"Boil that dust speck! Boil that dust speck!"
It is not something you will hear in this movie, but it's one of my favorite lines from the animated short of Dr. Seuss' "Horton Hears a Who."
This new version, from the makers of "Ice Age," tries to compensate with other catchy phrases.
"A person's a person, no matter how small" is the theme of Dr. Seuss' original book. I thought this was well reinforced. The characters acted appropriately and the plot line stayed true to the book.
The focus is on Horton the elephant, a mammal living peacefully in the jungle. When his large ears encounter a cry for help, Horton goes to the rescue. The voice comes from a small speck of dust where an unseen but real city of tiny Whos is built.
Horton promises to protect the speck, not realizing how much trouble will come of it.
The other animals of the jungle cannot hear the Whos and refuse to believe Horton's story. They plan to cage Horton and destroy the speck.
Without giving away the ending, I will tell you the theme: a person, no matter how small, can make a difference.
I must say that the movie stuck to this. Animating the movie was a good idea, as it kept the feeling of Dr. Seuss' world alive. The music, though a little overdramatic at times, kept the viewers engaged in the film.
Character was a main feature of the movie, although I was relieved to see restraint on the part of the actors. Jim Carrey starred as Horton, but it remained a movie with Jim Carrey in it as opposed to a Jim Carrey movie.
Carol Burnett did a stunning job as an evil kangaroo trying to destroy the Who world.
On a smaller scale, Steve Carell played the mayor of Whoville, also trying to save his Who-city.
I felt that "Horton Hears a Who" was a fun movie with a lot of appealing elements. However, it falls into the trap of many modern children's/family movies. It would be enjoyed by teenagers, who will probably not watch it. They should have left in the line: Boil that dust speck!