A scheming raccoon fools a mismatched family of forest creatures into helping him repay a debt of food, by invading the new suburban sprawl that popped up while they were hibernating...and learns a lesson about family himself.
Spoiled by their upbringing with no idea what wild life is really like, four animals from New York Central Zoo escape, unwittingly assisted by four absconding penguins, and find themselves in Madagascar, among a bunch of merry lemurs
Boog, a domesticated 900lb. Grizzly bear finds himself stranded in the woods 3 days before Open Season. Forced to rely on Elliot, a fast-talking mule deer, the two form an unlikely friendship and must quickly rally other forest animals if they are to form a rag-tag army against the hunters.
One day, Horton the elephant hears a cry from help coming from a speck of dust. Even though he can't see anyone on the speck, he decides to help it. As it turns out, the speck of dust is home to the Whos, who live in their city of Whoville. Horton agrees to help protect the Whos and their home, but this gives him nothing but torment from his neighbors, who refuse to believe that anything could survive on the speck. Still, Horton stands by the motto that, "After all, a person is a person, no matter how small." Written by
I guess it wouldn't be remiss if I've approached "Horton Hears a Who!" with some reservations as the trailers were anything but something to be excited about. Had it not been for the Whos and the Dr. Seuss tag that comes with the title, this latest computer-animated film from the "Ice Age" team would come off as yet another animal-on-a-mission flick straight from the assembly line. And films adapted from one of Dr. Seuss' books haven't been as successful as when they were in print, to put it lightly.
A relatively neutered Jim Carrey provides the voice for Horton, an elephant who hears a voice from a floating speck and discovers that there are people actually living in it in a place called Who-ville. Called the Whos, these people have a Mayor (voiced by an also-neutered Steve Carrell) who has 96 daughters and a son who won't speak. It's up to Horton to find a safe place for the speck to save Who-ville from destruction, even as the well-meaning pachyderm has to avoid all sorts of obstacles, including Sour Kangaroo, Vlad the Vulture, the Wickersham brothers, and other metaphors of McCarthyism.
As usual with such a thin material, the film has the obligatory additional scenes to pad the running time but all in all, it captures the spirit of its source, and it's a case where a G-rated film provides entertainment both to kids and their older companions as well. (I would have said "a rare case" but in this country, the G-rating is applied more liberally by the local censor board.) The animation is consistently good and a Japanese-inspired traditional animation does not feel out of place from the overall enjoyment material. The voice cast, according to the credits, involves some relatively big names, but other than Carrey and Carrell, none of the actors take attention from their characters and thus do not distract.
Fast-paced and touching, "Horton Hears a Who!" represents a step up for Blue Sky Studios, who has played supporting roles to Pixar and Dreamworks. I'm tempted to say that it's the best Dr. Seuss film adaptation ever, but that won't be saying much considering the other films involved. So maybe I'll just say it's one of the best animated films, which is anyway true.
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