Since I got off for Spring Break last Friday, I've felt a little down. SVA's students have break a week earlier than the other schools, so all my friends will have off next week while I'll be going back. I've been extremely lonely & alone, even to the point where the closest thing that could cheer me up was to just walk around town in the cold for hours. Tonight, I went to the movies (alone) feeling down & the film actually cheered me up a bit. In the end, I walked out of the theater feeling satisfied & happier than when I went in.
Back to Blue Sky's Seuss: like I said, I was skeptical when the movie was first announced, but after seeing a maquette of Vlad the vulture & these two pictures of the Mayor of Whoville & Horton:
A lot of CG films like Madagascar tried to pull off the wacky, spontaneous actions you find in classic cartoons like squash & stretch & blur/streak effects, but they still come off as stiff & rigid characters. With Horton, they finally pulled it off, & flawlessly. The animation in Horton has some of the best CG animation I've ever seen, especially in the the animation of Vlad & the Mayor. After seeing the TV ad when the Mayor screams in agony over a stapler to the head, I knew as an animator that I was in for a treat. We eat that up like it was going out of style. & don't worry traditional animation fans, there's a few treats for you in there, too!
Now on to the voices: now when I think "Horton", I think of a timid yet lovable type, having a small voice but with big things to say. The Clampett Horton was too much of a "DUH...Which way did he go George..." type of voice, while Hans Conreid's voice for Chuck Jones' Horton was spot on. When I first saw/heard Jim Carrey going through his "funny hats" line in the teaser trailer, I thought that was a really bad move. The idea of Ace Ventura in an elephant suit freaking out all over the place was a really hard to think about. I thought somebody like Albert Brooks would play a better Horton than Jim Carrey.
But now after seeing the movie, I think Carrey's performance was perfect. He put a lot of heart into the role & that made the character extremely appealing & likable. & on top of that, Carrey himself is a die hard Seuss fan, so he knew what he was putting his voice to. Steve Carell & Carol Burnett's performances were great too. I'm usually not a fan of studios using big name actors as voices in animated films, but in this case I can make an exception. Blue Sky made the right choices in choosing the voice talent for the film. At times, you forget that they're Steve Carell or Jim Carrey.
I'm not the kind of person who really laughs at a movie & I could probably count the number of times a movie has made me laugh out loud with one hand, but this film did make me laugh out loud a few times. & if I laughed, then chances are every single person in the theater would be laughing twice as hard as I was twice the amount of time. Unlike a lot of films like Shrek, Horton doesn't have to stoop so low as to use pop-culture references or fart jokes to get a laugh (in fact, there's not a single fart joke throughout the entire movie, it's a freakin' miracle!). Sure, some jokes may be a bit lowbrow to some, but they aren't unbearable. & unlike Shrek, these jokes will not date the film. This film shall live on through the ages!
But as for Blue Sky's next planned Seuss film, Green Eggs & Ham, I don't quite know how they'll pull that one off. We'll see how that turns out a few years down the road.
*P.S.* Since I came back from the movies, I've drawn pages of Horton-themed sketches to help break apart the long stretch of words I had to say about the film. But my scanner here at home is on the fritz, so I can't post them. When I get back to SVA on Monday or Tuesday, I'll post them then. 'Til then, imagine how great they look between all those white letters!