LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - This computer-generated
animated adaptation of "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" brims
with colorful, elastic characters and bountiful wit.
To take nothing away from Fox and its Blue Sky Studios
division, much, much, much of this owes directly to the book
published in 1954 by Theodore Geisel's alter ego, Dr. Seuss. So
credit the filmmakers for knowing a good thing when they see
it. The film captures all the charm of the book from its
rhyming text to its themes and fantastical characters.
This family entertainment represents the first big film of
the year with a potential for $100 million-plus in domestic
markets. A long life on many video shelves is assured.
Horton, given a comically innocent voice by Jim Carrey, is
a rubbery elephant in the jungle of Nool who one fine day hears
a tiny cry. It comes from a speck floating in the air, which
actually is a tiny planet, home to a city called Who-ville,
inhabited by microscopic-sized inhabitants known as Whos.
Horton can't see these creatures but manages to communicate
to its excitable Mayor (vocal magic by Steve Carell). Realizing
the vulnerability of this entire civilization, Horton
undertakes to shield it from harm while the Mayor must alert
Who-ville to the danger. Both suffer mockery from fellow
creatures unable to believe in what they can't see.
Vlad the Eagle (Will Arnett) and the sour Kangaroo (Carol
Burnett) torment Horton while the Who-ville citizenry call the
Mayor a boob. But Horton, with advice from his pal Morton the
Mouse (Seth Rogen), perseveres, believing "a person's a person
no matter how small."
Directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino hue closely to
Seuss' drawings and designs, while writers Cinco Paul and Ken
Daurio blend the author's rhymes with hipper contemporary
Despite a brisk pace, Seuss' many characters all get a
chance to display their unique idiosyncrasies and viewpoints.
The filmmakers imbue the harrowing experiences in the parallel
worlds with both suspense and rich comedy. Thus do the
filmmakers ride the coattails of Seuss' imaginative powers to
Horton: Jim Carrey
Mayor: Steve Carell
Kanngaroo: Carol Burnett
Vlad: Will Arnett
Morton: Seth Rogen
Councilman/Yummo Wickersham: Dan Fogler
Directors: Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino; Screenwriters:
Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio; Story: Dr. Seuss; Producers: Bob
Gordon, Bruce Anderson; Executive producers: Audrey Geisel,
Chris Wedge, Chris Meledandri; Art director: Thomas Cardone;
Music: John Powell; Editor: Tim Nordquist.