STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RATED: Not Rated
25 minutes
• Bonus Stories

• Documentary

• Sing-Along/Music Video

The Pitch

Chuck Jones teaches us all about microcosms.

The Humans

Hans Conried, Thurl Ravenscroft and June Foray

The Nutshell

Dr. Seuss would be eaten alive, if he was just starting out in the modern era. Every right-winger with an axe to grind would tear apart The LoraxThe Butter Battle Book and Horton Hears a Who. The only reason that such tales slipped between the cracks was because of an indifference to simple kiddie tales. What the mainstream didn’t realize was how pleasantly subversive these works were. When Chuck Jones and other animators took these tales to the small screen, we were given a chance to reapproach them.

Who wants a trunk-job?

The Lowdown

In the jungle, there once dwelt an elephant named Horton. He went on a trek with a local flower field where he heard a voice calling out to him. Plucking one of the flowers, he held close to his ears. A tiny civilization was growing in the flower and calling out to not be destroyed. Horton is thrilled with his new discovery, so he takes it to the other animals in the jungle. Everyone but the Kangaroo doesn’t know what to do with it. That’s when the Marsupial steps in as the voice of reason.

Carol Burnett? Pfft…I piss in her general direction.

The Kangaroo finds this new lifeform to be below her standard. It can’t be real. If it’s real, then it’s an abomination. The local monkeys want to kill it, while the other animals want to follow the Kangaroo’s advice. Horton is horrified by what he’s hearing. Who will speak up for these tiny defenseless creatures that only Horton can hear plead for help?

Chuck Jones and Dr. Seuss make great work out of a question of morality. Hell, who really asks moral questions of children anymore? It’s either Pokemon or collectible card games and nothing else. There’s a really important message here about standing behind what you believe and fighting against your rivals. There’s no real resolution other than the Deus Ex Machina that comes out just before the half-hour finale marker.

Atom Ant bukkake party.

Horton’s Blu-Ray debut also comes with a handful of animated shorts to balance out the release. The two bonus shorts Butter Battle Book and Daisy-Head Mayzie seem to be displayed at HD level quality. But, I can’t quite tell since so much of the source material seems to have degraded. If you’re expecting the same level of deep blues and high quality visuals as the feature, then you’re out of luck. The accompanying documentary is still presented in 480p, which is to be expected as it would make no sense for Warner Brothers to revisit a 1990s one-off television special.

Horton discovers Opium.

Horton Hears a Who was a better book than the Grinch. Yet, something gets lost in translation as Chuck Jones tries to get the same feel of the Seuss tale onscreen. When dwelling on emotional/moral underpinnings, you create a product that might streak past the thirty minute marker. Being pushed to the limit, the production runs at insane speed to be everything to everyone. The result is less than stellar, but an experience that will reside in the windmills of your mind. I’d still wait for the release to be priced a little under fifteen dollars before making a purchase.

Genocide is much harder to perpetrate when the non-desirables sound like Rocky the Flying Squirrel.

The Package

Horton Hears a Who comes to Blu-Ray with almost all of the special features from the Special Edition DVD. But, Bob Clampett’s first Horton adaptation was axed for reasons that remain unclear. The TNT documentary about Dr. Seuss was included, alongside The Butter Battle Book and Daisy-Head Mayzie. The 1080 transfer shows off the animation in a new brighter light. Plus, the audio is only Dolby 2.0 surround. What did you need? Dolby TrueHD on a cartoon from the 1960s?

7.1 out of 10