Blue Sky Studios and Twentieth Century Fox
I am always happy to potter along and watch a light, animated kids film, who isn’t? And with this one being part of the Dr Seuss series, I was expecting something slightly twisted, surreal and even a bit dark. However Fox clearly decided to veer in the safer direction and aim it more at the younger of the young audiences.
The cinema was filled with 6 year olds, covered in facepaint and holding their ridiculously, precise constructed balloon animals; following close behind were their perfectly, preened parents, lumbered with the kids as it was the nanny’s day off.
As I mentioned before, I was kind of hoping for a bit more of the sinister side of Dr Seuss; there were a couple of minutes of old classic Seuss animation, which made me think they should have used it more often or not at all, as it only left me feeling a bit cheated. The voices for the characters were good, especially Steve Carell; Jim Carrey as Horton on the other hand seemed a bit limp. The character Horton wasn’t very appealing and I really couldn’t care less about him or his problematic situation.
The Seuss stylization seemed to fit quite comfortably within the animation boundaries; the colours and “wacky” creatures were brilliantly over the top and amusing to look at. There is one character called Katie, who I’m sure I used to have as a toy on a string, so you could hang it up, who is the cutest and probably funniest thing in the film.
About an hour into the film it started to drag, even the children started to get chatty and fidgety. And I couldn’t help thinking of how much more they could drag out an elephant running to save a speck on a flower. The final few scenes were actually quite good; the people (Whos) on the speck have to make a lot of noise in order for their world to survive, this is where some skilful animation kicks in.
As it’s an American children’s film, there is obviously some totally transparent moral; to listen to everyone, or to be kind to those who.. Are your friends? Something like that. Looking past the overly long time span, and the almost excessively juvenile explanation of every joke, it’s not too bad. If you’re bored, it’s raining and you’ve got access to a couple of beers, definitely go and see it.