Dumbo Redux

DR. SEUSS’ HORTON HEARS A WHO!
Running time 88 minutes
Written by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul
Directed by Jimmy Haywood and Steve Martino
Starring Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett

Jimmy Haywood and Steve Martino’s Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!, with the help of innumerable collaborators, is rated G, which makes it O.K. for children of all ages. This presents a problem for me as a reviewer since I was assured by my parents that I was never a child, even in the cradle, where I assumed the expression of a Greek philosopher, which is perhaps why I have never had children of my own. I have never read Dr. Seuss, but I have always considered Walt Disney’s Dumbo (1941) an adult taste. But there I was in the cavernous expanse of the Ziegfeld Theatre with all the little persons in New York sitting around me watching Horton, an elephant with the trick voice of Jim Carrey. Horton reports hearing a clover blossom in his ear announce that a whole city of Whos, governed by a mayor with the trick voice of Steve Carell, inhabit the blossom. As Horton explains patiently to the jungle skeptics around him, “If you were way out in space, and you looked down at where we live, we would look like a speck.” I suppose so, and I don’t think it will do children any harm to become suspicious of conventional opinion or even conventional wisdom. And anyway, who among us can resist an animated elephant, or even a lethargic one?

Dumbo Redux