Friday, December 26, 2008

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who! - DVD Review

DR. SEUSS' HORTON HEARS A WHO! (***1/4) - Starring the voices of Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Dan Fogler, Isla Fisher, Jaime Pressly, Amy Poehler, Jonah Hill and Charles Osgood.
Directed by Jimmy Hayward & Steve Martino.

Finally a big-screen Seuss movie done right. For decades, the half-hour Boris Karloff-narrated TV special of How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been the standard bearer. The live-action version I thought was okay at the time, but it doesn't hold up to repeat viewing. Mike Myers' Cat in the Hat was a monstrosity.

This one feels faithful to a Seussian world and sentiment, and it still allows for the humorous riffings of Carrey & Carell. Carrey's Horton isn't the humbledrum pachyderm from the old TV-animated special. He's hyper, he's over-the-top, he's precisely the animated vehicle to capture Carrey's natural cartoonyness. Carell gets his own clever verbal asides as the eager-to-please Mayor of Whoville.

It also pulls off a feat I feared most: it doesn't feel padded. It flows nicely and naturally in the story, with Charles Osgood's dutiful voice narrating in verse, guiding us through. It's from Blue Sky studio, and I'd take this over either Ice Age movie (excluding Scrat's scenes of course.)

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