It's delightful to believe that one of Dr. Seuss' novels has finally been successfully made into a movie. After the atrocious Cat in the Hat I was unenthusiastic to approach another movie adaptation of a Seuss novel. I am happy to report that Horton Hears a Who! is a fantastic, entertaining movie that is guaranteed to provide entertainment for the whole family.
Horton (voiced by Jim Carrey) is an elephant enjoying life in the Jungle of Nool. One morning while Horton is having his bath, he becomes convinced that he is hearing tiny voices coming from a microscopic speck of dust. Horton is confident that there is an infinitesimal world living inside that speck of dust and vows to protect the small community from the harsh jungle that surrounds them. The animals around him believe that Horton is going insane as they can't hear these supposed voices. But of course Horton is in fact right: in that speck of dust lies the town of Whoville. But it becomes apparent that the entire population is vulnerable to destruction with Horton being their only hope. As the disaster is about to strike, Horton sets off on a journey to find a safe place for the town of Whoville.
Horton Hears a Who! is animation at its best. Like all films from companies like Pixar and Dreamworks we have come to expect nothing but computer generated animation of the highest order. Here we have superb looking animals, realistic terrains and inventive cinematography. All the images are bright and colourful. It's all extremely eye-catching and fun to watch.
This sublime animation is accompanied by the accomplished voice cast. Jim Carrey isn't as overzealous as he usually is. Being an animation film his over-the-top antics wouldn't be as powerful. He still puts on a number of peculiar, wacky voices throughout the film. I thought that Carrey did as exceptional job. Steve Carell is another actor famous for overacting and being silly. Here, he is restricted to more childish humour but he is still given quality lines of dialogue to work with.
Horton Hears a Who! also contains a fairly decent screenplay. Throughout the movie there are a number of great laughs, funny lines and amusing situations. I will admit that the laughs weren't always first-rate. There is no abundance of great laughs unfortunately. Even after saying that, I will also admit that I found some of the gags quite hilarious. The kids will definitely appreciate the over-the-top mannerisms of some of the animals. For their age range they just need pretty pictures to look at to ensure they don't get bored. I can assure you that the kids won't get bored.
I liked the whole style of the film. The Dr. Seuss nature of the film is retained; there's rhyming narration, enlightening characters and a kid-friendly atmosphere. I cannot judge how faithful the film is to its source material because I haven't read the book for several years. From what I remember the filmmakers made a harmonious transition from book to film.
Horton Hears a Who! is simple family entertainment. It's corny, predictable and clichéd; however at least it's a fun film that guarantees the interest of a young child for its duration. It succeeds in getting its target audience interested while also inserting laughs that ensure an adult (or teen) will have a suitably fun time as well.