I was always more of a Sneetches, Bartholomew or Grinch fan when it came to Dr. Seuss, and I didn't know the Horton story particularly well. But whether you know this tale like the back of your hand or you're a first-time discoverer of its magic, here's a rare computer-animated treat.
When a speck floats past Horton the elephant's (Jim Carrey, Yes Man) ear, he swears he hears a call for help. So he collects and protects the speck, but the jungle's kangaroo matriarch (Carol Burnett, The Carol Burnett Show) labels Horton a troublemaker and sets out to squash him. Deep within that tiny speck, however, is a flourishing town of little people called the Whos, and if Horton doesn't do something fast, the Whos will go extinct.
Jim Carrey's comedy is too over-the-top for my taste most days, but in this role, he finds a perfect niche as an overly excited but loveable pachyderm. The overall story is simple, but as is the case with most of Dr. Seuss' famous works, its theme is universally understood.
Additional voices are supplied by Steve Carrell (also typically too flamboyant but here subtly funny), Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen and many others. Coming from 20th Century Fox Animation, Horton carries a lot of the same sweetness as the studio's Ice Age series.
I often say a film is family-friendly or appropriate for all ages, but this movie, like Seuss' fables, is truly entertaining enough to placate audiences of any age.
This video courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.