But seriously now, it wasn’t the disaster I expected it to be when I first heard that Jim Carrey and Steve Carell were selected to voice the lead characters. Actually, they were quite good, after a manner and in spite of one singularly odd attempt to derail the story. More on that in a moment, as it occurred through no fault of the actors and was strictly an apparently directorial aside.
The story was compelling in its imaginative way, supported by richly textured environments, both in the land inhabited by Horton and friends, and that filled with the people of Whoville, small though it may be. Inhabiting a speck of dust, the people of Whoville, led by the Mayor of Whoville (Steve Carell), encountered Horton the Elephant (Jim Carrey) quite by accident. I will let you see the movie for yourself, as you rightly should, in order to enjoy the story.
However, I should warn those of you who are home schooling parents. The arch-nemesis was a home-pouch schooling momma Kangaroo (Carol Burnett). Don’t say you weren’t warned. You might be offended by how home schooling parents are portrayed: rabid elitists of a singular educational methodology who have an arrogant view to the public education approach. To be fair, there are probably a small number of whom this description is apt, but the movie does not provide allowances for the far greater number who are quite balanced in their approach.
The greatest distraction in the movie was a two minute manga-like interlude which apparently was meant to convey Horton’s daydreams of greatness. It was dreadful. It totally broke the mood of the otherwise gentle and occasionally funny story.
On the other hand, I did hear children giggle throughout the story, especially with the pratfalls of Horton, an extraordinarily lightfooted and fast-talking elephant. Who knew elephants could do triple flip somersault dives into shallow ponds with hardly a splash?
Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! is a G rated light hearted romp which avoids the garish spector of the previous live acted Dr. Suess movie adaptations. It mostly retains the sweet nature of its source material, providing a glimmer of hope that the movie industry is beginning to realize that families really do want to watch movies together, especially those that are truly clean and that have well-told stories. Now that is an encouraging thought.