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Look out for more coverage of
Dr Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Dr Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!

(voices) Jim Carrey • Steve Carell • Carol Burnett
DIRECTOR: Jimmy Hayward & Steve Martino

Horton (Carrey) the elephant hears a faint cry for help coming from a tiny speck of dust. Although he doesn’t know it, in that speck lies the city of Who-ville, inhabited by the microscopic Whos and led by the Mayor (Carell). Despite being ridiculed and threatened by his jungle neighbors who think he’s lost his mind, Horton is determined to save the particle, because he feels ‘a person’s a person no matter how small.’

U.S. RELEASE: March 14 2008, Nationwide • Rated: G


STEVE CARELL on only being able to use his voice to create the character:
Steve Carell and his character the Mayour of Who-ville“I think there is a freedom within the limitations. I think when you are given a structure, and you can do anything within that structure, there is something freeing to that as opposed to, ‘You can do anything, anytime, anywhere.’ Sometimes you just don’t know where to focus. Really the animators do the heavy lifting, we provide as much as we can vocally, but then you see it and you see where they have taken whatever you have done vocally, it’s remarkable.”

Jim Carrey voicing Horton“That is the great thing about this, you are surrounded by artists who are just as creative or more so than you are, and I love being handled by nerds. Just to spew something out and have somebody put wings on it is fantastic.”

“It’s also a huge leap of faith too. There you are, you don’t know how anything you do will sync up with what anyone else is doing. It’s all based on how the director sees it and cues it. He’s the one threading all of these performances together. You give him a thousand different variations on a scene, and then he tracks it with the rest of the performances.”

CARREY on preparing to play an elephant:
Haorton tries a bridge“I thought of peanuts on my breath. I wanted to be the type of an elephant that didn’t realize he was enormous and bulky. He was light as a feather, as he puts it, he was a dancer. Maybe it’s an inferiority complex, I don’t know, but he doesn’t feel like he’s bigger than anyone else. He could do a lot of damage if he wanted to, but he doesn’t feel like he has that power. He feels equal to everybody.”

CARELL on playing the Mayor of Who-ville:
“[He lives in a world] where nothing ever goes wrong. Everything is always happy, everyone always gets along, and everything is always good. The sun is always shining. That’s kind of what being a Who is like. Then something goes wrong. Everything suddenly is turned upside down.”

CARREY on whether he thinks the human race are specs in the universe:
“I know I’m a spec, but that’s how I’ve always thought. How can you look at the sky at night and not feel like you are a spec somewhere? I saw a picture on the Discovery Channel one time of the Earth from Mars, and from the Mars perspective, you can hardly find it, it was a spec.”

“If I think about it too much my mind will explode. We are all so tiny in the big picture, we are infinitesimal.”

“I have always felt that there were worlds within worlds, within worlds. Somewhere on my right arm, inside a cell, there is some kind of world happening. I could swing that arm, hit it against a tree, and they’re all gone!”

“That’s why we are all paralyzed. After doing this movie I can hardly move. Essentially, I’m afraid I will be crushing tiny universes wherever I go!”

“I think, as far as kids go, the thing that attracts them to this is not the deeper concepts involved. It’s really just the fact that Seuss’s creativity was so incredible. He was such an original. If you give kids a character that they’ve never seen before, in a world that they’ve never seen before, they will completely lose themselves in an imaginary space, at the same time they’re getting all of these wonderful lessons.”

Voice artists and their characters

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Dr Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! site
Images above © 20th Century Fox
Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #694, April 2008 cover

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