By Clint Morris
Horton may have been hearing a â€˜Whoâ€™, but thatâ€™s much more interesting than hearing Crickets â€“ something theatres screening the last couple of Jim Carrey movies have been hearing (rather than loud, popcorn-chewing audiences).
The good news is, and despite the fact itâ€™s a toon, Carreyâ€™s return to Seuss-ville (he also starred in another Dr Seuss book cum film â€˜â€™How the Grinch Stole Christmasâ€™â€™) â€“ or rather, Whoville â€“ near independently erases every wrong move the Canadian comic has made the last couple of years (well, perhaps not everything â€“ â€œFun with Dick and Janeâ€ is still giving many nightmares). And believe it or not, heâ€™s playing an Elephant.
First things first : Yes, â€œHorton Hears a Whoâ€ is aimed at kids, but like â€œIce Ageâ€ and â€œToy Storyâ€, includes enough over-their-head-humour and amusing characters to amuse and entertain even the more senior of audience members.
The flick fixes on an imaginative elephant named Horton (Carrey), who swears he hears a cry for help coming from a tiny speck of dust floating through the air. Suspecting there may be life on that speck and in spite of a neighbouring hamlet which thinks he has lost his mind, Horton is determined to help.
What the elephant discovers, thanks to the tiny kindly town Mayor (Steve Carell), is that heâ€™s holding the fate of â€˜Whovilleâ€™ in his hands â€“ or rather on the clover that the speck of dust is sitting on â€“ and must find a safe place to rest the speck before the imperceptible town is obliterated.
Whilst previous Seuss adaptations, â€œGrinchâ€ and (the woeful) â€œCat in the Hatâ€ were live-action, â€œHortonâ€ is animated â€“ beautifully animated. The colours bounce off the screen, the detail sharper than anything you can set your set-top box too, and the voice-cast – which also includes Carol Burnett, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Isla Fisher â€“ are absolutely fantastic.
It may be a bit lightweight in terms of its storyline â€“ even then, a lot has been added to the film that wasnâ€™t in the book â€“ but its lively voice-cast and cute array of characters more than makeâ€™s up for any thinness in yarn.
Commentary and Deleted Scenes
Empire Strikes Back
St. Elmo's Fire
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
The Breakfast Club