Saturday, 19 April 2008

Horton hears a Who

Bob has joined a website that allows him to download movies, and last night he and I watched "Horton Hears a Who." I wasn't impressed. Don't get me wrong: the animation was great; it was funny in places; there was a feel-good element. But it really felt like it was written by a divorced father who was bitter about losing touch with his child(ren) due to his controlling ex-wife.

The main characters are Horton the friendly elephant; the mean, controlling, "if you can't see it, it doesn't exist," self-appointed boss of the jungle Kangaroo; and the Mayor of Whoville.

Horton hears a noise from a "speck" floating by, and soon discovers the speck houses the whole city of Whovile. There's a bit of faith-in-things-unseen dialog from Horton and the mayor. Turns out the Whos need Horton to save them by finding a safe place for the speck to stay. Horton is an honorable elephant, and he pledges his word. So that's all good.

However! Kangaroo is such a complete control freak that her joey is "pouch-schooled."

The mayor has 98 children, and though he and his wife are kind and loving, they treat the children to an assembly line of 14 second conversations each day, and obviously none of the children are individuals or having their needs met. This is seen as not too bad, because only the son has a problem with it - the girls all seem quite happy to be herded. But the son (yes, there's only one) is a goth. He is misunderstood. His father tries to (gasp!) impart vision to him, but it doesn't suit the boy to follow in his ancestors' footsteps.

Horton's pro-life statement is repeated "A person's a person, no matter how small" but [the messages were also given] be sure you don't have too many of them, and just in case you wondered, only a mean-spirited, fearful mother would homeschool.

Besides that, there is the typical animated name-calling, pseudo swearing, and hyperactive slapstick violence.

I'll stick with the book.


S.A.M. said...

I haven't seen the movie, but usually every time they've tackled Dr. Seuss on the big screen it's been a mess. Except for the cartoon version of the Grinch, that I grew up with, that one is a classic.

MamaOlive said...

I think we have the old Grinch one (used to, anyway).

Wil said...

I've had similar experiences with most really good books made into movies.

And of course, Hollywood has its money-making formula. I really can't fault them for taking care of the bottom line -- since that's their jobs. "___ works. So put more ____ in the movies."

Ganeida said...

I have all sorts of issues with most children's movies these days. Far too many of them are trying to capture the adult market as well & the jokes & music are not children's jokes or music.