tek's rating: ½

Horton Hears a Who! (G)
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This came out in 2008, but I didn't see it until 2016. (And I felt like I was more than 8 years late in seeing it.) It's based on Dr. Seuss's 1954 book of the same name, which I haven't read. (The book was a sequel to another book featuring Horton, which I also haven't read. And it features the town of Whoville, which would later be seen in the book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," which I don't remember if I've ever read, but of course I'm familiar with the TV special.) Also I should say the DVD includes an unrelated short film called Surviving Sid.

So anyway, there's this elephant named Horton (Jim Carrey), who lives in the Jungle of Nool. One day, a speck gets dislodged from the tree where it had apparently rested for centuries, and floats through Nool. It passes by Horton, and since he has big ears, he hears someone who lives on the speck say something, so he starts chasing the speck. He finally catches it, and prevents it from drowning. Soon thereafter, we learn that the speck contains the town of Whoville. And the Mayor (Steve Carell) hears Horton calling out to whoever might live on the speck. (Honestly, I have no idea who Horton heard in the first place. It was supposedly someone calling for help, I think, but... I dunno.) Anyway, the Mayor manages to talk to Horton, who tells him his whole world is a speck (which is now sitting on a clover flower that Horton carries around, trying to protect). This revelation naturally disturbs the Mayor, but Horton promises to find a safe place to put the flower.

Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed leader of Nool is a kangaroo (Carol Burnett), who doesn't believe anyone could be small enough to live on a speck. And she wants to get the flower away from Horton to destroy it, thereby preserving order in the jungle. And she gets a vulture named Vlad (Will Arnett) to try to steal the flower from Horton. And... Horton has a friend, a mouse named Morton (Seth Rogen), who may not actually believe in the Whos of Whoville, but he's still on Horton's side. And there are some children who look up to Horton (my favorite is a baby yak named Katie, voiced by Joey King, though she doesn't really say anything). And in Whoville, there's a town council that seem to hold the real power, and treat the Mayor pretty badly. And the Mayor has a wife named Sally (Amy Poehler) and 96 daughters and a son named JoJo (Jesse McCartney). There's a subplot about how JoJo is supposed to be the next mayor someday, but he doesn't want to be. But his father doesn't know that, because JoJo never talks to him (at least not til near the end of the movie). Anyway, the Mayor has to try to convince everyone in Whoville that their world is in danger, but of course he sounds crazy when he tries to explain the truth, so no one believes him.

Well, it's all pretty crazy, but it's also funny. And I guess kind of philosophical, in a way. And... you know, there's a nice lesson about how all people are equally important, even if they're different than what one is used to. (In this case, very small, but I reckon the lesson can be applied to any kind of difference.) There may be other lessons, like being yourself, doing what you know is right even when everyone is against you, and so forth. And there was definitely an interesting parallel between Horton and the Mayor's respective situations. And... I'm probably forgetting (or failing to notice) various things. But basically, I think it's just a fun movie. Oh yeah, I meant to say there are a couple of points in the movie where the animation changes from CGI to apparently traditional animation. One sequence was clearly inspired by anime, which I really enjoyed.


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