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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!

Starring: Jim Carrey ... Horton (voice)

Steve Carell ... The Mayor of Whoville (voice)

Carol Burnett ... Kangaroo (voice)

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!
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Synopsis: In the movie "Horton Hears a Who," Jim Carey is the voice of Horton, the inventive and imaginative elephant who teaches his young friends about the amazing world around them. One day Horton, with his big ears, hears a voice on a speck of dust floating in the jungle air. Horton catches the speck on a dandelion, and begins to talk to the speck. The Mayor of Whoville (voice Steve Carell) talks to Horton, and the Mayor can not believe that there is something bigger than his world. After there are several climate changes (darkness in the middle of the day and snow in summer) that occur in Whoville, the Mayor believes that his world is in great danger. The Mayor tries to warn his people of the impending doom, but everybody ridicules him and thinks he is crazy. Horton is getting the same reaction from everyone who thinks he is also crazy; especially the kangaroo (voice Carol Burnett) who wants to get rid of the speck, and Horton's wild ideas. Horton defends the speck by saying that "a person's a person, no matter how small." Horton talks to the Mayor and tells him that he is going to put the speck in a safe place and out of danger.

byDouglas Young (the-movie-guy)

Review: by Chris Knight, Canwest News Service

A cartoon version of Dr. Seuss's children's classic, the film centres on Horton the elephant, who hears a cry for help coming from a speck of dust. Even though he can't see anyone on the speck, he decides to help it -- as the speck is home to the Whos, who live in their city of Whoville. Seuss's insouciant scruples have not been watered down by screenwriters, who keep his fight-anarchy-with-anarchy ethos, gentle anti-authoritarian message and general playfulness. And Steve Carell and Jim Carrey are well-chosen for the main voices.

It's clear from the outset of this latest Seuss-a-vision release that the good doctor's stories work best in animated form. I haven't seen the Broadway musical Seussical, but two live-action adaptations, 2000's How the Grinch Stole Christmas and 2003's The Cat in the Hat, bogged down under the weight of prosthetics and latex needed to turn Jim Carrey and Mike Myers into a convincing grinch and cat, respectively.

Making Horton a computer-generated pachyderm, however, allows the movie to play fast and loose with the laws of physics, the conservation of momentum and even the basic tenets of sound architecture, none of which are allowed to stand in the way of a good joke.

The opening sequence, which calls to mind the floating feather in Forrest Gump, introduces a microscopic mote of dust containing a nanoscopic planet on which the picoscopic town of Who-Ville is home to (let's bring it down a few more powers of 10) attoscopic citizens. They're a mostly benign if knuckleheaded bunch, and their mayor (voiced by Steve Carell) reminds us that in the land of the witless, the half-wit is king.

Out in the megaverse we call home, Horton, a grey, zeppelin-sized elephant with the voice of Jim Carrey, happens upon the speck, hears the cries of its populace and imagines the worst. "Imagines" is the key word here, since the jungle's self-appointed keeper of community standards thinks Horton is making the whole thing up and, what's worse, encouraging impressionable young animals to do the same. Known only as Sour Kangaroo, this busybody could be reliably voiced only by Lily Tomlin or Carol Burnett; the filmmakers chose the latter.

(A 'roo and an elephant perched side by side?
You're wondering where on this world they reside.
Dr. Seuss called his setting the Jungle of Nool.
It must border both Kenya and Wallamaloo.)


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