Movie Reviews

Horton Hears a Who! (12/9/2008)

Rated G

Directed by Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino (First Feature Film)

Staring Jim Carrey, Steve Carrell, Carol Burnett, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Isla Fisher, Dan Fogler, Amy Poehler, Dane Cook, Jaime Pressly, and Jonah Hill

Horton is so worth it!

On the fifteenth of May, in the jungle of Nool, in the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool… That’s the beginning of “Horton Hears a Who!”, the adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic about an elephant (Jim Carrey) who hears a cry for help coming from a tiny speck of dust floating through the air. Suspecting there may be life on that speck and despite being ridiculed and even threatened by his neighbors, Horton is determined to help the mayor (Steve Carell) and the other residents of Who-ville… because a person’s a person no matter how small.

Without a doubt this is the best Dr. Seuss movie to date. From beginning to end the animation is flawless, the jokes are funny and the cast is perfect. The story is true to the book and the message is timeless. Put that with two of the funniest men alive and you will be laughing as much as your kids.

I know that every cartoon has some “adult humor.” You know those jokes that your kids completely miss but you look over at your spouse and share a laugh. Although there have been some movies that go too far, like in The Cat in a Hat when the mom’s picture unfolds like a centerfold, I was pleased that Horton didn’t go there. Sure there were a few “adult jokes” but nothing offensive. Unless you think lines like, “In my world everyone is a pony, and they all eat rainbows, and poop butterflies” is offensive.

Throughout the movie there are strong themes of faith, loyalty, integrity and sacrifice. My favorite conversation starter is the quote “If you can't see, hear or feel something, it doesn't exist,” from the self-righteous kangaroo. But what really makes Horton Hears a Who! so family friendly is that Horton is a true and pure hero. He endures ridicule and pain instead of tossing aside the speck of dust because he is loyal, 100 percent.

SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
Absolutely, this is a great film for the whole family and a great message.

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):


  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?
  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?

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Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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