Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!

Rated 2.0

Dr. Seuss’ story might have made a fun half-hour animated special—indeed, it already has, in 1970. In padding it out to a feature, writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul and directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino change the focus from Horton the Elephant (voice by Jim Carrey) trying to prove that the Whos exist to the Whoville mayor (Steve Carell) trying to prove Horton exists. They also trot out a lot of pop-culture in-jokes that no one under 30 will get, giving amusement to grown-ups but only squirms and confusion to the kids who are supposed to be the good Dr.’s audience. It amounts to making entertainment for adults by hijacking a story intended for kids—and despite the gleaming animation and all-star voices, it’s unseemly, like a playground bully snatching the best toys from helpless toddlers.