Horton Hears A Who!
The magical rhyming whimsy of Dr Seuss was never more resistible than when rendered in live-action by comedians Jim Carrey (The Grinch) or Mike Myers (The Cat in the Hat). But technology has finally caught up with Seuss’s hat-wearing, cat-like creatures, with animators Blue Sky taking a break from their ongoing Ice Age franchise to crisply realise the colourful split-level universes of children’s text Horton Hears A Who!
Jim Carrey plays Horton, a sympathetic elephant who comes to believe the tiny world called Who-ville is contained on a speck on a flower he carries around with him. Horton’s communication with the Mayor of the town (Steve Carell) leads to social unrest as the Who-vians realise that their tiny world is not built on the secure foundations they imagined.
Both Carrey and Carell are allowed full rein for their brands of vocal mugging as co-directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino skilfully guide Horton towards a comforting moral about size not being all that important. But, while Seuss’ widow oversaw this 20th Century Fox production, the addition of Shrek-style post modern gags sometimes stretches the good humour well beyond breaking point; under attack from monkeys, Horton replies with a dispiritingly trite reference to Apocalypse Now (‘I love the smell of bananas in the morning’), while the final climactic rendition of REO Speedwagon’s Can’t Fight this Feeling Anymore surely isn’t exactly what the good doctor himself would have ordered.
General release from Fri 21 Mar.