x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Dr Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!

Despite its lightheartedness, the narrative is insidiously deep, questioning authority, obedience and existentialism through wide-eyed Who wonderment.

The Jungle Film... <i>Dr Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!</i>.
The Jungle Film... Dr Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!.


Who knew that Whoville could be so small? No, not the Whos, not them at all. Quietly they lived on a genteel little speck, till one day circumstances sent Whoville straight on its head. And so the story of an elephant called Horton saving a world of microscopic people begins. Horton, voiced by Jim Carrey, lumbers through the jungle to deposit Whoville onto a flower in a cave on the highest peak of a very tall mountain. While Horton battles nature, the Mayor of Whoville battles the brittle bureaucracy of Whoville for authority, while also trying to connect with his reclusive son, JoJo. Suspend disbelief, shun the laws of physics and forget gravity to enter the world of the Who. The eccentric playground of Dr Seuss's imagination is rendered gloriously bright and off-kilter in 3D animation, a far better visual landscape than 2000's How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which was shot in conventional format. Carrey's choice to again revive Seuss suits him well. In the world of the fantastic his proclivity for exaggeration thrives. Horton tiptoes, trawls and thunders his way through with an innocence both lighthearted and grave, remaining true to the 1950s sensibility in which the book was first published. And yet despite its lightheartedness, the narrative is insidiously deep, questioning authority, obedience and existentialism through wide-eyed Who wonderment. A cast of crooked adult figures try to ruin all the fun; most notably, Kangaroo, voiced by Carol Burnett, and Vlad the Vulture (who has yet to emerge from the Soviet era), conspire to thwart big ideas like imagination and little people like the Who.
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