First off, the animation and the lush imaginative visuals here are
simply amazing. It would be heresy to claim that it's better than Pixar,
but… to my untrained eye, it appears to be right up in the same
league at least.
[UPDATE: just re-watched WALL·E, and the above sentence
may be the single stupidest thing I've written on this blog. Although
the Blue Sky folks are wonderfully inventive, they're not that close
to Pixar yet.]
It's based, of course, on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name. In the
jungle one day, Horton
hears a voice calling out from a speck floating by; it turns out to be
the home of
microscopic Whoville, inhabited by (of course) the equally
microscopic Whos. Horton resolves to
protect the Who-infested speck from certain disaster. This, for some
reason, incites the local lady Kangaroo, who insists the Whos are imaginary,
setting up the movie's conflict.
Horton is voiced by Jim Carrey, and the filmmakers apparently thought
that a good deal of the Carrey personality should go into Horton as well;
it's as if he's been possessed by the Ace Ventura demon.
(Similarly, the Mayor of Whoville is voiced by Steve Carell; he
seems to have been infested with way too much Michael Scott from The
Also rubbing me the wrong way: the close-minded, intolerant
Kangaroo (Carol Burnett) snippily
informs Horton that her child has been "pouch schooled": A gratuitous
swipe at home-schoolers, apparently.
So, despite the glorious eye candy on the screen, everything else seems
just a little off. Maybe watching it with the audio muted would
have worked better.
Aside: Horton's famous line from the book, also in the movie,
is, "A person's a person. No matter
how small." Wikipedia
relates that, naturally enough, this is often seized upon by pro-life
groups. Which (in turn) irked the famously
lefty Dr. Seuss: he threatened to sue a pro-life group for putting the
phrase on their stationery. So:
A person's a person. No matter how small.
Um, unless he's unborn; that's not a close call.