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Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!

Directed by Steve Martino, Jimmy Hayward. Narrated by Charles Osgood. Voices by Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Isla Fisher, Dan Fogler, Amy Poehler, Jaime Pressly. (2008, G, 88 min.)

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., March 14, 2008

It would be pretty hard to muck up this Dr. Seuss story and its kid-friendly parable about the rights of all beings, no matter their size or shape, to the basic freedoms of life and liberty. It's perfect for the little ones, who might feel pushed around by siblings, bullies, and various elders and are sure to identify with all the wee beings whose innate desires are crushed by those larger (and, therefore, more powerful) than they. "A person's a person, no matter how small," retorts Horton the animated elephant (voiced by Carrey) when he's mocked by his jungle cohorts for his protection of the entire town of Whoville, a tiny speck of a world that resides on the head of a single stalk of clover. Horton becomes the laughing stock of the jungle for claiming to hear little voices that no one else hears and for believing there is microscopic life that we can't see. No less an object of ridicule is the Mayor of Who-ville (voiced by Carell), whom the Whos call a boob for his complicity with the unseen Horton to save their community. For my money, I've never seen anything much wrong with the animated Chuck Jones version of this Seuss tale, made for TV in 1970. But everything needs an update, I suppose, and this new animated feature does the job nicely, staying true to the playfulness of the Seussian rhymes and messages while ably adding in new bits of business to expand Seuss' verse to feature length. Carrey's general tendency toward comic mania is gently toned down, allowing the rubbery elephant to seem more a lovable goofball than a frenzied nut job. Carell's readings as the Mayor are perfectly on target, although Burnett's interpretation of the disapproving kangaroo mom lacks real distinction. Twentieth Century Fox's animation is in the mold of their previous films Ice Age and Robots: a nice blend of rudimentary and inventive touches. And as long as the right-to-life movement doesn't again try to usurp the phrase, "A person's a person no matter how small" (Seuss, aka Theodore Geissel, once sued to stop them from using it), this new Horton Hears a Who! should enjoy a long life.

Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline

14028 U.S. Hwy. 183 N.  512/861-7070

https://drafthouse.com/austin/theater/lakeline

MON JUL 25

11:00am

TUE JUL 26

11:00am

WED JUL 27

10:50am

THU JUL 28

10:50am

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson  512/861-7030

https://drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

FRI JUL 29

10:15am

SAT JUL 30

10:00am

SUN JUL 31

9:15am

MON AUG 01

10:45am

TUE AUG 02

10:15am

WED AUG 03

10:40am

THU AUG 04

10:00am
READ MORE
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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!, Steve Martino, Jimmy Hayward

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