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With: (voices) Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Dan Fogler, Isla Fisher, Jonah Hill, Amy Poehler, Jaime Pressly, Charles Osgood, Josh Flitter, Niecy Nash, Jesse McCartney
Written by: Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul, based on the book by Dr. Seuss
Directed by: Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 88
Date: 03/03/2008

Horton Hears a Who! (2008)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Stuff on Fluff

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

After two truly unbearable live-action big-screen Dr. Seuss adaptations (The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat), this unlikely computer-animated entry is a surprising success. Jim Carrey returns to Seussland as the voice of the good-hearted elephant Horton, who hears a voice emanating from a floating speck of dust. The speck turns out to be an entire miniature city. Working with the mayor (voiced by Steve Carell), Horton tries to protect it. Carrey's performance is uncharacteristically measured and relaxed, and he's funnier than he has been in years. Writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul manage to flesh out the book without relying on mindless filler, and they even throw in a few adult-friendly jokes. Carol Burnett voices a domineering, matronly kangaroo.

In the interest of full disclosure: I brought my 22-month old son to the Saturday morning press screening of this, his first feature-length movie in the theater. I was alone with him and I was fully prepared to bail out of the movie if he became fussy or frightened. Amazingly, he sat, enraptured and quiet, throughout the entire film. My astonishment, joy and pride may have colored my experience somewhat, but even considering this, I'm still confidently recommending Horton Hears a Who! without reservation.

DVD Details: I received the basic DVD edition from Fox, which contains a director's commentary track and a new, short Ice Age cartoon (though I can't stand Ice Age). It's one of those discs like they made back in the 1990s, with the widescreen version on one side and the pan-and-scan on the other, with only the tiniest label to indicate the difference. Plus the label is on the pan-and-scan side, so most people will probably just pop that side in and watch.

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