Reel Shorts | Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who

13 03 2008

Three generations of comedians brilliantly bring Dr. Seuss’ masterwork gloriously back to life in the hilarious animated classic, “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who.”

While relaxing in peace in his jungle home, Horton (Jim Carrey) sees a small speck float by and swears he hears a voice. Instantly curious, the fun-loving elephant decides to retrieve the minuscule spec and communicate with it. After retrieving the tiny floating particle, he discovers that not only is there a voice, but an entire world living within better known as Whoville.

After consulting with Whoville disbelieving Mayor (Steve Carell), Horton decides that he must finds a safe haven for their tiny world or else their floating society will be destroyed. In addition to shepherding Whoville to safety, he must also stand up to contemptuous Kangaroo (Carol Burnett) who rallies her jungle neighbors to stop Horton from spreading his message of hope and imagination to the other jungle inhabitants. Kangaroo takes out a hit on Horton, hiring Vlad the Eagle (Will Arnett) to stop him once and for all. With Vlad and later all of his jungle neighbors after him, Horton – with the help of his only true friend, Morton (Seth Rogen) must summon up every bit of courage he can to survive his great adventure.

Meanwhile in Whoville, the mayor keeps trying to sound the alarm to his citizens but they and the council ignore his pleas not wanting anything to interfere with the town’s 100th Anniversary celebration. And to make matters worst, he and his son Jo Jo (Jesse McCartney) aren’t seeing eye-to-eye. What’s the mayor to do?

Originally written in 1954, Dr. Seuss’ story finally gets the star treatment it deserves. Rich in color, the film is brilliantly drawn and storyboarded. Featuring dreamlike sets, “Horton” is an animated achievement. For a change the voice-work matches the film beautifully. Starting with stars Carrey, Carell and the legendary Burnett, they provide a solid foundation for the best animated film of this decade. Even with Carrey’s ad-libing, the tone never strays away from Seuss’ original message of diversity and tolerance for one an all.

All of this talent, in front of and behind the camera, would be wasted without a funny script and screenwriters Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul don’t squander the film’s considerable talent. They brilliantly adapt Seuss’ work making it relevant for 21st century families. “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who’s” juxtaposition of two worlds, one big and the other tiny is still as timely now as when he first created it because “”After all, a person is a person, no matter how small.”

Grade: A+

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