In this whimsical feature-length computer animated version of the popular Dr. Seuss book, Horton (voice of Jim Carrey
) is an elephant who lives his life in the jungle until the day a remarkable things happens. Horton discovers voices coming from a speck of dust as it floats by his enormous ears. Convinced that there are tiny people living on that speck of dust, Horton captures it on the tip of a clover flower and tries to communicate with its inhabitants. He finally succeeds, and begins a conversation with the Mayor of Whoville (Steve Carell
), who urges Horton to find a safe place for the speck lest his entire world be wiped out. Horton agrees, but he encounters resistance.
First, The Kangaroo (Carol Burnett
) who rules over the jungle, is a firm believer in the idea that "if you can't see it, it's not there," and she can't see any people on Horton's speck, so she hires the vulture Vlad (Will Arnett
) to eliminate it. Meanwhile, the Mayor has trouble convincing the Whos in Whoville that there's a big elephant in the sky talking to him. Even his wife, Sally (Amy Poehler
), is skeptical. Only a Doctor Who named Mary Lou Larue (Isla Fisher
) believes him.
Narrated by the familiar voice of Charles Osgood
, reading passages from the original book, the story progresses reasonably quickly, although there are a number of action sequences that have been added to expand beyond Dr. Seuss's original rhymes.
There are also a couple of interesting animation-within-animation sequences. The first copies both the look and feel of the book precisely and the second re-invents the story as a dubbed martial arts extravaganza. Adults will probably get more out of these than their children, but that doesn't matter at all since the kids will definitely be enchanted. And there are messages about having faith in things that can't be seen and treating people the same regardless of their differences. It's a far better attempt at bringing the books of Dr. Seuss to the screen than the terrible live versions of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "The Cat in the Hat." This one's a pure joy.