this hilarious and heartwarming animated adventure, Horton is
a fun-loving elephant who hears a cry for help coming from a
speck of dust floating through the air. He soon discovers the
speck is home to Who-ville, a city inhabited by tiny people
in big trouble. Horton must brave the dangers of the jungle
to protect his new friends and save the day.
Remember the days when a group of you thronged the
libraries to find Dr. Seuss books? Remember the joy on your
faces when found one in an isolated corner and hugged it so
close to you because you want no one else to take it away?
Then came movies like Ron Howard’s The Grinch (2000)
and Bo Welch’s The Cat in the Hat (2003). Truth be told,
we were a little freaked out by Jim Carrey’s (The Grinch
won an Oscar for Best Makeup nonetheless) and Mike Myers’s
getup as Dr. Seuss’s beloved storybook characters. So
when this animated movie came along, we didn’t know
whether it would rekindle the fond memories of the past or
remind us the scary characters created for the live action
our pleasant surprise, this movie is actually immensely enjoyable
and, gasp, educational too.
story begins when Horton the elephant hears a cry from help
from a fleck of dust. Yes, this only happens in a storybook,
and that fleck of dust is home to the Whos, who live in a
wonderful town known as Whoville. Despite disapprovals from
his friends, Horton decides to protect the Whos and their
home, standing by the motto that "A person is a person,
no matter how small."
you can already see the movie as an educational tool to teach
young ones some important life lessons, do not dismiss this
as one of those too wholesome for its own good pictures. It’s
got Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty) and Steve Carell (Evan Almighty)
providing the voices for Horton and the mayor of Wholville
respectively. There, you know you are in a wacky time with
these two comedians headlining the movie. All 88 minutes of
and Carell seem to be ad-libbing their way through the entire
picture, spouting their very comical lines to the fullest
side splitting effect. You’d be a grinch not to chuckle
out loud at them. Then there are the other adorably memorable
characters which include a grouchy purple kangaroo, an autistic
Who, an evil vulture and a whole lot of other cuddly forest
creatures which we can’t pin a name to.
than its fluid 3D animation, the movie also incorporates some
traditional 2D animation in Dr. Seuss’s spirit, and
wow, an inspired manga animation sequence which will make
you sit up and pay attention to its bright and clean cut drawings.
Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino directed movie has captured
Dr. Seuss’s true spirit and carry with it a message
that is enlightening to both kids and adults. Remember: "A
person is a person, no matter how small."
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains a whole load of wonderfully fun special
features which definitely makes your money’s worth.
It is a must-have for every family’s DVD collection.
Commentary by Directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino
– The duo talk enthusiastically about every aspects
of the movie, including why the opening sequence doesn’t
involve dialogue and how certain camera angles are created
to make the villainous kangaroo look more intimidating than
Horton the elephant.
Footage – In this section, the funny directors
confess about making mistakes, and show you some deleted footages,
which are categorized into Storyboard versions, Rough Animation
versions and Almost-final versions. This is a generous section
where you’ll get to see 12 scenes which were cut from
the movie. They include Horton’s nightmare, how the
mayor brushes his teeth and his unique coffee gnome. The DVD
producers are kind enough to include directors’ commentaries
on all of them.
Screen Tests – After a short introduction by
animator Nick Bruno, we get to see how Horton, the Mayor and
the Whos are animated with movements like tip toeing, driving
in wagons, getting scared and being nervous. An informative
section for animator wannabes.
the Characters to Life – In this five minute
segment, we see how the animators act and voice out the characters
before the voiceover talents come into the studio for actual
recording. It’s interesting to see the behind the scenes
people acting in front of the cameras so that there can be
references for the characters.
One Big Elephant: Animating Horton – The eight
minute clip takes you to the beginning where the filmmakers
studied the original Dr. Seuss artwork, created 3D clay models
and eventually became an elephant who could walk and talk
in different moods and viewers could feel the difference.
Katie – The four minute featurette focuses
on the animation of a cute, little, yellow, fluffy, err, thing,
which stole the show by being cute, little, yellow and fluffy.
You’d never guess that the original inspiration was
Person is a Person: A Universal Message – The
four minute clip has the filmmakers talking about the theme
of the movie, a universal value which we often forget. Though
short, this clip is very meaningful, and it’s a rare
occasion which we get to see Carell talking seriously.
Speck: Where do we fit in? – Another well meaning
featurette which has adorable kids talking about balancing
the eco system. It’s important to know that every small
act we do has a big effect on the system. Educators and parents
need to get their students and kids to watch this.
Fun: The Facts – Get to see real elephants
in action in this educational five minute clip hosted by an
elephant expert. Targeted at kids, it inter-cuts scenes from
the movie with footages of real elephants – Did you
know that elephants’ ears act as cones to amplify what
they hear? Did you know that there are 50,000 muscles and
no bones in an elephant’s trunk? Did you know that elephants
have a wonderful memory?
Are Here! – An interesting game which kids
can save Whoville by choosing the correct instruments after
seeing a sequence of events. Strictly for those under 12.
Sid – An eight minute short starring the characters
from Ice Age. Sid brings a group of kids on a camping trip
- very funny to watch, and everybody’s favourite Scrat
makes an appearance with his nut too.
The disc’s visual transfer maintains the crisp look
of the movie, while there are English, Korean, Thai, Mandarin
and Cantonese audio tracks to choose from.
by John Li