Review: Horton Hears a Who!
Now we're getting somewhereFinally they figured out a better way to do Dr Seuss in film form. The Cat in the Hat was a disaster, and wasn't entertaining for my 4 year old daughter (and if it doesn't work for a kid, then what's the point?!) let alone myself - a long time (and yes much older) Seuss fan. This was an absolutely fabulous production, that was as close to converting the gorgeous original artwork into moving pictures as it ever will be. Far earlier adaptions that were just plain old cartoon are my personal favourite - but as they insisted on adding song and dance to these (as they did with all kids productions back then) I couldn't really get into them. Not being a "musicals" fan.
If you were to imagine what a Dr Seuss world would look like if you somehow found yourself lost in one, this would be it. The animation is real, vivid, and dynamic - there are scenes where you can see every hair on the Mayor's face moving in the wind. Beautiful! The Seuss fish - (given little air time unfortunately) is just as he should be as are the truffula trees, and most importantly the architecture. Sticking to the original wording of the book (in voice over) was a good move too.
If I was to critisise, and I don't want to - because it really doesn't deserve any - here are a few things I didn't appreciate:
The vulture Vlad Vladikoff having his name changed to just "Vlad". Some PC move I guess.
The extra characters - the little friends of Horton - who don't look like Suesses at all - more like escapees from the set of Ice Age.
The Wickersham brothers, and uncles etc, not being given enough focus.
And I can't decide on the additions to the plot. The Mayor's family, Jojo being his son, Jojo's music bonanza instead of just the "yop" in the book etc. - though they work well, and if you didn't know the original book you wouldn't know they were additions - I just don't know. I guess I don't like an altered masterpiece - it's like painting glasses on Mona. I probably would have been happier with a 30 minute pure version of the movie, but clearly I'm not in the movie making business because I am sure that wouldn't sell to the masses.
In short - my 4 year old daughter loved it, and that's the important part!