Film: 'Horton Hears A Who'; Voices of Jim Carrey, Steve Carrell, Carol Burnett; Director: Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino
Dr Seuss' children's fantasy is turned into a sassy fast-talking clever and consciously conscientious take on respecting human space by a directorial duo who knows how to turn the spotlights on an issue through animation rituals without making the product look overly formulistic.
There have been a string of strongly contented animation films propounding ecological preservation in a parody tongue.
What makes 'Horton Hears A Who' slightly special is the importance and grandiosity attached in the plot.
You may be small, but your space needs to be respected. That is this well-constructed clever, witty and wise film's advice. The protagonist is a white elephant named Horton, who hears a 'Who' - 'Who' being a native of a minuscule township that exists in a speck that Horton holds in his hand.
The themes of nurturing and preserving are neatly and cleverly knitted into the animated plot. While the elephant's tusk... er task is made easier through Jim Carrey's outstanding dubbing, the other protagonist namely the Mayor of Who with his 97 exuberant daughters, one sullen son (there's a message here on the way we look at the question of family planning) and quarrelling, conniving colleagues at the workplace who believe their honeymoon with happiness can never end, is portrayed with contagious warmth and sincerity.
This Mayor is a dude.
The evil forces trying to disrupt the bonding between the elephant and the civilisation within the speck - don't miss the implicit debate on size and space inherent in the two protagonist's physical dimensions - are interestingly patterned to represent the cult of intolerance.
Seasoned actress Carol Burnett gives a mean shrewish and wily voice to the ironically portrayed kangaroo mother, who's protective towards her son in her pouch, but determined to destroy the speck, that houses hundreds.
Like several notable animation films in recent times 'Horton Hears A Who' conveys lingering layers of meanings on human psychology and emotions without losing a lightness of touch.
You could watch it for the sheer expertise with which the wit governs the graphics. Or go deeper down to dig out the message about how we need to re-'speck' all living creatures.
Size matters, yes. But not in the way we thought so far.