Tuesday, March 25, 2008
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant!
An elephant's faithful one hundred percent!"
Interestingly, even though that line appears in the movie version of Horton Hears a Who! it's actually from a different Horton story, one that I had a cassette tape of when I was a kid... Horton Hatches an Egg...
So I already had a built in soft spot for Horton before we saw the movie (plus he's an elephant, and I have a soft spot for elephants anyway).
I will by saying the same thing that I say just about every time we see the latest and greatest CG animation extravaganza... the textures and the rendering, from the ultra closeup shots right at the beginning, through to all the fur on all the Whos and a lot of the jungle animals, is all first rate. Yeah, there are a couple of "water issues" at the start, but since I know water is the hardest thing to do realistically, I can forgive that.
A case in point (of the good stuff) is the render they gave to Vlad the Vulture... his wings just look incredible when he's flinging them around like a cape when we first meet him... there's this oily black sheen to them that's just fantastic.
There's not a whole hell of a lot of story (but then, if you're turning what is essentially a picture book into an 88 minute movie, you're going to get that)... but what there is is quite sweet, and quite touching towards the end.
Both Jim Carrey and Steve Carell turn in quite good performances... perhaps somewhat understated... but that could just be that they had multiple takes to use and they chose some of the subtler ones, or it's just the use of the voice and not the visual that makes it feel that way.
Actually my favourite character had almost no lines at all... Jojo, son of the Mayor of Whoville... who's all grey and black and floppy haired and just all around EmoWho... the animators really do a great job of putting across his personality without any dialog.
There were a couple of really good moments (and a somewhat weird one at the end involving a song that just comes out of nowhere)... but I have to say that the traditional 2D animated "Japanimation Horton" section was pretty damn amusing... and the very brief use of original Suess style drawing in another one of Horton's daydreams was a nice touch.
It's a sweet movie, with a good message, but I don't think it's going to light the world on fire.
yani's rating: 7 Whoville Mayors out of 10