Based on the 1954 children's book by Dr. Seuss, HORTON HEARS A WHO! is a 2008 computer-animated Hollywood update of the beloved illustrated tale. Horton (voiced by Jim Carrey), a thoughtful elephant living in the jungle of Nool, discovers that an entire society, Whoville, rests inside a speck. He gently rests it on a clover flower, and searches for a place where it will be safe from the perils of the larger world. Establishing contact with Whoville's befuddled mayor (Steve Carell), Horton faces disbelief from his animal friends, including his blue mouse pal, Morton (Seth Rogen), and unwittingly incurs the wrath of an uptight kangaroo (Carol Burnett), setting the playful pachyderm on a journey to the most remote parts of Nool, with malicious vultures and monkeys not far behind.
Executive produced by Chris Wedge, the creator of ICE AGE, and directed by Steve Martino and Jimmy Hayward, this CGI take on Seuss (aka Theodore Geisel) is the first 21st-century adaptation to hew closely to the artist's true spirit and visual style. While Carrey, Carell, Burnett, and the rest of the vocal talent (also including Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, and Jonah Hill) contribute lively performances, the animation is the real focus of the film, displaying a stunning array of colorful characters and landscapes that capture Seuss's wonderfully whimsical aesthetic. Though Seuss loyalists might be dismayed by some liberties taken (particularly a Japanese anime-style interlude and a brief musical number set to a REO Speedwagon hit), the movie's heart is in the right place, resulting in a topnotch family feature.
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