"Horton Hears A Who" (20th Century Fox)

A Slice of Seuss

In the past there have been many adaptations of Dr. Seuss stories. In some instances they have been real life movies and in other cases animated TV or movies. The best ones have been the animated versions shown on TV. But now comes one of the biggest adaptations of all, the story of "Horton Hears A Who" and it is in all of its animated glory by the team that did "Ice Age." The film is aimed at children and that shows in some extreme repetition in the middle. This brings on some weariness in the plot. It is a bit stretched but the kids in the audience with me didn't mind a bit.

The story concerns a happy elephant living in a forest. His name is Horton (voiced by Jim Carrey) and one day he thinks he hears a sound coming from a tiny, tiny peck, The speck lands on a clover flower and Horton leans closer to hear. He becomes convinced there is something living on the speck and he decides it is his duty to protect it. As he listens he begins to communicate with the Mayor of Whoville (voiced by Steve Carell) who has just as hard a time believing in an elephant in the sky as Horton does in believing there is life on a speck.

Eventually the two do trust each other and Horton begins to worry as to how best to protect the denizens of Whoville. Horton has an obstacle to overcome and that is the kangaroo (voiced by Carol Burnett). She is the head of the forest, so to speak, and she declares if you can't see it, feel it or hear it then it doesn't exist. By this standard the city of Whoville doesn't exist.

Horton is horrified when Kangaroo says she is going to destroy the speck and the clover upon which it sits. He races away to keep the speck safe but there are still bad times ahead.

Carrey is great as Horton and Burnett and Carell add strong support as the Mayor and Kangaroo. There are also characters voiced by Will Arnett, Dan Fogler, Jaime Pressley, Seth Rogen and Isla Fisher among others. The animation is perfect for a Dr. Seuss story and kids of all ages are sure to be entranced by this heroic tale.

The question is, will adults also be charmed. I can only speak for one and say not entirely. The story is sweet and the characters are comical but the whole thing just gets a little slow in the middle portion. It is like going against mom, apple pie and the flag to say you got bored in a Dr. Seuss story but I did. Sorry but I did.

Now everything gets better at the end and the sentimentality of that portion leaves you on a high note. All is right with the world and all the kids are happy. What more could you ask for in a kids movie. 

Not enjoying the movie totally makes you feel like a Grinch, and we all know what they are like. And after all it is a G rated film that won't offend anyone and will keep the kids entertained for a couple of hours. So take my negative remark with a grain of salt - but remember it just the same in an "I told you so" kind of way.

Think of this as your parental duty and take your kids to see this film. They will have a ball - you, not so much.

I scored "Horton Hears A Who" a kid friendly 7 out of 10.

2008 Jackie K. Cooper