Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who
by Phil Boatwright

The animated TV classic, a Peabody Award-winner, is now on DVD.  And what a treasure!  This isn’t just for kids.  Genius animator Chuck Jones, who gave us everything good from the Warner Bros. cartoon department, matches the artistry and inspiration found in the author’s book.  Horton Hears A Who magically captivates young and old.

The metaphorical tale concerns a sweet-natured elephant by the name Horton, who hears a cry for help coming from a tiny speck of dust floating through the air.  Suspecting there may be life on that speck and despite a surrounding community that thinks he has lost his mind, Horton is determined to help.

I can only hope that the movie version soon to be released will have a smidgen of the same charm and poignancy found in this gentle made-for-TV version.  The remastered DVD is to be released March 4, 2008 and contains three bonus episodes from the Best of Dr. Seuss, including Butter Battle Book, Daisy-Head Mayzie and Horton Hatches the Egg!  Also included: a kid-friendly sing-a-long music video and an Emmy nominated 90-minute documentary hosted by actress Kathy Najimy.  The film tells the story of Dr. Seuss’ life through celebrity skits, music and animated clips from his best-loved stories.

The plan is to give my copy to my nephews and niece.  Truth be told, I’m going to hate letting go.

Through the high jungle tree tops, the news quickly spread:
“He talks to a dust speck! He’s out of his head!
Just look at him walk with that speck on the flower!”
And Horton walked, worrying, almost an hour.
“Should I put this speck down?…” Horton though with alarm.
“If I do, these small persons may come to great harm.
I can’t put it down. And I won’t! After all
A person’s a person. No matter how small.”

Then Horton stopped walking.
The speck-voice was talking!
The voice was so faint he could just barely hear it.
“Speak up, please,” said Horton. He put his ear near it.

“My friend,” came the voice, “you’re a very fine friend.
You’ve helped all us folks on this dust speck no end.
You’ve saved all our houses, our ceilings and floors.
You’ve saved all our churches and grocery stores.”

“You mean…” Horton gasped, “you have buildings there, too?”

“Oh, yes,” piped the voice. “We most certainly do…
“I know,” called the voice, “I’m too small to be seen
But I’m Mayor of a town that is friendly and clean.
Our buildings, to you, would seem terribly small
But to us, who aren’t big, they are wonderfully tall.
My town is called Who-ville, for I am a Who
And we Whos are all thankful and grateful to you.”

Are you ever too old for that?