Horton Hears a Who – Nostalgia Critic

The Dr. Seuss movies have been pretty bad, but this one is said to be the…least bad. Are people right? NC takes a look at Horton Hears a Who.

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

72 comments

  1. Blaze The Movie Fan

    Great video as always.

  2. I had no idea people considered…. Whatever this is, good.

  3. I guess it’s not difficult for this one to be considered good Dr. Seuss movie when others are bottom of the barrel. But did Doug really make fun of atheists when it’s religious nutters that most of time are ones that get offended by everything (non-existent war on Christmas anyone?). Talk about making fun of wrong group for one unfunny joke.

    • As an agnostic atheist myself, I can confirm that gnostic atheists are just as unbearably condescending and dogmatic as the fundamentalist Christians they fight.

      Terminology explanation
      Agnostic atheism = Belief in the non-existence of god or gods, but acceptance of the fact that it is impossible to know for certain.
      Gnostic atheism = Belief in the non-existence of god or gods, and belief that this can be scientifically proven.

      • I agree with that point, just clarify:

        Atheism is indifferent about God/gods. People who specifically believe (I stress BELIEVE) that God/gods don’t exist are called Antitheist and could be considered as own religion. Even if term “Gnostic Atheism” isn’t incorrect in context, because there is a real ancient sect of Gnostic, it is preferred to call those people Antithesis. Similarly with Theist and Non-Theist (religions don’t focused on deities like Buddhism or Confucianism).

        PS: I’m Theist Agnostic myself. In short I believe in something what could be called God, but otherwise consider religious knowledge as bullshit.

    • You kind of stepped on your own point with this comment

    • No, Doug was pointing out how the evil Kangaroo character was the proxy atheist for the movie to vilify until they’re forced to believe in whatever.

      Similarly, the politicians in the village were supposed to be the elites who don’t believe in a higher power until Santa Christ or whatever reveals itself and shows them how foolish they are.

      Yeah, this movie paints non-subscribers to a religion in a bad light… when you see the townsfolk laugh when the Mayor says it’s a giant elephant in the sky, and he’s invisible (rather than say you can’t see him).

      Pretty sanctimonious, actually.

    • It goes both ways, really.

  4. Not gonna lie, I enjoyed this movie for what its worth, despite how flawed most of this movie was. Even today, that anime scene was practically unnecessary for how bonkers it was (aka BIG LIPPED ALLIGATOR MOMENT).

  5. Minion of Yahtzee

    Jojo? Ok NOW the anime references in this movie make sense. I’m betting his Stand’s name is I’m a Punk.

    • No, the name Jojo was from Dr. Suess’ book. There was a mayor of Whoville and a Who kid named Jojo, but they weren’t related, and in the book Jojo wasn’t an emo teen, he was just some random kid in Whoville who saved the day by shouting “Yob!”

  6. I still love the Grinch movie, I still hate the Cat in the Hat movie, I haven’t seen the Lorax movie, and I still plan on seeing the upcoming animated Grinch movie.

    • lilith_ascennding

      Yeah, the Grinch movie gets a lot of flack when it’s actually not insufferable. I mean, the classic Boris Karloff cartoon version is far superior but the live action Grinch had some heart. As for the Lorax, it’s not really worth it. I mean, Danny Devito, Ed Helms, and Rob Riggle give passable performances as the Lorax, the Onceler, and the main villain respectively and the songs are surprisingly really good, but that’s really about it. You can just look up on the songs on YouTube and see the more memorable parts of the film.

  7. I would love to see a Seuss adaption with animation like the first hand drawn clip. And why are 95% of American anime parodies always done by people who clearly haven’t watched anime since the original “Speed Racer”?

    • Because they haven’t. The people in charge in Hollywood are mostly 40-60 year old men who were already adults when the 90’s anime craze hit.
      Give it another 15-20 years and we might start seeing good live action anime movies once the people in charge are people who grew up during the anime boom.

      • Technically we have already good enough anime adaptations.

        Yes, hardcore anime fanboys complain but despite what elitist say Death Note was good enough for Hollywood adaptation and by design only similar, not same story. Two major flaws of GitS were that they chopped two good plot point in one cliched and dozen minor stylistic choices pandering to Blade Runner instead more modern Cyber Punk of original. But otherwise was passable despite ridiculous SJW affair about making character who has cyborg with unknown origin, a white (seriously?). Upcoming Battle Angel Alita despite weird anime eyes look like possibly first good anime adaptation (just don’t make those eyes in future.. even anime don’t look like that anymore)

        Akira was ridiculous idea so it is good that it was stopped as no one care about that movie what was relevant only in context of 80’s animation gettho. And what shit we can say about Dragon Ball Evolution and Wachowski Speed Racer they were first attempts to make unknown formula and we see steady improvement in quality over time.

        Ironically largest issue with that wave is fact that most current anime is moe and fan-service trash. And maybe only few series is worth of adaptation.

        • I completely agree. I loved Death Note anime and really liked the movie as well. I personally prefer that when they adapt anything they make changes, to take advantage of another medium, compensate for the lower run time and giving fans of the source material an alternate story to enjoy. Sadly, a lot of fans get in their own way and find problems no matter what.

      • lilith_ascennding

        I’ve heard the Gintama live action movie was good. Same with the Rurouni Kenshin one. Though, those two are from Japan.

  8. the ending with the Kangaroo “reforming” ruined this movie for me. the creators said it was in the spirit of Dr. Seuss since he “wasn’t in the comeuppance business.” but the Kangaroo from the book wasn’t a psychopath who tried to sell her son for food and tried to kill the Whos even after they were proved to be real. sometimes, you HAVE to show a villain getting their comeuppance and to NEVER show is a horrible and dangerous thing to teach to kids.

    • Don’t you ever get tired of saying the same things over and over again?

      • To clarify, you are, of course, entitled to your own opinion(s), but it’s not necessary to give your thoughts about villains and human/animal sex *every single time* someone brings up the subject. We’ve heard all this before, so we already know how you feel about this. Repetition adds nothing worthwhile to the discussion, and it’s redundant if you’re not going to say anything new.

        • and I only talk about fictional talking and/or humanoid animals, stop implying I am a zoophile who advocates sex with animals in real life.

          • Um…no one was talking about the animal thing, homeboy. YOU’RE the only one who keeps trying to resurrect that discussion. You couldn’t have missed my point any harder if it flew over your head with a stealth jet.

            This is precisely what I was talking about; yeah, you can have your opinion, but if you only have ONE opinion and have already stated that opinion ONCE, then it’s not necessary to reiterate said point over and over and over again! State you point once, not dozens of times!

            Once again: My issue with people like you isn’t that you have an opinion. It’s that you don’t respect any other opinion that differs from your own. Whenever someone offers a contrasting opinion, you feel the to condescend to them, and lecture them non-stop about how your opinion has to be the correct and that your opinion must be the only valid one. Believe whatever you choose, but acknowledge that yours ISN’T the opinion, nor is is anyone else’s opinion any less valid just because you disagree with them.

            We get it. We know how you feel about good and evil. We know how you feel about fictional characters having sex with anthropomorphic animals. You’ve said ALL of this before, many, many time before, and we get it. You’re beating a dead horse at this point!

            How about if once, “*just once*, you would just allow someone else to disagree with you and not write a two paragraph reply to that person in a desperate attempt to validate your opinion? Sometimes, you can just walk away and not get up on a soapbox and lecture someone until they’re ready to shoot themselves in the head just to get some peace.

            Bottom line: You need to start respecting other peoples’ opinions before any one else will ever respect yours.

          • And also, since you insist on bringing up the animal sex thing, the more you insist on denying that you’re a furry, the more desperate and guilty you come off. I don’t get why you can’t see that. If you’re truly secure with who you are and what you are, then it shouldn’t matter to you what anyone else thinks. And if you’re really comfortable with yourself and what you like, then I challenge you to *not comment about bestiality any more ever again*! The ball is in your court, Chester. Let’s see if you’re up to the challenge.

    • The Real Silverstar

      Cartoon.
      Made up.
      Not real.
      Get a life.

      -Seriously, if you really must get up on a soapbox over a cartoon, at least cry over a good one that people actually saw.

      • no, this is symptomatic of a larger problem in kids’ media. telling kids that everyone has good in them and everyone can change, they might get themselves or others hurt when they come across a truly evil individual. like those far to idealistic politicians who try to nagotiate with terrorists.

        • The Real Silverstar

          Man. What did your parents do to you?

          To quote Buzz Lightyear: “You are one sad, sad little man”.

          • The Real Silverstar

            And don’t, I repeat, DO NOT respond to this because I am REALLY getting sick of reading your holier-than-thou, way too serious, repetitive bullshit about fun pieces of fiction like they’re life and death. I wish we could block people here ’cause I would LOVE to never have to read one of your dumbass comments ever again.

            Either get a sense of humor or put the shut to the up.

    • What movie did you watch, because it clearly wasn’t Horton Hears A Who. While the kangaroo was indeed a nasty antagonist she did NOT try to sell her son for food nor did she try to destroy the Whos once it was proven they were real.

  9. I feel like the anime scene is blown out of proportion. It’s just a one minute scene wherein Horton imagines himself a hero. Sure it has nothing to do with Seuss but sometimes things are put in just to have a small little laugh.

    • Regardless, the scene’s presence negatively impacts the coherency of the movie’s structure, even if by only a small amount. On the flipside, nothing would be lost if it were cut. So strictly speaking, it would have helped the finished product to have it removed.

    • Well, that and I have heard there was a legitimate reason this scene was in the film and it wasn’t just there for the heck of it. As it so happens, the original story was made to reflect a time when Dr. Seuss saw the Japanese the same way everyone else did until he actually went to Japan and saw that they weren’t that much different from everyone else. So in a sense, Horton’s overall theme was a way of apologizing for all the anti-Japan propaganda he used to make in the early 40’s. He even dedicated the book to Mitsugi Nakamura who helped him travel to various Japanese schools and get to know the students. In other words, the film makers felt like they had to have a reference to Japanese culture simply because it was the Japanese who inspired the original source material. Not sure if I consider that a good reason, but yeah, the anime parody wasn’t as out-of-nowhere as many think it was.

    • First off, it’s a parody of anime by people that don’t understand or have ever watched anime, for people that never saw anime, but saw other parodies of anime and this was like those.

  10. This movie and The Lorax are really the only Seuss movies I found myself enjoying, The Grinch and The Cat In The Hat are the kind of movies I watch when there’s nothing else on, mainly mindless entertainment.

  11. Hey Nostalgia Critic, can you check out “The Secret Of Kells”? It’s an Irish film that has 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. And maybe talk about “Mary & the witch’s flower”.

    • Considering he has mentioned that he’s seen Song of the Sea, I’m assuming he might have actually seen Secret of Kells at some point. The only problem is I’m not exactly sure how he’d be able to fit that film into a Nostalgia Critic episode. Maybe a personal top 10 foreign animated films list or something like that assuming he considers it list-worthy, but otherwise, the only way I could see him talking about that film if he has seen it is if he mentions it in a Vlog for whatever reason or something like that.

      • The thing is that Song of the Sea is great, when The Secret Of Kells have huge narrative issues so ironically it fit NC formula as example of misinterpreting artism with quality. For the note story literally lead to nowhere and fact that one of support cast of Christian priciest is a Sidhe. Seriously WTF? Not that she isn’t best part of this stoy, but still WTF?

    • You should become a patron or contribute to one of the charities mentioned after the videos if you want to make requests. Producers don’t generally take fans’ requests for free.

  12. Yeah I never saw it the whole way through but I remember walking in on parts on it and thinking it seemed very adequate.

  13. Wait you didn’t like Bruce Almighty?!

  14. 1:46 ha it’s funny cause that’s like exactly what it is!!!!

  15. This movie is so painful I have to keep pausing the review

  16. Everything I hate about this movie without ever having seen it:

    1) Jim Carey
    2) Another Dr. Seuss movie where Jim Carey ad-libs in his unfunny attempt to copy Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice and Robin Williams from Aladdin that he built his career on.
    3) Random dated references. I first noticed this in Shrek, then in all these crappy CG animated movies.
    4) Anime parody done by people that never watched anime, for people that never watched anime.
    5) Sanctimonious feel-good promotion of organized religion by way of vilifying atheists.

    • I dunno, I’m pretty sure that just because there are comedians that predate Jim Carrey with a similar style, that doesn’t mean he’s ripping them off. That’s like saying Kevin Heart’s a rip-off of Chris Tucker

      It’s more like a dated parody of anime, considering the line delivery and the audio not syncing up with the lip flaps. This kind of parody’s a bit more common than you might think.

      And yeah, when you look at a movie from the past that makes a reference to something… being dated is guaranteed.

      As for dumping on atheism… while the Kangaroo doesn’t believe in their world being a speck anymore than the speck itself being its own world, I’d say that’s more attributed to closed-mindedness than it does atheism. I mean, I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that atheism doesn’t disapprove of Multiverse Theory. And politicians gonna politicize; they’re lyin’, so they criticize.

      • I don’t think Kevin Hart rips off Chris Tucker….anyway…

        NEVER! I will never renounce my belief that Jim Carrey isn’t original, and was never more than a mediocre actor. He caught the zeitgeist of the times, and he was the silly guy you could slap in a silly movie, he’s likable so he got tossed some choice roles, and so he became a big star.

        In real life he seems nice, and I have nothing bad to say about him outside of his acting and comedy, both of which I find to be lacking.

    • Honore de Ballsack

      I pretty much agree with you except I liked Shrek (at least the first Shrek movie)

  17. I thought you said you weren’t going to review this.

  18. I love these retro types of reviews. I’ve never seen this movie but it looks like I’m not missing out on much.

  19. Huh… When that ugly thing walked backwards to bushes, am I the only one who thought Homer doing the same thing in The Simpsons?

  20. The anime scene looks like something a guy who has never seen anime before (only heard about it from behind closed doors) would think anime looks like when he wrote it.

    I.E. too many silly Speed Racer/Kawaii Desu animations and speech.

    • Exactly!

      It’s an anime parody for people who might have seen a clip of a Japanese cartoon from the 60s and 70s or only seen other anime parodies.

      The lack of detailed, painted backgrounds especially stands out, because anime tend to have amazing background art. Also, the style they go with just looks poorly designed.

  21. In the scene with the vulture and the mother, I don’t think either of them broke character. I think the moment actually works really well because they are both entirely in character.

    The mother always wants to seem like she is in control. So if someone makes her an offer, she won’t intentionally show her true emotions on it. Saying “Mother is thinking it over” means that she was already going to refuse, but she was thinking of a way out of it in a dignified manner. She wants the appearance of dignity and control.

    The vulture didn’t break character, because he is trying to be scarier than he really is. He probably assumed that she would refuse immediately, and the fact that she didn’t comes as a bit of a surprise. Both characters are putting up a face that doesn’t quite reflect their real personalities. The mother actually cares for the kid, and the vulture isn’t as evil as he lets on.

    • I can buy this explanation. It’s a very “Carol Burnett” joke regardless, with her delivery (intended to shock for a moment). Ironically, it was the only in-movie joke shown in this review that remotely worked for me.

      But I’d probably also have to see it in context to get a better feel for whether it really splatted or not.

  22. ….yeah, I still think the Grinch movie is good.

  23. I don’t care what people say about that anime but (and neither do the filmmakers in the commentary, for that matter); I thought it was pretty amusing.

    And I do agree, that joke about “jumping out from somewhere” was pretty funny.

    Another point to add to the movie; it’s the ONLY Dr. Seuss movie to be rated G as of now. All the others are PG.

    And I don’t really care if the humor everywhere else is all over the place… I was still amused by how hard they were trying to get a laugh. I didn’t even get the reference Horton made when he was hit by bananas in slow-motion, but his voice was too funny for me not to laugh at.

    So, yeah, this movie at least tried, and got about 90% of the book on point, while everything else was dragged out and trying to aim at several demographics. But I do agree it’s not nearly as painful.

    Also, I knew the NC was gonna review this movie at some point. Even when he said he wouldn’t, I imagined him doing a mini review of it to see if it were as “good” as people say it is.

  24. So another Dr seuss Movie is getting butchered #Sad

  25. Ah, you’re back to charities! Come on, it has a 79% on RottenTomatoes! It came right after “The Cat In The Hat” which was the worst! I enjoyed it! Well, I guess for you it’s like “Revenge Of The Sith”. Come on, those movies are good enough!

  26. Was Myspace still a thing in 2008?

  27. lilith_ascennding

    I loved this movie when it came out ( I was probably around 14 or 13) and I remember quoting it with my family a lot. I haven’t watched it in years but watching this review, it feels like it hasn’t lost all of its magic. It might be a little cringey in places, but it still seems pretty funny. Also, I personally found the anime joke hilarious, but I also watch a lot of anime so I can relate to the tropes they’re parodying.

  28. Honore de Ballsack

    I’ve seen two animated short versions of Horton that were both a lot closer to the book than this.

  29. I haven’t seen this but based on the review, I get the impression you can’t really adapt a Dr. Seuss storybook into a slick looking big budget Hollywood feature film. Something is lost in translation, the charm maybe?

    • Have you seen the Peanuts movie?

      I think that’s about as close to a faithful adaptation of a beloved Children’s property from the past as we’ve gotten so far. It never breaks from the spirit of Charles Schultz.

      Certainly not something you would expect back in the “we’ve run out of ideas, just remake everything but loud and obnoxious” 2000’s and early 2010s

      • I haven’t seen Peanuts, but I hear good things. Of course there’s always an exception to the rule, and I think it’s largely to do with the people creating the adaptation having actual reverence and passion for the source material. Unfortunately, that seldom seems to be the case, most of these remakes come off as soulless products.

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