Delta Films Movie Reviews
Horton Hears a Who
Review - " Horton Hears a Who " (in theatres) - By Roland Hansen

"Horton Hears a Who"                   A Blue Sky Studios production starring Jim Carrey, Steve Carrell & Carol Burnett

Review: The animation is bright, colorful and mostly faithful to the vision of Theodor Geisel’s (Dr Suess) madcap imaginary worlds. The
crazy antics of Jim Carey’s Horton rival that of the cartoon voiceover work of Robin Williams’ Genie in Aladdin. The narration is done with
the familiar intonations of Charles Osgood reading passages from the original text. The self-deprecating, neurotic genius of Steve Carrell
lends his talents as the voice of the insecure and oft bumbling mayor of Whoville. Carol Burnett is wickedly delightful as Kangaroo , the
self-proclaimed ruler of this particular jungle. The result is a who-lariously delightful romp that will entertain children of all ages.

While this is primarily a children’s films there is a great deal of social commentary on our version of reality. It’s been many years, decades
really, since my childhood and as much time has past since I read Dr Suess or watched any of his TV specials. I forgot how political Dr
Suess was (anyone remember the Star-bellied Sneetches ?). There is heavy commentary on the people in power fear mongering, power
grabbing, & using "save the children" to push through they're agenda in order to maintain or increase their power. 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. The
screenwriters 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. Kangaroo (Carol Burnett) is the local authority / government in
Horton’s jungle country of Nool. Her authority is challenged by Horton’s belief in the tiny Who’s and his teaching the children of Nool to
use their imaginations and think outside of established doctrine. She uses the ever popular “save the children” mantra to insight the
citizens to declare Horton to be dangerous, a menace to society, to arrest him and lock him up.

There are great lessons of friendship and loyalty. Of faithfulness, keeping ones word
no matter what obstacles. "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant: An elephant's
faithful one hundred percent." Horton refuses to go back on his word to help protect the
citizens of Whoville even as he is ostracized and ultimately deprived of his freedom. Horton’s only loyal friend seems to be a small hyper-
active mouse named Morton (Seth Rogen). Morton is the only one who stands by the faithful pachyderm throughout.

There are lessons about having faith in things that can't be seen - the religious aspect is hard to ignore - and treating people the same
regardless of their differences. Horton’s slogan "a person’s is a person, no matter how small" can easily be construed as right to life anti-
abortion propaganda.
March 20, 2008
Story outline: Horton the Elephant (Jim Carrey) hears a yelp emitting from a dust speck,
which is floating in the breeze. After rescuing it from destruction by planting it on a
clover, Horton learns that there is a tiny world on the speck, the planet of Who. The
Mayor of Whoville (Steve Carell) is the only one who knows about and communicates
with Horton, and must deal with the reality of the situation while trying to maintain his
huge family: 96 daughters, one son, and his caring wife. Unfortunately, Horton is
ambushed when the cynical Sour Kangaroo (Carol Burnett) sends Vlad the vulture (Will
Arnett) to steal the dust speck and vanquish the independent thinking it inadvertently
sparks in the creatures of Nool.
Inside the tiny world of the Who’s, The Mayor (Steve Carrell) is having his own problems
convincing the populace of the danger that faces them. An ominous, dark, and apparently
evil town council stifles any attempt by the mayor to warn the citizen about the impending
doom. The council doesn’t want to do anything that would upset their plans for the
Whocentenniel celebration and refuses to entertain any possibility that conflicts with the
happy carefree who life that they represent to the people of Whoville
There are other subplots such as the Father / Son dynamic of the Mayor of Whoville, a
hereditary post that stretches back hundreds of generations to the cavewho days, and his
eldest child and only male heir, JoJo. This family dynamic is not even remotely fully
explored or explained in “Horton”.  JoJo appears to be uninterested in taking over the
family business, so to speak. He displays an almost stereotypical teenage brooding angst.
Unwilling or unable to communicate with his father about his feelings and desires. In fact
he doesn't say a word throughout the entire movie until the very end when his  "barbaric
yawp” (dead poets society)
 is what finally breaks through the barrier and allows those of
us in the “real world” to finally hear and acknowledge the existence of the Who’s.
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