Saturday, December 20, 2008

Horton Hears a Who - DVD

Jennifer reviewed Horton over at 5 Minutes for Books and this personal post about the movie pretty much exists to add three cheers to everything she already said about the film. Horton Hears a Who can go on record as being the first full-length film watched and enjoyed by our small family - our son being 2 years old.

Our son doesn't do scary movies and although we've attempted a few Disney Classics, we have found that anything dark in tone (colors) or sound (music) will be a sure flop. (Turning on The Jungle Book was one of the worst decisions we have ever made in terms of scarying our child senseless.) He gets too wrapped up in what he's watching. Thus far we have avoided movies but wanted to see Horton with or without him due to all of the positive press it has received. We decided to go ahead and watch this movie with our son based on Jennifer's recommendation and she will no doubt be glad to know that we were so glad we did! We laughed, hooted and hollered over this movie. It was funny. Very well done. The moment (and I do mean the very second) the movie was over, the kid looked over at us and asked, "Again!?" Horton was a hit!

The one and only bothersome thing in the entire movie is the dig against home schoolers. If you've followed this blog at all you know that both my husband and I were raised home schooled (and loved it!) and are planning on continuing "family tradition" (if you will) in that vein. So it was disappointing that the sour kangaroo in this film portrays home schooling so poorly. The situation is, at the beginning of the film, Horton is leading a bunch of creature children on a scientific romp through the jungle teaching them about leaf bugs. Kangaroo bounces in, sneering at how well loved Horton is and generally being as "sour" as the book portrays her to be. She makes a comment that the other kids are being misguided by Horton and are overly imaginative and pats her pouch loftily saying that her kid is "pouch schooled." That is the overt statement. The rest of the film Kangaroo is portrayed as being generally snobby and keeps telling her young joey that he needs to mind his own business and let her attend to all the adult affairs. The message was that home schoolers are prideful, snooty know-it-alls. (Yes, you probably do know some home schoolers like that. I know some non-home schoolers that are like that so, you see, it does work both ways. It's not about position so much as it is about personality. It's not worth arguing about, really . . .)

I don't want to get into an argument over schooling options and I sincerely wish that the movie hadn't raised any. I think Kangaroo was used to cast home schooling parents in a negative light which is indeed unfortunate. It did get my back up at the beginning of the film and I was wondering where the film makers were going to go with it. However! That one sentence was really all there was to it and nothing else was really said in reference to home schooling. It was the statement that left the bad aftertaste but you could choose to ignore it and enjoy the movie if you wanted to. I wanted to and so we moved on.

Yes, it is bothersome and yes, as a home schooler, you'd probably want to know that that sentence is in there. However! It IS an enjoyable movie. It is funny. It is clean. It is cleverly done and is bright and colorful to boot! It sparks imagination and it isn't intense and scary. We LIKED this movie - a lot! So I'm with Jennifer - if you want a relaxing film to enjoy during the holiday downtime, Horton Hears a Who is a winner!


Rachelle said...

Strangely, my X-Box playing son thought Horton "too scary." Hmmm....

~teachmom~ said...

We saw it in the theaters and I recall the homeschooling statement. It was a shame it was even mentioned...didn't need to be, IMO. But, like you, we went on and were able to enjoy the movie. Our eldest daughter bought the movie for our youngest for Christmas...she will be really excited I think! :)

Carrie, Here's praying you have a very Merry CHRISTmas! :)

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