Sunday, 16 March 2008

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! Review

The third Seuss film of the decade is upon us and its out with the scary rubber masks and in with the computer animation styling of the Blue Sky team (Ice Age, Robots). For anyone else that thought The Grinch and The Cat of the earlier outings looked just plain creepy this can only be a good thing. Happily, its also the best suited format for this wacky world, being able to show off all sorts of imaginative tricks that live action wouldn't be able to handle.

Horton the Elephant is a happy go lucky kinda mammel, swimming around in his jungle paradise generally having fun. Until that is he hears the screams of a speck. The speck transpires to be Whoville a tiny, tiny world that is unaware of its fragile existence (metaphor anyone?). The Mayor of Whoville and Horton team up to protect the speck while forces in Horton's world seek to destroy it for the simple crime of spurring on imagination.

Having the super enthusiastic Jim Carrey (on Ace Ventura/Cable Guy levels of mania) and the super enthusiastic Steve Carrell (like Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura/Cable Guy) is a great way to keep the kids and adults entertained. While their voices run off the screen with a degree of joie de vivre usually associated with people in padded cells, they both fit perfectly in the Dr's world. The gags, while never hysterical, come often and are well placed enough to make the brief running time fly by.

Older members of the audience can have plenty of fun playing guess the under-underlying message. Is it a statement on climate change, the climate of fear, climate control in cars? Who knows, but the message intended for kids, is spelt out clearly and beautifully; "Even though you can't see them at all, A person's a person, no matter how small." Perhaps if people of all ages took this on board those more 'adult' problems may be lessened. Even if there are only lessened a tiny, tiny amount.

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