Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who!

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who!

Spring 2009 DVD
Ages: All Ages
DVD Price: $34.98
A veritable who's who in comedy featuring the voices of Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Jaime Pressly, Seth Rogen and legend Carol Burnett, Horton Hears a Who is a fanciful and funny take on the children's classic. "Horton" takes liberal license with the Dr. Seuss classic, but unlike the other live-action version of Seuss stories, this film retains a great deal of the book's original charm. It's also the first adaptation to use CGI technology. The animation is nothing short of dazzling. Like many current animated films, the comedy seems aimed at a much broader audience; an approach that at times takes away from the simplicity and poignancy of the book. Taken as its own separate entity, the movie does work as a lesson about acceptance and being conscientious about others around us.

The basic premise remains intact when, in the jungle of Nool on the fifteenth of May, the enigmatic elephant Horton hears a voice on a speck of dust, throwing his whole world into a tizzy. Horton (Jim Carrey) and the Whoville mayor Ned McDodd (Steve Carell) must convince their peers that their world is not as it seems. For Ned, it's a particularly daunting task to tell the citizens of Whoville that their city in jeopardy, especially when the preternaturally positive town council refuses to hear any bad news.

Sometimes the added subplots are a good thing, such as when the Mayor learns to appreciate his son's own personal qualities as opposed to projecting his wishes upon him. Others additions, like incidental but unnecessary name calling, and maligning of dentists just aren't in the Seussian spirit. Still, most of the action is funny, not scary, thanks to the outrageous leading characters, making it a spectacular looking fun ride for all ages.

Laura Fries   ©2009 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and 20 year member of the Television Critics Association Laura has been writing about television and film entertainment for more years than she cares to admit. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
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