'Horton Hears a Who'

Horton

Say what, Horton? Jim Carrey's animated protagonist can be a little frantic for a pachyderm. hide caption

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  • Directors: Jimmy Heyward
                      Steve Martino
  • Genre: Animation, Comedy
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

Frenzied and elephantine where it needs to be light as a speck of dust, this exhausting attempt to bring one of Dr. Seuss's best-known children's stories to life is visually imaginative, but otherwise strictly for kids.

For those who don't remember, Horton's an elephant who's ridiculed by friends and neighbors when he heeds shouts from the citizens of Whoville — a town so tiny it fits on a dust speck nestled on a clover blossom — and tries to help them. Issues of size, which hampered Bee Movie just a few months ago, aren't really a problem when the action's in Whoville, but they stymie interaction whenever Horton's on screen.

Except for a few bits that have been animated in the style of Japanese cartoons or Seussian books, the film is a completely conventional computer-animated opus. Watching it, you'd never guess that Seuss had one of the brightest imaginations this side of Jules Verne — or even that the books are rhymed.

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