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Horton Hears a Who!


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Horton Hears a Who! (Movies)
Horton Hears a Who! (Movies)
Horton Hears a Who! (Movies)
Horton Hears a Who! (Movies)
Horton Hears a Who! (Movies)
Horton Hears a Who! (Movies)
Horton Hears a Who! (Movies)
Horton Hears a Who! (Movies)
Horton Hears a Who! (Movies)
Horton Hears a Who! (Movies)
Horton Hears a Who! (Movies)
Horton Hears a Who! (Movies)
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Information about Horton Hears a Who!

Horton Hears a Who!, also known as Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!, is a 2008 (12 years ago) American CGI-animated feature movie based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name, the fourth feature movie from Blue Sky Studios, and the third Dr. Seuss-based feature film, following How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat.

It is the first Dr. Seuss adaptation fully animated using CGI technology.



In the Jungle of Nool on the fifteenth of May, a caring, imaginative elephant named Horton (Jim Carrey), the jungle's nature teacher, takes a dip in the pool. A dust speck floats past him in the air, and he hears a tiny yelp coming from it. Believing that an entire family of microscopic creatures are living on that speck, he places it on top of a pink, fuzzy clover that he holds in his trunk.

In fact, he finds out the speck harbors the city of Who-ville and all its inhabitants, led by Mayor Ned McDodd (Steve Carell). He has a loving wife, Sally (Amy Poehler), 96 daughters (Selena Gomez (21 walls)) who all have names that start with the letter H, and one son named JoJo (26 walls) (Jesse McCartney), who, by Who custom, is next in line for the mayoral position. JoJo (26 walls) does not want to become mayor, which leads him to become sullen and refuse to talk, despite Ned's giving him extra attention.

The Mayor finds out from Dr. Larue (Isla Fisher (18 walls)) that Whoville will be destroyed if Horton does not find a "safer more stable home." So Horton resolves to place the speck atop Mt. Nool, the safest place in the jungle. This outlook earns Horton nothing but ridicule from the inhabitants of Nool, especially from the strict official of the jungle, the Sour Kangaroo (Carol Burnett), who tries to get Horton to give up the speck, so as not to put supposedly ridiculous ideas into the heads of the children. Ever faithful to his motto, "A person's a person, no matter how small," Horton refuses. Also taking force toward Horton are the Wickersham brothers (Frank Welker and Dan Castellaneta), a group of bullying monkeys who love making misery.

All the small incidents that Horton experiences on his trek across the jungle have a catastrophic effect on Who-ville. He almost falls off a rickety bridge over a gaping chasm with sharp stalagmites at the bottom, which causes a dentist's needle to accidentally slip into the Mayor's arm while getting a root canal. When Horton left the clover outside overnight, it frosted over, which created winter in the summer down in Whoville. As the other Whos become suspicious, the Mayor finally reveals the truth, but at first, the Whos do not believe him any more than the animals believe Horton.

In the meantime, the Kangaroo has enlisted a nefarious buzzard named Vlad Vladikoff (Will Arnett) to get rid of the speck by force. Vlad manages to steal the clover with the speck on it, flee from a chasing Horton and drop it from hundreds of feet into a valley full of nearly identical clovers, (the one holding with the speck has a striped stem). The impact nearly demolishes Who-ville like an earthquake. Horton painstakingly picks 2,999,999 clovers through the field and finally finds it "on the 3 millionth flower." The earthquake, combined with hearing Horton's voice through the drain pipe, is enough to convince the rest of the Whos that the mayor is not crazy, and they all tell Horton they believe in him.

The Kangaroo finds out that Horton still has the speck, and, as her patience completely runs out, organizes a mob by telling lies to get rid of the speck once and for all. The animals plan to rope and cage Horton, but the Kangaroo turns this into a chance for attention, and offers Horton an ultimatum: give up the speck and "admit" he was wrong and that she was right, or pay the price. Despite a heartfelt speech from Horton that clearly touches the animals, Kangaroo still takes this refusal as an insult to her authority, orders them to proceed, and drop the speck into a pot of boiling beezlenut oil to "teach him not to make up stories of people on specks!"

The Mayor enlists all of his people to make noise by shouting, "We are here," as well as playing a variety of instruments, so the animals can hear them. JoJo (26 walls) runs off to Whoville's abandoned Star-Studying Tower and soon Ned takes off after him. Inside, he reveals his ingenious invention: the Symphony-Phone, a giant machine that serves as an orchestra, and proceeds to add it to the mix of sounds. Still, the sound is not loud enough. The animals do not hear anything and the Kangaroo, who has had Horton caged, takes the clover, holds it over the oil and releases it. In a last-ditch effort to be heard, JoJo (26 walls) grabs the horn used to project Horton's voice, runs up the highest tower and yells "YOPP!" A sound wave emerges and ripples up to the already pressured clouds and collides with them, causing the clouds to break and the sound to come through.

Hearing the Whos' cries, Rudy (Josh Flitter), the Kangaroo's son (who has been in his mother's pouch throughout the movie despite being old enough to be out and too large for her pouch), grabs the clover before it hits the oil and returns it to Horton, refusing his mother's orders to return to her pouch. The animals finally realize the atrocity they almost committed. The Kangaroo is miserable for her behavior, but Horton forgives her, and offers his friendship, which the Kangaroo accepts. At the end of the film, everyone helps Horton carry the speck up to the top of Mt. Nool. After a big number of the cast singing REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling", the camera zooms out, revealing that along with numerous other worlds in our universe, the jungle of Nool is just one speck among numerous others like our planet.

Voice cast

  • Horton the Elephant, voiced by Jim Carrey, is the main protagonist. Horton the elephant is that rare grown-up that never lost the rich imagination he had as a child. It was that imagination along with his unwavering dedication that makes Horton a great teacher, unconditional friend and a force to be reckoned with. He is usually found saying funny lines ("We're all mammals!" "Oh, I'm an elephant. An elephant never forgets." "Vlad. I know two Vlads. Is it the bad Vlad or the bunny Vlad that makes the cookies?"). Horton holds strong to his belief that "a person's a person, no matter how small" so much so that he promises to risk everything for a world of people so tiny, he can't even see them. He also says that, "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant, and an elephant's faithful, 100%".
  • Ned McDodd, the Mayor of Whoville is voiced by Steve Carell. Ned McDodd is the mayor of a microscopic world, and father of ninety-six daughters and a son named JoJo. He is very proud and formal and cares very much for his city and its people, but when he starts hearing the voice of Horton, whom he cannot see, things begin to unravel for the Mayor. It is noted that the name of the character wasn't revealed until the theatrical release. He can be described as "The mayor of Who-ville, a man named McDodd, was devoted, fair, and a little bit odd."
  • Morton the Mouse is voiced by Seth Rogen. Morton the mouse is Horton's best friend who makes up in speed what he lacks in size. He's smaller than the elephant's big toe, but when Morton speaks, Horton listens. Morton will endure Horton's whims, but when the elephant takes off on flights of fancy, Morton knows it's his job to bring him back to earth. He's successful, most of the time. Morton also acts as a messenger for Horton, bringing him news about Vlad, and warning him about the oncoming mob. Morton is one of the few characters created for the film.
  • Sour Kangaroo is voiced by Carol Burnett. Kangaroo is a busybody and creator of the jungle's laws who is skeptical about the existence of the Whos and Whoville on a dust speck. Sour Kangaroo is the main antagonist of the film. As Horton's claims begin to drive her towards darkness, she believes that once other people start listening to Horton, they'll start to come to her with questions she won't be able to answer. In order to avoid this, she begins making deals with the Wickershams and the vulture hitman Vlad Vladikoff. As the movie progresses, her aims start to shift towards crushing Horton's spirit and building up her own reputation. Sour Kangaroo is too dismissive of the products of imagination and creativity even to the point she keeps her son Rudy jammed inside her pouch. She believes that outside the "comfort" her ideas provide him, non-conformity and anarchy are minutes away from turning their ordered life into chaos. Yet, in the end, Horton's convincing changes her mindset.
  • Rudy is voiced by Josh Flitter. Rudy is Kangaroo's young joey. He lives in his mother's pouch. Over the course of the movie, he starts to question his mother's ethics as she continually tries to demolish the clover on which Horton has caught the Whos' speck of dust. But his stifling environment can't contain his free-thinking spirit, and Rudy is ready to take the next step, even if it's his first. He is the first animal to hear the Whos after his mother drops the clover and catches it just in time. When he examines a clover and his mother grabs it, he states, "Mom! Be careful! My best friend, Thidwick, lives on that!". Thidwick is actually a character from Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose. Rudy's mother does not let him attend the school Horton teaches, and he is "pouch-schooled", or homeschooled.
  • JoJo (26 walls) McDodd is voiced by Jesse McCartney. JoJo (26 walls) is the Mayor's only son and the eldest of the mayor's children. Since he is the oldest, JoJo (26 walls) is next in line to become the Mayor of Whoville, though he doesn't want to follow in his father's footsteps. He is afraid to speak because he is worried that he will disappoint his father. Because of this, he hardly ever speaks. His undiscovered voice is a vital asset for the Whos' survival. He also shows a surprising talent for inventions and is somewhat of a prodigy and a musician. In fact, he turns the inside of Whoville's abandoned observatory into a giant mechanical musical instrument called the "Symphony-Phone". After saving the town with his new found word, "YOPP", he begins speaking to his father and Horton. In the deleted scenes commentary, it is revealed that at the time of the "Horton Incident," JoJo (26 walls) was 14. JoJo (26 walls) sticks out as the smallest who in Whoville (for his age, as the very young Whos are still smaller than he) and as he's adorned in black and gray, while other whos are brightly colored.
  • The 96 Daughters of Ned McDodd are voiced by Selena Gomez. The Mayor's 96 daughters are all younger than JoJo (26 walls), who is the eldest and only son. Each of the girls are very different. One is intelligent, one is a baby, the other wants a WhoPhone (parody of an iPhone), and so on and so forth. Throughout the movie, they are usually seen running around and having fun. The Mayor can only spend 12 seconds with each one as he's hard pressed for time. Some of the sisters include Helga, Holly, Hailey, Heidi, Hilda, Hannah, Hooley, and Hedy, the baby.
  • Sally O'Malley is voiced by Amy Poehler. Sally is the Mayor's wife and mother of 96 daughters and one son named JoJo. With all of these children, Sally's responsibilities dwarf even those of her husband. Still, she's able to juggle them with the grace of a first lady. The last thing she needs is another problem child with an overactive imagination, but when her husband starts hearing voices, that's exactly what she gets. It's a situation even her sharp wit and pointed sarcasm can't defuse, but when the truth is revealed, she's willing to give it her all to help her husband save Whoville. Sally deeply cares for her husband and children.
  • Dr. Mary Lou Larue is voiced by Isla Fisher. Dr. Larue is an eccentric Whoville scientist who can be a bit scatterbrained at times. However, being the smartest of the staff at Who University, she is willing to help the Mayor find out how they can preserve the peace that holds their town together. She is one of the first Whos to believe that the Mayor was right about Whoville being a speck. She speaks with a lisp.
  • Vlad Vladikoff is voiced by Will Arnett. Vlad is a reclusive vulture who lives in a tree stump in a swamp surrounded by thorns. The Sour Kangaroo hires him to get rid of Horton's clover. At first, he agrees to do it in exchange for her son Rudy, but he stated a brand new pair of objects never specified beforehand. After "thinking" it over, she uses reverse psychology to get him to do it for free. He speaks in a thick Russian accent and extremely theatrical in his wickedness to the point of embarrassing himself.
  • Yummo is voiced by Dan Fogler. Yummo is the rumbling leader of the Wickersham brothers who serves as a bully for Horton, as he sees him as an annoyance. He's hot-tempered, power-hungry, and just plain hungry. He helps with the capture of Horton because he agreed that Horton was poisoning the youth of the jungle, first said by Kangaroo.
  • Mrs. Quilligan is voiced by Jaime Pressly. Mrs. Quilligan is a jungle bird that is a two-faced and easily influenced busybody. She sways with public opinion and everybody knows it. It's not unusual for her to be caught flip-flopping and backtracking to cover herself, keeping her firmly entrenched in the" in crowd".
  • Jessica Quilligan is voiced by Laura Ortiz. Like any teenager, Jessica might be embarrassed by her mother's busybody behavior, but it's obvious to everyone else in the community that she's Mrs. Quilligan's mini-clone. She views herself as an independent thinker, but since conformity leads to acceptance, she's just another cog in the wheel. She is vain. When she and her classmates tell Horton about their clovers with worlds, Jessica states that her world is called Jessica-Land, where everyone worships her, Queen Jessica, because she is so awesome.
  • Tommy is voiced by Jonah Hill. Tommy is an orange Wombat-like creature that is one of the children of the Jungle of Nool that looks up to and views Horton as a teacher. He seems to have somewhat of a frat boy/smart aleck persona, but truly believes in what Horton is trying to do, even if he is being ridiculed for it. He tends to get out of the way of trouble, such as the time when Sour Kangaroo approaches them after hearing "nonsense" about the clover worlds, he says, "Oh, um... You guys with worlds are in trouble!"
  • Katie is voiced by Joey King. Katie is a small baby yak with strange habits and abilities. She tends to say 'ahhhh' a lot and speak random thoughts, e.g. when Horton's students create worlds of their own on their own flowers, Katie explains that everyone in her world is a pony that eats rainbows and excretes butterflies. She also has a frog's tongue, and the ability to float, which she demonstrates at the end of the film. Katie is one of the female pupils of Horton.
  • Miss Yelp, voiced by Niecy Nash, is the Mayor's assistant. She talks in a bored voice, and does all her tasks mechanically, before she is asked. She has a MySpace profile (named Whospace in the film), which she mostly spends her time on during work.
  • The Chairman, voiced by Dan Fogler, is the head of the Whoville City Council and views the Mayor as a 'blathering boob', and appears to have more power than him. It is Horton who takes him down a peg or two. He and his cronies all have blue or green hair and skin, black suits and resemble The Grinch. It is said in the DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) comentary that the last one is named Pugerson and he can't fly his box kite very well.
  • The Wickersham Brothers, voiced by Frank Welker and Dan Castellaneta, are a group of vicious monkeys who serve as bullies for Horton, and huge henchmen of the Kangaroo. They have a very large family consisting of many members who help bind Horton. When Horton speaks up to all the animals of Nool about his protected speck, the Wickershams actually take pity on him, only to be forced by Sour Kangaroo to rope and cage him, but after a while, the Wickershams realize they do hear the people on the speck, and they also reject the still-resenting Sour Kangaroo
  • Selena Gomez (21 walls)
  • Debi Derryberry
  • Madison Davenport
  • Laraine Newman
  • Jimmy Hayward
  • Shelby Adamowsky
  • Madison Pettis
  • Joe Pasquale as the dentist
  • Charles Osgood as the narrator


The movie received generally positive reviews from movie critics. As of May 8, 2008 (12 years ago), the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 78% of critics gave the movie positive reviews, based on 123 reviews, and an even better 84% rating from the top critics on the site based on 31 reviews, both classifying the movie as "Certified Fresh", and making it by far the most favorably reviewed Dr. Seuss movie adaptation on the site. Metacritic reported the movie had an average score of 71 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews", based on 31 reviews, also the most favorably reviewed Dr. Seuss movie on the site. Brian Eggert of Deep Focus Review gave it one and a half stars out of four, criticizing its numerous pop-culture references, calling it a "mish-mash of incoherent babble" and claiming it ends up "reducing Seuss' otherwise admirable message to ordinary storytelling, when Seuss' work is anything but."


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