Horton Hears a Who: Big Dud of a Film

This version of Horton Hears a Who, is a perfect example of how to take a classic work and stretch it to death. Banking on the already well-loved, trusted name of Dr. Seuss, money-spinners Hayward and Martino have shed their animation and art direction hats to don director’s hats.

Horton Hears a Who tells the story of Horton, an elephant who, upon hearing a voice from a speck of dust, does his best to protect it from the evils of the world. Some of the animation is beautiful, such as the field of pink clover, but oddly, Horton doesn’t have many wrinkles; he occupies a large portion of the screen, smooth and gray.

At one point, Horton has a dream, which is done in an old-fashioned single line drawing cartoon style, completely out of character with the rest of the
computer animation.

The sound layer is strikingly thin, an unusual miss in our world of rich sound tracks. But mostly, it was the story that disappointed, making the small
annoyances more noticeable.

Writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, who work as a team and whose only real claim to fame is College Road Trip have turned Horton Hears a Who
into a father son story, inventing no less than ninety-six daughters for the Mayor of Whoville, so many daughters, that he can allot only twelve seconds of his time to each daughter as they flip by their dad on a conveyor belt for their precious twelve seconds.

Son, Jo-Jo, in contrast, gets a hug from his busy dad, a stroll through the hall of ancestors
and the promise that he too will one day be mayor.

None of this is in the original work by Dr. Seuss. Great character acting is wasted on this bizarre version that speaks only to the hunger for filmic material by child audiences who, in this case, have been duped by careless storytelling.

Horton Hears a Who
Release Date: March 14, 2008
Runtime: 88 min.
Genre: Animation/Family
Directors: Jim Hayward, Steve Martino
Cast: Jim Carrey, Carol Burnett, Steve Carell
Stars: 2

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