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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

daily list: 8 more things I hate about ‘Horton Hears a Who’

Well, the shit is hitting the fan with my review of Horton Hears a Who! — I knew it would. Of course, many people will say that my review is the shit… and I don’t mean that in the slang sense that means “the best.” What was I supposed to do, not say what I saw in the movie? I may be the only one who sees it — though I suspect that the angry commenters haven’t even seen the movie itself yet — but I’m not gonna pretend I didn’t. Otherwise, there’s no point in my being here at all. Which is, of course, something that many of those commenters would agree with, too: that there’s no point in my being here.

Anyway, here’s 8 more things I hated about the movie, none of which are mentioned in the review:
1. The Mayor of Whoville has 96 — 96! — daughters he completely ignores, and one son he totally dotes on, who is also, of course, heir to the Mayorship. (I could have gone into a rant about how anti-feminist the movie is, but I thought the anti-reason rant was better.)

2. A hereditary Mayorship? Dudes, that’s called a monarchy.

3. Conformity is bad on Horton’s side of the world, where he is castigated for believing something no one else believes, but it’s what saves the Whos, who must band together no matter what they believe.

4. The anime dream sequence. Seriously, there’s an anime dream sequence.

5. The jokes about Vietnam and Henry Kissenger. I know, I know, it’s just a kids’ movie, and kids get off on that kind of thing, but still, come on.

6. Jim Carrey with godlike powers… again.

7. The movie is written by two guys, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, about whom I actually wrote in 2001, “here’s hoping they never work again.”

8. The fact that absolutely none of this is invented — it’s an entirely true representation of the movie.

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  • FSugino

    I’d add the REO Speedwagon sing-a-long to that list, but that’s just me.

  • MaryAnn

    Oh god yes, that was awful too.

  • MBI

    The system of mayorship does strike an especially odd note, yes. I don’t think it was ever specifically stated that Jojo was born into the Mayorship, but that definitely was the impression. Which is especially weird seeing as otherwise, the position of Mayor seems to have the standard definition of Mayor — he has to work alongside a city council, he deals with budgets and ordinances. No one really thought this one out.

    I have similar problems with The Lion King. But The Lion King is done so well that I’m happy to ignore them.

    I’m not sure “conformity” enters into it on the Whoville side of things though. “Solidarity” may be the word more than “conformity.” The enemy on the Whoville side of things is willful ignorance, not non-conformity — I don’t think the two halves of the movie are as diametrically opposed as you think.

  • MaryAnn

    In a better written movie, I might agree with you. But the way this movie as it exists plays out, the two sides are “don’t deny the existence of things you can’t see” and “listen to God if you want to live.” Very little of the Whoville side of things exists in the book, therefore the writers created it as they did for a reason. They didn’t have to invent all the particular stuff they invented — they could have invented other stuff. They didn’t. This particular image of Whoville is was what they chose to give us, paired with one particular characterization of Horton’s jungle. They’re working in tandem to create a larger whole.

  • There’s no joy in Whoville; mighty Carrey has struck out…

  • Scott P

    You forgot to mention the fact that the 1 son was clearly more intelligent & creative than any of the daughters.
    ;) I’m just messing with you.

    I liked the anime dream sequence because it was making fun of that Japanese anime crapola.

    p.s. REO freakin’ rules!!!

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