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  Horton Hears a Who!

Starring: Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett

Directed by: Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino

Produced by: Robert Gordon, Bruce Anderson

Written by: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio

Distributor: 20th Century Fox


     Horton Hears a Who! is unexpectedly one of the hardest movies for me to review in a long while. On one hand, it offers exactly what it promises: a fun time for kids under ten and a diverting one for everybody else. On the other, the movie represents exactly what cinema shouldn’t be: forgettable, conventional, and uninspiring. The only real reason to see Horton Hears a Who! is that there’s no reason to skip it. I was perfectly entertained as I watched it, but on the countless occasions in which I have been asked what recent releases I recommend since the screening, not once has the film’s title sprung to mind.

     Never have I been so eager to use the word “fine” to describe a movie as I am with this one. How is Horton Hears a Who!’s story, which has been adapted from the whimsical, rhyming children’s book written by Dr. Seuss? Nothing remarkable, but perfectly fine. How do funny-men Jim Carey and Steve Carell fare as voice-actors in the lead roles? They come across as funny and amusing for the film’s short eighty-eight-minute running-length just fine, I suppose. How is the quality of the animation done by Twentieth Century Fox’s Blue Sky Studios? Not as good as what you might find in a Pixar production, but bright and colorful and fine in its own right.

     I’d hate to characterize my reaction to Horton Hears a Who! as being ambivalent because I kinda-sorta liked everything about it. The core problem with the movie was that it ceased to move me. Seriously, how much passion could one possibly generate for a picture that chronicles an amiable elephant’s quest to prove the existence of a tiny universe on a speck of dust on a clover in order to spare the clover from being destroyed by the other animals in his community? Perhaps if John Lasseter or Brad Bird had gotten their hands on the story, they might’ve transformed it into something more exuberant. Then again, there’s probably a reason for why they didn’t choose to tackle the project in the first places. As such, Horton Hears a Who! is a perfectly likable motion picture that will eventually fade into infinity. For the sake of keeping this review short and sweet—I’m already blabbering on unnecessarily at this point given the lack of things I have to say about the movie—I’ll conclude with a simple recommendation. If you have kids, then take them to see the picture; they’ll probably enjoy it. If you don’t, your time is better spent staying home and watching a classic you’ve yet to discover; Horton Hears a Who! will only take you so far in life, ‘ya know?

-Danny Baldwin, Bucket Reviews

Review Published on: 3.19.2008

Screened on: 3.16.2008 at the UltraStar Del Mar Highlands 8 in Del Mar, CA.


Horton Hears a Who! is rated G and runs 88 minutes.

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