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child's play
horton hears a *&$%!
by beth clement

My Entertainment Weekly reading self is concerned about a movie coming out in mid-March. It should be known that I am a fan of movies of all types from kiddie fare to adult horror. The movie is billed as the former but may receive the same reaction as the latter.

The reason for all the objections to the film may come from the fact that I work with four and five year olds on a daily basis. I have pre-viewed many children’s films and have made many children cry when they come to me with a movie from home that I refuse to show. I have also had to call home on some occasions to ask parents how they managed to get certain “home films” that most adults try to hide from the world (or pirate on the internet).

The movie I am talking about is Horton Hears a Who with the voices of Jim Carrey and Steve Carell. Those of you who have seen Jim Carrey in the live action How The Grinch Stole Christmas, can tell in which direction this article is going. I have no problem with Steve Carell, his speedy squirrel in Over The Hedge made me laugh without wincing. However, when I saw Grinch there were more than enough times when I looked at the audience and wished I could give them the animated movie and send them home. I should have known what was to come with the opening “key party” scene but I stayed and witnessed all the sexual innuendoes that made me look around at the audience and want to hide.

If Grinch was the only Dr. Seuss movie that was produced that way I could attribute it to an error in judgment, but there’s another. The Cat In The Hat, presumably a follow-up to Grinch, was so bad that it didn’t even get the good reviews that Grinch got. Although, Cat does receive the “worst pop-culture reference” award with the appearance of Paris Hilton.

There is however, a possibility that this movie will be different. The executive producer is Audrey Geisel, Theodor Geisel’s (aka Dr. Seuss’) widow. Hopefully this movie is for kids and not masquerading as a kid/ adult movie. We all like to disappear from the world, if only for a short time where we can be entertained as kids, not adults who need winking references and innuendoes. That’s why Theodor Geisel’s books are still bought and enjoyed by adults and children alike.


An early childhood teacher with many roles and even more opinions!

more about beth clement


lucy lediaev
2.25.08 @ 5:04p

I don't know how any film can do justice to the faithful Horton. I have read both Horton books to children of all ages, and I, too, cringe that it might be adulterated in the same way as Grinch and Cat. Only time will tell. Let's hope Mrs. Geisel was able to hold her own against evil influences.

joe procopio
2.27.08 @ 2:33p

Commericals look horrible.

russ carr
2.27.08 @ 3:38p

As I recall, there was a cartoon version of "Horton Hatches the Egg"; do I misremember?

Monday is "Dr. Seuss Day" at my son's school, and each room is decorating their door to the theme of one of his books. For Brendan's class, they've picked "Hooper Humperdink...? Not Him!" which is one of the few Seuss books I haven't read... because it was originally published under Theodore Geisel's OTHER nom de plume, Theo LeSieg... and so didn't get the spotlight of the other "Dr. Seuss" books.

Now, of course, I want to get my hands on a copy and see what I missed.

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