Disc 1: Widescreen Feature Film **Forced Trailers: Nim's Island BD, Meet Dave BD **Directors' Audio Commentary ( Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino) **Actors' Audio Commentary (Jim Carrey, Steve Carell) **Ice Age Short: Surviv... more »ing Sid **Watch Horton Hears a Who! with a Who **Beyond Animation **The Voice of Horton: Jim Carrey **That's One Big Elephant **The Genesis of Katie **Your World is Changing, Too! **How Does Horton Hear? **A Person is a Person - Practical Life Lessons **Is It Seuss? **13 Deleted Scenes *Introduction to Deleted Scenes with Co-Directors Jimmy Haywardand Steve Martino *Each deleted scene will likely have optional audio commentary w/ co-directors **23 Animation Screen Tests *Introduction to Animation Tests with Animator Nick Bruno **BD-J game; We Are Here! BD-J game Disc 2: Digital Copy« less
"In the middle of March, with the kids out of school In the heat of the day, `cos the tropics aren't cool We were watching ....enjoying the cinema's joys... When Horton the elephant first heard the noise
When Horton stopped splashing we learned that the sound Came not from the trees or the stones on the ground A small shrieky voice was appealing for help But all Horton heard was a faint little yelp. He heard it because of the size of his ear So big and so wide and he knew it was clear That the scream was attached to a speck in the air
We know from the tales that the scientists tell That no speck of dust should be able to yell So Horton the elephant quickly worked out That some tiny creature was shouting the shout A creature too small to be seen with the eyes With a voice that belied its diminutive size
So sweet gentle Horton he rescued that speck He placed it in clover, a small golden fleck He pledged his protection, because after all A person's a person no matter how small
Perhaps Horton bit off MORE than he could chew When he crossed with the likes of the sour kangaroo Who rallied the animals to go get the clover To end his delusional rant, and moreover To stop him corrupting the minds of our young (This kangaroo chick was just too highly strung)
If you've read the story you know how it ends It's good to have faith in the strength of your friends There's no need to touch, or to see or to hear To believe that there just may be people out there Who'll stand by your side no matter the weather And prove that we CAN make things happen together
It varies a little from Seuss's long verse But watching the film, well, they could have done worse The anime bit was a little bit weird And the moldy old vulture had some kiddies scared Carrey and Carrel and Carol are fine But I don't think this movie is top of the line I'll give it a rating of 4 - pretty cool For this Seussian tale from the jungle of Nool.
Amanda Richards, March 30, 2008 "
Alyssa A. Lappen | Earth | 03/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not having seen the television version of Horton Hears a Who, I can't say whether this is better or not. But it's a perfect rendition on its own, and I found it thoroughly enjoyable---as did a 16-year-old with whom I saw the film yesterday.
There are marvelous Seuss-like characters animated on the screen, and their personalities match 100% those of the original two-dimensional Horton, Morton and friends who graced the pages of the good Dr.'s wonderful book.
My fondest memories of Horton include his egg-hatching episode. But that in no way diminishes the delight of seeing our old Elephant companion, dancing and prancing his way up a mountain side---through myriad obstacles---to a safe little cave where the Whos and their Whoville can safely reside.
Children young and old, including grandparent-variety kids, will love this delightful and colorful tale about sticking to one's highest goals, through thick and thin, and against the advice of all one's friends."
The Audience is Listening
Chris Pandolfi | Los Angeles, CA | 03/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Ron Howard's version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" was released in 2000, I was amazed at the artistry, with the world of Dr. Seuss being brought to life through whimsical sets, creative make up and costumes, and impressive special effects. But even then, it still didn't feel entirely Seussian; the limits of live action filmmaking were present from the start. Such a problem doesn't exist in the case of "Horton Hears a Who!" a computer animated cartoon that looks and feels exactly the way a Seuss story should look and feel. Of the three films made from his material, this is the first one that completely convinced me to believe what I was seeing. It's also the only one with compelling characters and deeper levels of story. This is wonderful because it tells me that the filmmakers had all audiences in mind, not just children.
"Grinch" alumnus Jim Carrey voices the title character, a happy-go-lucky elephant living in the lush jungle of Nool. On the fifteenth of May, his big ears detect noises from a speck of dust floating in the air. It soon lands atop a fuzzy pink flower called a clover, and at that point, Horton realizes that the noises are actually voices. It turns out that the speck contains the microscopic city of Whoville, the home of the equally microscopic Whos. Theirs is a world fully realized, a world of misshapen buildings and swirling clouds and wacky gizmos, all of which are perfectly suited for such a bizarre-looking population. The limbs of the Whos are a little too thin and lanky. Their stomachs are a little too round. Their heads are a little too big. This is exactly the way they should look--when it comes to Dr. Seuss, odder is definitely better.
Horton soon makes contact with the Mayor of Whoville (voiced by Steve Carell), who not only has a city to run, but also has his hands full with a wife (voiced by Amy Poehler) and ninety-seven children (ninety-six of which are daughters). The upshot of this is negative for both main characters. No one in Horton's world believes that voices are emanating from a speck, least of all Kangaroo (voiced by Carol Burnett), an uptight woman who only believes in what she can see, hear, and touch. Likewise, not a single Who believes that their Mayor is communicating with an invisible elephant living in the sky. It all basically boils down to belief--just because you can't see something doesn't mean it isn't there.
As the Mayor struggles to maintain his city--recently plagued by tremors and immediate changes in climate--Horton remains determined to keep the Whos safe because, "A person's a person, no matter how small." Unfortunately, he has to deal with Kangaroo, who finds his line of thinking so threatening that she hires a ruthless vulture named Vlad (voiced by Will Arnett) to destroy the clover. Consider the fact that Horton's basic goal is to keep a flower safe from harm: In what way does this pose a threat to jungle life, seeing as Horton never once asked for anyone else's help? Obviously, there's no threat at all. Kangaroo is merely a control freak, demanding that others believe what she believes without stopping to question the status quo. The Mayor of Whoville has a similar problem with his elected officials, who overstep their bounds frequently and with no apology. Apparently, they would rather die than let the Mayor postpone the upcoming Who-centennial.
In case I haven't made it clear by now, yes, "Horton Hears a Who!" is in part a social commentary. But don't sell it short--it's above all a delightful family film, and probably one of the funniest of recent memory. There's a sequence in which Horton imagines he's in an episode of "Pokémon," fighting off the bad guys with martial-art moves; the Japanese-style animation in traditional 2-D was absolutely hilarious. I also enjoyed the plethora of side characters, all of which add their own comedic touches to the story. Horton's best friend is a blue mouse named Morton (voiced by Seth Rogen), and his tail ends in an odd curlicue, as is appropriate for a Dr. Seuss character. There's also an odd but cute yellow puffball named Katie (voiced by Joey King), who tries to go along with Horton by holding a clover of her own: "In my world, everyone's a pony, and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies!"
The most prominent side character in Whoville is the Mayor's only son, JoJo. He's a brooding young man who refuses to speak to his father, not because he doesn't love him, but because he's afraid of being a disappointment. He's expected to become Mayor someday--like his father and his father's father and so on--and this is something he just doesn't want to do. Little does he realize just how important he is, not only to his family, but also to the entire city of Whoville.
As good as these characters are, there's no question that Horton is the best thing about the movie. He's a funny character, yet his personality isn't overshadowed by pure goofiness. He's loyal to those who are kind, yet he doesn't reject those who are not. He's loveable, yet he's not forced to take part in sappy subplots. Everything about the big fella is just right, and the same can be said for the movie as a whole. "Horton Hears a Who!" is the best Dr. Seuss adaptation yet, and it will probably be one of the year's best animated films; it's funny, smart, heartfelt, and engaging, a welcome combination for a film that easily could have been just another mindless cartoon. What we have here is rare: A family film that both children and adults will love. This elephant really is faithful one hundred percent."
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. - Dr. Seuss
Cherise Everhard | Michigan, USA | 04/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The classic Seuss tale makes it to the big screen and I was very happy with the results. I usually find that children's books made into movies can be unnecessarily long and drawn out to make a decent movie time; therefore they tend to drag a bit for this big kid at the theater. I thought this one was great, a perfect length and it held the interest of my two year old niece who made her debut at the theater that day. When the movie was over she excitedly asked "are we going to watch it again?"
This movie has all the quirky scenery that you expect from Dr. Seuss; from the funky trees and crazy houses, to the wonderfully imaginative Who's, nothing disappointed. I was a little afraid to see this as Jim Carey usually grates on every nerve I have with his overacting and hyperactive persona, but he made a delightful Horton and I found myself enjoying him for the first time in years.
I recognized a lot of the voices and thought them extremely well cast; Carol Burnett as a villain was a surprise and a treat. My sister and I laughed out loud a lot throughout this film, we enjoyed it as much if not more than our kids. The lessons in Horton Hears a Who are simple and one can't help but think how the world would be a better place if everyone had a little more Horton in them. I really found the whole movie fun and this is definitely a movie I will purchase when it makes it to DVD.
Cherise Everhard, April 2008 "
Ten Steps Closer to Doing a Dr. Seuss Feature "Right"
E K Maxmias | Close enough to Detroit! | 04/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let's start with the conclusion so you won't need to read my ramblings; this is a good family film. Other than a few mildly scary moments, parents really have nothing to fear from this movie. The animation is exactly what it should be and the voice actors are nearly perfect (I liked them all, rare for me). I laughed out loud several times. I recommend you take your family to see this. If you are a fan of computer animation I would also recommend it, though it has nothing really new to offer technically speaking.
Concerning the title of this review. First, let's address why Dr. Seuss has not been done right on the big screen... ...yet.
-"Cat in the Hat" was a big budget piece of slurry. Young kids enjoy it for its color and crazy antics. Perhaps the worst thing Mike Myers has done. Adults enjoy it because they are out of their minds (or does it just seem that way to me?).
-"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" was only slightly more tolerable than CITH. Jim Carrey is at his most obnoxious. This charming tale is dragged through the mud. It's becoming clear that Dr. Seuss does not translate to live-action very well.
-None of the TV cartoon efforts were really feature films, though I think they were nearly perfect translations of the books to Small Screen (other than music that often became dated).
This brings us to 2008s "Horton Hears a Who". Starting with...
... what has us closer to enjoying a Dr. Seuss film done "right":
-Computer animation might be the perfect format for translating Dr. Seuss to the big screen. Graphically, everything looked like a Dr. Seuss book in bright and wonderful 3D. If the world of Horton were real, this is what it would/should look like in my mind.
-The voice actors all did, at least, good jobs. Jim Carrey was under control and actually quite loveable and funny as the soft spoken Horton. Steve Carell was equally suited to his role as the Mayor; a bit flighty yet noble. Carol Burnett as the paranoid and parochial kangaroo was a pure professional. I love Carol Burnett but hated this Kangaroo. The narration by Charles Osgood was perfect. I can't think of anyone better. The rest of the voice cast of fairly famous people was at best enjoyable and at worst nondescript.
-This story needed to be stretched to make it a feature film. The writers did a good job of adding to the story without actually changing it. They basically took the scenes from the original and added detail and visual narration to them; very clever and faithful to the original. There are plenty of funny moments added as well.
Why we still have not seen a Dr. Seuss film done "right".
-The original "Horton Hears a Who" responds to the paranoia of McCarthyism. Though the theme of paranoia is still present in the 2008 version, it is watered down or translated to represent censorship in general. Horton is "accused" of sparking the kid's imaginations with fabrications of people living on a speck. Most people today believe all voices should have a chance to be heard, so it does not elicit the same emotional response the original did. I'm not sure this could be fixed in the current environment, but it is a problem that weakened the films impact for me.
-The 2008 version almost completely ignores the silly, fabricated "Dr. Seuss" words. Charles Osgood's narration is the only element taken word for word from the book. I'm not sure this is a bad thing (it may have gotten tedious) but a little bit of "Seussian" jargon might have given the film a better Dr. Seuss feel. Again, this is something that I debate in my own mind; would "Seussian" language enhance or hurt the feel of the film?
-The Small screen version had many songs. The 2008 version has one; "Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore" by REO Speedwagon. Beside the fact that I hate this song, it really smelled of Hollywood marketing. I was surprised the Whos weren't all holding Coke cans in their hands. Could they have not come up with a strong original song that would stand the test of time? This one just bugged me.
-The anime sequence; a very humorous but wildly out of place sequence fresh out of Horton's imagination. This really did great harm to the feel of the film being "Dr. Seuss" like. I thought it was funny though.
I think that's enough. In the final synopsis, this is a highly enjoyable film with great acting, great visuals and a few good laughs and still a good message. I will definitely buy the DVD. My wife and I both enjoy animated "kids" films but came away not completely satisfied with this. I'm still not sure if I captured why it felt somewhat incomplete or "not right". The good news is this is much closer to being right than the prior Dr. Seuss big screen debacles. I recommend this for families and animation fans; everyone else is on their own. "