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Dr Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who – Family Movie Review
Rating of the movie Mom: 3 out of 5 stars
With : Jim Carrey, Steve Carell,
Dan Fogler, Carol Burnett, Seth Rogen
Realized by: Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino
Runtime: 1 hr. 28 mins.
MPAA rating: g
Horton is an optimistic and loyal elephant who is friends with everyone, even those who don’t like him. One day, while taking a bath in the jungle, a tiny speck of dust passes in front of him. At the same time, Horton hears someone screaming for help and he thinks it was a little person living on the verge. Once the grain lands safely on a clover, Horton tries to make contact with the little person and is successful. He discovers that there is an entire town, called Whoville, living on the point. He befriends the mayor of the town and together they try to find a place where the dust will be safe. But Horton’s other jungle animals aren’t thrilled to find him talking to a speck of dust. Thinking Horton is delusional, they attempt to destroy the grain for the good of the jungle. But Horton isn’t about to come out on top of his beliefs, and he’s doing everything in his power to save Whoville.
For a G-rated film clearly aimed at very young children, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who is a delightful film. The colors are rich, the animation is extremely well done, and Horton is a wonderful model. But for the college-to-adult age, the movie will be painfully predictable and slow-paced. I know why Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell were cast for their particular roles as Horton and the Mayor, but they have a lot of dialogue together and at times I found it hard to distinguish between their similar voices. Kids probably won’t recognize that Carol Burnett was cast as Kangaroo, but for an old movie buff like me, I couldn’t get past her very obvious voice – I imagined her face every time Kangaroo said a word. However, there are some really fun parts, and about 3/4 into the film, the film becomes quite touching and adventurous.
Dr. Seuss touches on many important topics in this story. One very obvious is the relationship between the mayor and his son, JoJo. The mayor is portrayed like many TV or movie parents, as he always talks to his son but never listens. In fact, JoJo never even says a word until the very end of the film. The mayor is determined that JoJo will follow in his footsteps and one day become mayor of Whoville, but JoJo has other aspirations. Although this story is another reminder for parents to be careful with their children, it is a bit short. I was so intrigued by JoJo and couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say, or what he did every night when he got out of the house. But when I finally discovered it, it was a little disappointing.
Kangaroo repeatedly says that “if you can’t hear it, see it, or touch it, it doesn’t exist.” This sentiment is refuted by Horton, who risks his life for what he believes in.
Not only is Horton faithful, he also keeps his word. He often says, “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant is 100% faithful. Not only is this a good mantra for our children, but it is also for us.
While the film is never gross, there are a few points I will point out. When the mayor tries to convince the city council that Whoville is in danger, the council points to a picture of a donkey’s hindquarters, then points to the mayor. Additionally, the mayor is referred to as “breast” several times and the word is thrown around throughout the film. While the mayor is at the dentist, he accidentally gets stabbed in the arm with a needle – that part gave me goosebumps. There is also a part where a vulture almost chokes on a bone.
At one point, Kangaroo proudly proclaims that her child is “pocket schooled”. This might offend some homeschooled moms, as Kangaroo is the “bad guy” in the movie.
I can’t say it’s one of the best kids movies, but then again, I can’t say we’d be better off without it. It’ll make a great movie to own on DVD – young kids will probably devour it over and over again – but it’s not an all-time classic. If you’re looking for a movie you can enjoy with your kids, try a Pixar classic like Monster’s Inc. or Finding Nemo. Storylines are much more engaging and rich, and they can keep an audience (young or old) completely captivated.
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