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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - January, 2010

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"Horton Hears a Who!" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

movies-january-2010-horton-hears-a-who

Synopsis

While sitting in the jungle one day, Horton the elephant hears a tiny cry for help.  Using his highly-tuned hearing, Horton realizes that the whisper of a voice is emanating from a speck of dust floating on the breeze.

He captures the speck and strikes up a conversation with the microscopic Dr. Who-Vee, who tells Horton that a whole world of beings lives on the tiny ball of dust.  Horton then makes a vow to protect the world of Whos from all dangers because "A person is a person, no matter how small."

Specifications

  • Warner Brothers
  • 1970, Color, Not Rated, 26 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not listed
  • English 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • Starring Hans Conried, June Foray, and Chuck Jones
  • Directed by Chuck Jones and Ben Washam
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: None
  • Sex: None
  • Language: None

Commentary

“Horton Hears a Who” is a classic story with a wonderful moral message.  Chuck Jones’ animation is excellent, just like the other Dr. Seuss stories that were made into cartoon specials.  Overall, I don’t think Horton is as tight of a story as “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or “The Lorax,” but it should be mandatory viewing for families nonetheless.  While I now realize that the musical numbers are little more than filler to stretch the film’s length, watching this movie again brought back some fond childhood memories.

Technical

While I think it is great that classics such as this are being brought to Blu-ray, I wish that Warner Brothers would have spent some time on a proper restoration.   The 1.37:1 image could really use an overhaul, with massive color fluctuation from frame to frame.  Brightness and contrast changes with each individual cell as well.  This is a shame because the picture is sharp.   After seeing the job that Disney has done with some of their classic animation films (many of which have much older source material) I can only think how great this film could look with a little TLC.  If you already own the standard definition DVD, I don’t think that I would recommend the upgrade.  There is not much to say about the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack except that it is about what I expected, given the age of the source.

Extras

The packaging includes the Blu-ray disc as well as the DVD, plus a “Digital Copy” of the feature.  Also included are two extra cartoons; “Butter Battle Book” and “Daisy-Head Mayzie.”  There is also a sing-along video and a feature length story on the life of Dr. Seuss.