Horton Hears A Who! (2008)

Director: Jimmy Hayward/Steve Martino
Cast: Jim CarreySteve CarellCarol Burnett, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill
Plot: Horton the Elephant struggles to protect a microscopic community from his neighbors who refuse to believe it exists.

Genre: Animation/Adventure/Comedy/Family

Awards: -
Runtime: 88min
Rating: PG




Bringing Dr. Seuss' hilarious story about an elephant, Horton, and his bizarre relationship with a speck to the big screen is inevitable. How well it succeeds financially at the box-office depends on the word of mouth (unless it boasts Pixar’s stamp of quality). Voiced by two of America's top comedians, Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell, half the battle is won. The other half is won by the film's strong visuals; the colors used are radiant and striking while the detailed depiction (but not necessarily realistic) of the jungle setting and its colorful inhabitants prove to be engaging as well.

Horton Hears A Who! paints two different worlds: The jungle in which Horton lives, and the tiny speck which Horton chances upon that happens to be a planet dominated by human-like creatures. Since Horton has humongous elephant ears, he is able to hear sounds that are inaudible to most. The mayor of Whoville hears Horton through a hollow pipe that's linked up to his rooftop. This is where the film becomes substantially interesting. In addition, its religious aspect is hard to ignore.

Horton is like the God in the sky. And the people who make up Whoville become frighteningly familiar. There are some who are unaware that Horton exists while others ridicule the notion of a higher supreme being who's watching over them (much of which draws parallels with our world). Unselfishly, Horton goes to extreme lengths to protect the speck from his neighbors (most of them denying the existence of Whoville), even though he knows that his own life may be at stake. The sacrifices that Horton makes go mostly unappreciated until the end when everyone in Whoville believes in him and works hard together to achieve salvation.

There is one thrilling yet funny sequence that involves Horton crossing an old, long, and swinging wooden bridge to bring the speck to safety. Just that scene alone encompasses Horton's vast compassionate range. Frankly, some sequences which are meant to tickle the funny bone are a bit too exaggerating when a simple job could have made it more effective. Horton Hears A Who! concludes with an unforgettable quote: "A person is a person, no matter how small." Well said, as life knows no boundaries, and everyone plays a part to make sure that life really knows no boundaries.

GRADE: B+ (8/10 or 3.5 stars)

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