didn't find the movie funny, or even entertaining. And, frankly, my daughter likes just about anything, and she didn't enjoy the movie. As she is the target audience of Dr. Seuss books, I found that unfortunate. We'll stick to the books.

I know Audrey Geisel loves her late husband, but please stop selling the rights to his works to everyone. That isn't what he stood for.
16 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Horton Hears a Who is a Hit!
staytuned715 March 2008
I remember when I first saw the commercial for this movie I had absolutely no interest in spending my $8 on a potentially terrible adaptation of a book I loved as I kid. Then I was talking to some friends and one of them sheepishly admitted to wanting to see Horton Hears a Who. It was almost as if a switch was flipped inside of me and I began thinking: "well, maybe it won't be THAT bad...and I DID love the book." So when that friend asked if I wanted to see it with him, I said yes...yes I would.

Well let me just tell you, the commercially do not do it justice. The previews make it look like it is full of stereotypical jokes and stereotypical characters and, well, I'll admit that they are there, but they're endearing. Yes, I said it! They're endearing! The entire movie was incredibly endearing BUT it was also bizarre and twisted...just like how I remember all Dr. Suess novels as being like.

Not only that, but it contained a higher level of understanding that Dr. Suess had in all of his storybooks. You know what I mean...take the Lorax, for example, which dealt with pressing environmental issues cleverly contained in an imaginary world in a children's book. Horton Hears a Who deals with things like anarchy, religion, totalitarianism, existentialism, democracy, and faith. The movie portrays it spotlessly. The movie is emotional and smart and funny. It's not funny all the time for an adult (it IS a kid's movie, after all), but it is clever and completely worth the time and money.

Do I recommend it? Heck yes I do!
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Jim Carrey fans treat with caution!
ranjanforever3 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The first thing I noticed about the movie was Jim Carrey. All those fantastic scenes from Ace Ventura scrolled through my mind and I laughed pretty hard even before I saw the movie. This, then should be a winner right? WRONG! After the movie I felt like crying. What a waste of time! But then again, let's look at this movie constructively first.

If you've got little kids who laugh at bright colors or simple cartoon humor like a monkey jumping up and down, this is the film for you!(well, your kids). The humor seems extremely kiddish and all through the movie Carrey seems held back, not letting his usual insane character rip the script in half.

The story line taken from Dr. Seuss' book is nice, ingenious characters, creating a little world that exists on a spec full of wacky technology and even more wacky people. However, the manner in which the cartoon progresses is disappointing. Half the time I kept drawing in my breath waiting to explode out with laughter at some extremely funny Carrey scene, but lo and behold, the air did but seep peacefully out with no laughter to accompany it. The animation and graphics is extremely good, a 10 out of 10 in my opinion and this is what saved the film. To sum things up, the film could be a pleasant day out to the cinemas with your little innocent sweet kids and wife or husband, but PLEASE I do not recommend it for anyone older than 16 who's looking for a funny film to watch.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Nutshell Review: Horton Hears a Who!
DICK STEEL12 March 2008
I've got to make a mental note that movies that have trailers playing in the cinemas for the longest time, do not a boring movie make, even if the first half of the movie plays like the extended version of the trailer, telling us things we already know, spelling out the premise all over again.

Jim Carrey and Steve Carell unite on the big screen again after their short pairing up in Bruce Almighty, although this time they're animated as animals / creatures from Dr Seuss' fictional world. Jim Carrey voices Horton, an elephant who in moments where you least expect, spew lines of poetry as dialogue. We're introduced to his character from the onset, though his backstory isn't really fleshed out, except that there are those (like the Kangaroo) who hates all for what he stands for. And simply put, Horton exudes all qualities typical of what elephants are made out to be - excellent memory, frightened about the unknown, and trustworthiness.

These qualities are put to the test when he chances upon a speck on a clover. That speck turns out to be home for an ecosystem populated by Whos, minute creatures who seem to live very mundane, repetitive lives in their very own little paradise. Things start to go awry, especially with severe environmental changes, and despite the Mayor of Whoville (Carell) warning of the great unknown out there, like all predictors of impending doom, get ridiculed by the population. So begins the friendship between HOrton, trying to protect the world of his new found friend by relocating the speck to safe haven, and the Mayor, who must warn his disbelieving population about more dangers to come.

For a while it drags on, with childish banter between the two lead characters, and the plot by Horton haters to bring him down by destroying his toy of the moment, not acknowledging his mantra that a person's a person, no matter how small. They want proof, and they're not getting any, since the Whos are also laughing at the fact that there are bigger creatures out there, outside the realms of their known atmosphere. It's as if one's trying to convince a large group of atheist that there is a supreme being up there and he's up there watching our every move (ok, so Horton doesn't actually get to see them, but you get my drift).

But the struggling with existentialism, is what made Horton Hears a Who shine brightly, and made the ticket worthwhile. A pity we have to really wait out for it, but at least these tense moments came, better late than never, that really brought out enough drama and excitement that I never saw coming my way. Otherwise, the animation's pretty standard fare in 2D, and chock full of supporting characters (voiced by Seth Rogen, Carol Burnett, Dan Fogler, Isla Fisher, Amy Poehler and Jaime Pressly et al) just to ramp up the cute factor, without giving them much to do anyway, though I must admit the gorillas almost always crack me up (you should see what they can do with their bananas!)

Smart to debut this during the school holidays this week to catch hold of school going kids. Oh, and get yourself into the hall early as you'll get to see Ice Age's Scrat up to his antics to promote Ice Age 3, due on in Summer 2009 (yes, 2009!)
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Dr. Seuss is not for full-length movies
drivingjack23 January 2009
Not many books can be successfully made into a 90 minute movie. And this is one of them. Read any Dr. Seuss book. It takes 10 minutes max. The script was heavy-laden with too many gimmicks that were so far off from the original story that they made the movie drone on and on. The original cartoon version was bad enough. This was 3 times as long. Jim Carey once again shows that overacting an animated creature is not his forte. While he is lower key than in the Grinch he was over animating (so to speak) the character of Horton. The only one who captured their book character was Carol Burnett. She played the shrill Kangaroo perfect. Then they had her kid act as a defiant brat and defend Horton. This is not part of the original story, and adds another movie we can chalk up to the liberal Hollywood ideal that kids should always rebel against their parent. The movie sucks, plays too long, and has no characters to embrace. Don't buy it.
7 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Who would've thunk?
GSmith907217 March 2008
Unlike many Dr. Seuss Nazis, I wasn't about to have a conniption if Blue Sky's "Horton Hears a Who" wasn't 100 percent faithful to the source material, but only if it were able to develop an actual idea and personality all its own. Of course, I'd have to visit the twilight zone to observe any innovation of that sort that isn't wretched and vile such as the likes of "The Cat in the Hat". Shockingly, this bland little inoffensive children's flick was the first modern Seuss remake I've seen that didn't apply gross out humor or reprehensible scenes that shouldn't be shown to people under age 12 (actually, to anyone with cognitive brain functioning). This is clearly evident in that it differed from the hard hitting and uninspired gags like those in the Ice Age films and settled for a warm almost verbatim cgi recreation of the classic children's tale, sexism and all. The animation is passable, lacking any interesting exercise of the medium. It has nice color scheme and basically everything else it needs to satisfy the most tightly-wound fans of the original story. That being said, the film becomes nothing more than it's source material. The characters lack dimension, and the film as a whole remains flat, only given any sense of character from Suess' mind. The films occasional meanderings include an overly long Japanese anime spoof, funny in its own right but adding nothing but confusion to the rest of the film's content. The message of the movie is certainly welcome, whether you're simple enough to hijack a nice children's story to tout anti abortion ideas, or if you want to take from it what a small child would; to care about others despite their differences, status, or what other people may think about them. It's all the magic of what makes the books so enticing. Perhaps it's even effective enough to pose the first pieces of philosophical ideas in youngsters. Aside from all that, it's a fun film and moderately tolerable for those the kids drag along. It really should be questioned however if four years of labor and expense should only come to this. Truthfully, even though none of these Seuss films really do it for me cinematically, this was one of better ones.
6 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Excellent family entertainment--and thank goodness it doesn't stray too far from the source material.
MartinHafer9 June 2008
Okay, many of you are about to become offended, but I've gotta say it. The movie version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (THE GRINCH) was a horrible movie in practically every way. The worst problem with it is that the entire moral lesson of the original story is lost and in fact the movie states the exact opposite of what the author intended!! In the book and Chuck Jones special, the Whos were nice folks that didn't need all the presents as they were sincere in their reverence for the holidays. In the Jim Carey remake, the Whos were all selfish and materialistic!! What a horrible way to ruin Dr. Seuss' vision! It's like translating the Bible and making Satan the good guy!

In light of how far THE GRINCH strayed, I especially loved HORTON HEARS A WHO because it didn't wander far from the source material or convolute the moral of the story. Sure, the story was changed a bit and several subplots were added, but I could accept this--after all, they had about 88 minutes to fill and there had to be SOME padding. However, the original story can still easily be distinguished and perhaps after this film, Seuss can finally stop spinning in his grave!!

So, apart from the faithfulness to the original story, what did I like? Well, I was once again thrilled to see Fox making CGI films. Their ICE AGE films were pretty good and HORTON is even prettier and more entertaining. Quality-wise, this is about on-par with a Pixar or Dreamworks production. I particularly loved Whoville--as with powerful computers, they were able to animate hundreds, if not thousands, of wonderful Whos. And it was cute all the little tiny touches--so much so that the film holds up well to repeated viewing in order to catch all the action and details. Plus the town looked very Seuss-ian--like the pages of the books come to life. It was a real joy to watch.

Was there anything I didn't like? Well, the song at the end by REO Speedwagon was simply terrible way to wrap up the film. It was schmaltzy and pointless and looked as if the producers were stuck finding a decent way to tie everything together. However, considering this is my only gripe, then this is still a heck of a film--one the kids AND parents can enjoy. Kids will love it and parents will actually not be bored--a rare achievement in a film.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
a very well done Dr. Seuss adaptation
disdressed1211 April 2008
after living through the travesty that was the live action adaptation of The Cat in the Hat,i wasn't sure what to expect.this movie is not live action,which is a plus.i was pleasantly surprised by it.it's actually clean wholesome fun the whole family can enjoy.there's a little action and adventure,and a lot of comedy.the movie is also touching.it also has a message,that basically says,we're all significant and we all deserve to be treated equal.it's not heavy handed at all.in fact,i thought it was quite subtle.i also liked the voice cast.Jim Carrey was very good as Horton,Steve Carell was also good as his mouse friend,and Carol Burnett as the Kangaroo who rules the forest was also good.parents,this is a movie you can take your kids to(and enjoy yourself)without worrying if there is anything that is not appropriate.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Some of the best animated madness is mixed with some of the blandest
dbborroughs30 March 2008
Beautifully animated retelling of the Dr Suess tale of Horton the elephant finding the speck of dust where Whoville resides and then having to protect it from danger. As good as the film looks its an uneven affair. Brilliant set pieces (anime homage) and jokes (monkeys stuffing bananas in their mouths) are followed by exposition and bits that confuse humor with busy action. Despite or because of some of the best cartoon jokes in years the film still disappointed me- how could a film that is capable of such cleverness so often miss the mark? Okay it doesn't miss the mark so much as be be dull (or not live up to the mark the good stuff sets for itself). Half way in I was annoyed enough to want to leave. The one thing that doesn't disappoint is the voice cast with Jim Carrey fine and not too silly as Horton, Steve Carrell as the Mayor quite good, Carol Burnett evil as the Kangaroo and Charles Osgood wonderful as the narrator.

Worth a look at some point...probably on DVD or cable.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Sweet kids movie with a good message
SnoopyStyle24 January 2014
Horton the elephant (Jim Carrey) from the jungle of Nool hears a voice coming from a speck of dust. It turns out to be the voice of the Mayor (Steve Carell) of the microscopic town of Whoville where the Whos live. He tries to save the speck by placing it on top of Mount Nool. But nobody believes him, and the strict Kangaroo endeavors to stop him. No matter what the obstacle, Horton must save the Whos. After all, a person is a person, no matter how small.

I find both sides of the story very touching. Neither character is believed by anybody. Yet they both risk it all for what they believe. The ending is especially touching. It doesn't get better than the idealism of Horton. I love Horton crossing the bridge, but Vlad may be too much. It puts a little too much ugly danger in an otherwise beautiful kids cartoon. It's a short movie, and they probably needed to pad it to fill out a full movie. It's a sweet kids movie with a good message.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A solid seussian movie
evan-luzi31 March 2008
Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, is no stranger to the Hollywood treatment of his books. It started in 200 with Ron Howard's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and was followed by Mike Myers starring in "The Cat in the Hat." Both of those films were live action, but this most recent adaptation of "Horton Hears a Who!" has dipped into the ever expanding realm of computer animation. Blue Sky Studios is helming the animation on this picture, most notably known for their "Ice Age" movies.

The classic Seussian tale begins with an elephant named Horton (voiced by Jim Carrey) who decides it's too hot and that he wants to get cool. So he decides to go swimming in a pool in the jungle of Nool (If I could write my whole review in rhyme, I would). While cleansing himself, a tiny speck floats by Horton's ear and he hears voices yelling. Horton, convinced that there are people on the speck, rushes to save it from landing in the water by catching it on a clover. All the while, the rest of the jungle thinks Horton is crazy, but nobody more than the big bad Kangaroo (Carol Burnett) whose mission becomes to destroy the clover "for the children!" Meanwhile, Horton is right about the speck and inside the tiny dust ball is a town named Whoville that's four sizes as small. Horton speaks with the mayor of Whoville (Steve Carrell) and together they decide that the speck needs to reach a safe and stable place at the top of Mount Nool or Whoville will be destroyed.

Perhaps what was most surprising about the film was the number of styles and animation that co-directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino were willing to explore. For instance, the jungle of Nool has a warm, cartoony, otherworldly feel to it while the town of Whoville is undoubtedly Seussian. There is also a sequence that is animated in 2-D in the same style that the original Seuss books were (think Cat in the Hat) and another sequence that does a hilariously good job of imitating Japanese anime. Most importantly though, is that the shifts never get in the way of the story.

Speaking of animation, it seems that computer animated stories have finally reached a point past the 'wow' factor and the computer doodles don't have to become more important than the story. The animation was great. It was rich and textured and in the opening scene the water that Horton swims in looks incredibly real. The water, however, is about the only thing that looks real, which is a good thing. The mistake that the live action Seuss films have made is that they tried to recreate the world of Dr. Seuss with tangible sets and it never quite felt like Seuss but it never quite felt like anything at all. It was a blah attempt at a world that was meant to live in imaginations. Luckily for the audience of "Horton," Blue Sky has a grip on what they wanted visually from the story and the beauty of computer animation is that everything that is seen on screen is amazingly calculated and detailed.

I also wanted to briefly note that the score composed by John Powell was great (save for an unfitting song at the end). I got really excited when, during the climax, Powell most certainly was aiming to score a song similar to Ennio Morricone's "Ecstasy of Gold." That song is famously known for playing during the climax of Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." It was a nice homage to the spaghetti westerns.

What irked me most about the film, however, was the sometimes over-the-top acting of Carrey and Carell. They are both comic powerhouses, for sure, but there's something about voice acting improvisation by both of them that doesn't carry over into animation. Perhaps it's because the spontaneity of it gets lost in the technicality of animating it. At any case, the voice acting was nothing short of superb. Besides Carrey and Carell sometimes getting lost in trying to be funny, the supporting cast delivered wonderfully. Carol Burnett reminded me of every overbearing mom that I've been unlucky to overhear ("Horton is teaching the kids to use their imagination!"). The smaller characters are littered with celebrities: Will Arnett, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Isla Fisher, Jaime Pressly, and Amy Poehler, to name a few. It's unfortunate that many of their roles are fairly small, especially Arnett as the bounty hunter vulture, Vlad.

"Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" is a movie that was surprisingly good. Blue Sky Studios certainly brought out a film that can rival what Pixar (Finding Nemo, Toy Story) has been doing for years. "Horton" was visually exciting, featured an astounding cast of voice actors, and was faithful to the world of Dr. Seuss. It's a cliché, I know, but it truly is a film that can be enjoyed by all ages if you're willing to let yourself emerge into a Seussian wonderland. So go to the theatre and get a quick ticket, and if you see a speck of dust, don't you dare flick it. Because as Horton would say, to one and to all, "a person is a person, no matter how small."
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed