Horton Hears a Who! (film)


Horton Hears a Who! (film)
Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jimmy Hayward
Steve Martino
Produced by Bob Gordon
Bruce Anderson
Chris Wedge
Written by Cinco Paul
Ken Daurio
Keenan Donahue
Mike Reiss [uncredited]
Based on Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss
Narrated by Charles Osgood
Starring Jim Carrey
Steve Carell
Carol Burnett
Seth Rogen
Jesse McCartney
Will Arnett
Dan Fogler
Isla Fisher
Amy Poehler
Selena Gomez
Jaime Pressly
Music by John Powell
Editing by Tim Nordquist
Studio Blue Sky Studios
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) March 14, 2008 (2008-03-14)
Running time 86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $85 million
Box office $297,138,014

Horton Hears a Who!, also known as Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!, is a 2008 American CGI-animated comedy feature film based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name. It is the fourth feature film from Blue Sky Studios, and the third and most successful Dr. Seuss-based feature film, following How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat. It is also the first Dr. Seuss adaptation fully animated using CGI technology.

Contents

Plot

In the Jungle of Nool, a tiny dust speck is pushed off a flower. Meanwhile, a caring, imaginative elephant named Horton (Jim Carrey), the jungle's nature teacher, takes a dip in the pool. The dust speck floats past him in the air, and he hears a tiny yelp coming from it. Believing that an entire family of microscopic creatures are living on that speck, he places it atop a clover. Horton finds out the speck harbors the city of Whoville and its inhabitants, led by Mayor Ned McDodd (Steve Carell). He has a wife, Sally (Amy Poehler), 96 daughters, and one teenage son named JoJo (Jesse McCartney), who rarely ever speaks. Despite being next in line for the mayoral position, JoJo refuses to become mayor of the city.

The Mayor finds out from Dr. LaRue (Isla Fisher) that Whoville will be destroyed if Horton does not find a "safer, more stable home." Horton resolves to place the speck atop Mt. Nool, the safest place in the jungle. The Sour Kangaroo (Carol Burnett) tries to get Horton to give up the speck, but Horton refuses. Also taking force toward Horton are the Wickersham brothers, a group of bullying monkeys who love making misery. The Kangaroo eventually enlists a vulture named Vlad Vladikoff (Will Arnett) to get rid of the speck by force.

After a failed attempt by Vlad, the Kangaroo finds out that Horton still has the speck, and decides to rally the jungle community into confronting Horton. The Kangaroo offers Horton to give up the speck. Unable to convince Horton, she orders the animals to rope and cage him and issue Whoville's destruction via a pot of boiling beezelnut oil. The Mayor enlists all of his people to make noise by shouting "We are here", as well as playing a variety of instruments, so the animals may hear them. The Kangaroo takes the clover and drops it into the boiling oil. At the last minute, JoJo grabs the horn used to project Horton's voice, runs up the highest tower and yells "YOPP!", breaking through the sound barrier, just before the speck hits the oil. The Kangaroo's son Rudy (Josh Flitter) grabs the clover and returns it to Horton, refusing his mother's orders to return to her pouch. While being praised for his integrity by his neighbors, Horton forgives the Kangaroo and she accepts his friendship, finally believing that there are people on the speck. Here, the people of Whoville and the animals of Nool gather in song and recite the chorus from "Can't Fight This Feeling". The film ends with the narrator revealing that the Jungle of Nool is just one speck, among numerous others, floating in the universe.

Voice cast

  • Jim Carrey as Horton the Elephant- the titular character. He is faithful to protecting the Whos and he is friends with his students and a mouse named Morton. He is also kind hearted and stalwart. In the end, he and the jungle animals along with the Kangaroos help him get the Whos to Mt. Nool.
  • Steve Carell as Mayor Ned McDodd- the mayor of Whoville. He and Horton usually communicate with each other through a horn connected to a pipe. He has 97 kids (96 girls and 1 boy named Jojo) and a wife (Sally).
  • Carol Burnett as the Sour Kangaroo- the main antagonist. She thinks Horton is crazy and is worried it might rub off on the kids, including her son, Rudy.
  • Will Arnett as Vlad Vladikoff- an eagle who is hired by Sour Kangaroo to get rid of the clover.
  • Seth Rogen as Morton the Mouse- Horton's friend in the Jungle of Nool.
  • Dan Fogler as the Councilman and Yummo Wickersham
  • Isla Fisher as Doctor Mary Lou LaRue- a teacher at Who University.
  • Jonah Hill as Tommy
  • Amy Poehler as Sally O'Malley-Ned's wife and mother to Jojo and 96 daughters. She has doubts about her husband's actions about Whoville and Horton but believes him later on.
  • Jaime Pressly as Mrs. Quilligan
  • Charles Osgood as the Narrator
  • Josh Flitter as Rudy Kangaroo
  • Niecy Nash as Miss Yelp
  • Jesse McCartney as JoJo McDodd
  • Selena Gomez as Helga

Additional voices in the film include Shelby Adamowsky (as Hedy and Hooly McDodd), Jack Angel (as an Old Time Who), Caitlin Rose Anderson (as Helen McDodd), Emily Anderson (as Heather), Jan Rabson (as the Town Cryer), John Cygan (as a Who), Jess Harnell (as another Who), Debi Derryberry (as a Who mother), Samantha Droke (as Hildy and Holly McDodd), Karen Disher (as a Who child), Marshall Efron (as a Wickersham guard), Bill Farmer (as Willie Bear), Jason Fricchione (as Joe the Construction Worker), Heather Goldenhersh (as a Who girl), Selena Gomez (as Helga McDodd), Jimmy Hayward (as an obnoxious Who), Joey King (as Katie), Christina Martino (as Heidi and Haley McDodd), Ellie Martino (as Hanna McDodd), Laraine Newman (as a Glummox mother), Tim Nordquist (as a Wickersham guard), Colleen O'Shaughnessey (as Angela), Laura Ortiz (as Jessica Quilligan), Joe Pasquale (as the Dentist) and Connor Anderson (as a Who child).

Soundtrack

The original score for the film's soundtrack album was composed by John Powell. Near the end of the picture, the cast comes together and sings the song, "Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon. This version of the song was not featured on the soundtrack. The song used in the theatrical advertisements was the theme to Beetlejuice.

Reaction

Critical reception

The film received generally positive reviews from film critics. As of May 8, 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 79% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 131 reviews, and an even better 84% rating from the top critics on the site based on 31 reviews, both classifying the film as "Certified Fresh", and making it by far the most favorably reviewed Dr. Seuss film adaptation on the site.[1] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 71 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews", based on 31 reviews, also the most favorably reviewed Dr. Seuss film on the site.[2] In contrast, Brian Eggert of Deep Focus gave it one and a half stars out of four, criticizing its numerous pop-culture references, calling it a "mish-mash of incoherent babble" and claiming it ends up "reducing Seuss' otherwise admirable message to ordinary storytelling, when Seuss' work is anything but."

Box office

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $45,012,998 in 3,954 theaters, averaging $11,384 per theater in the United States and Canada, and ranking #1 at the box office.[3] The film previously had the 4th largest opening weekend in March, behind Ice Age, Ice Age: The Meltdown and 300. It is now the 7th largest opening weekend in March behind Monsters vs. Aliens and Alice in Wonderland.[4] In the United States and Canada, Horton Hears a Who was also the #1 film its second weekend of release, grossing $24,590,596 over the Easter frame, in 3,961 theaters and averaging $6,208 per venue. It dropped to #2 in its third weekend grossing $17,740,106 in 3,826 theaters and averaging $4,637 per venue. Its fourth weekend ranked at #4 grossing $9,115,987 in 3,571 theaters and averaging $2,553 per venue. Its fifth weekend ranked at #6, grossing $5,920,566 in 3,209 theaters and averaging $1,845 per venue.

As of July 20, 2008, it has grossed a total of $295,133,433 worldwide; $154,245,889 in the United States and Canada and $140,887,544 in other territories.[5]

Interpretations

"Horton Hears a Who!", like other Dr. Seuss creations, contains layered subtexts and messages. The movie characters, like most mainstream animated features, display traditional gender roles. According to NPR host and father of three daughters Peter Sagal, "In a new subplot added by the filmmakers, the mayor of Whoville has 96 daughters. He has one son. Guess who gets all his attention? Guess who saves the day?"[6]. Also,it features the quote, "A person's a person, no matter how small," commonly used by pro-life activists. However,several literary critics as well as Dr.Seuss's widow has pointed out that line is first used in an entirely different context. Interpretaions of the movie also deals with issues like social control, conformism and organized religion.

Home media release

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 9, 2008. Three versions of the DVD are available: a single disc edition, a two-disc special edition, and a gift set packaged with a Horton plush.

See also

  • Seussical - A Dr. Seuss musical that the plot takes a part in.
  • List of films based on Dr. Seuss books

References

External links


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