A Parent’s Guide to Horton Hears a Who (Movie)

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Dr. Seusse’s Horton Hears a Who by Bob Gordon and Bruce Anderson (Producers) and Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (Directors)

Type: Cartoon

Basic Plot: Horton has found a tiny speck that has a city on it, though all of his friends believe he is a liar. Likewise, the mayor of the town has found out about Horton and is facing similar problems.


Plot: 3/5 Average: Though the plot was cheesy and goofy in some ways, it was not cliché. There was no teen or child rebel (which I am very thankful for). There is no self discovery journey. There are no “I misunderstood you” speeches. It was a relief. The story was not overly unique but it was more creative than the average movie for children these days. Some of the humor was probably the most creative part of the story, though there was slapstick humor for children.

Graphics: 3/5 Average: The graphics were not out-of-this-world, amazing, but they were not unpleasant to watch. Details were lacking in comparison to newer movies but not bad quality. Hair, fur, and feathers were the best detailed features.

Moral: 3½/5 A Good Moral: The moral of this movie could easily be applied to the Christian life in several ways yet also not apply in a few others. Horton’s belief in something that you “can’t see or hear or feel” is mocked by his friend and hated by his enemies. Several characters tell him that it’s fine if he wants to have a speck city as long as he doesn’t ever tell anyone or say anything about it. He is also told that he will be well treated if he denies Who-ville’s existence. Similar things are told to the mayor of Who-ville. Throughout a majority of the movie, Horton refuses to deny the existence of Whoville, even when threatened to be locked away. This could easily be applied to Christianity, as many people believe that Christians should be able to believe what they want, they just need to not “impose” their faith on others. We should be like Horton who says, “I meant what I said, I said what I meant, I mean what I said, one hundred percent!” One should be careful before telling their children this is the main moral of the movie though. Some children may think that if they stay a Christian, eventually everyone will agree with and believe him, as everyone does with Horton at the end of the movie. This is not true, as the Bible does say, John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” Another misconception a child may develop is that God is just as silly as the idea of Who-ville or a giant, invisible elephant, and they may grow up believing God is as much as a fairytale as the Cat in the Hat. In conclusion, good things could come from the moral of this movie, and overall I recommend it, but be careful in explaining the moral to children so that they do not form any false ideas.

Overall: 3/5 Average: I recommend this movie in quality to families and children, specifically twelve and younger.

Moral Content

Official Rating: G

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: ½/5 Slightly Inappropriate Content: An elephant is hit on the bottom with a branch and has a large sore there. Characters shake their butt to the music at least once. A man is shown in a bathtub.

Violence: 1/5 Light Cartoon Violence: A man makes shooting motions with his hands. A monkey bites another monkey’s tail. Monkeys attack an elephant with bananas, though no one gets hurt. Characters punch the air. A vulture attacks an elephant with its claws. A man grabs another man by the neck and shakes him. A man and a mouse are run over. A kangaroo pokes an elephant in the face. A man is worried about being crushed by a chandelier. A man gets stapled in the head twice and partially crushed against his porch with furniture. A person accidentally slaps some people, and a person kicks somebody. A man is booted out of a room. An elephant is poked with sticks. An elephant imagines he can do lightning attacks and karate, and attacks monkeys and a tree. Violence is mentioned briefly in conversation.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5 None

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1/5 Light Possibly Disturbing Content: A man gets watered sprayed in his eye and a shot in his armed, both on accident. Characters wish to destroy a city that they believe does not exist and attempt to do so by boiling it. A vulture describes the supposed violence he had against an elephant. An elephant refers to the jungles as a “house of death.” Characters scream, and tears are in a character’s eyes once. A goldfish is presumed dead, but it was only unconscious. Animals take an elephant and tie him and put him in a cage.

Religious Issues: ½/5 Slight Mention: A girl says she has an imaginary world where everyone worships a queen that is coincidentally named after her. A vulture attacks a character and can be considered scary by some.

Magic: ½/5 Brief Mention: An elephant imagines he and a mouse can use lightning karate powers and travel with lightning.

Others: A man wears a punk/rock outfit. The characters sing a little bit of a rock song at the end of the movie. Some hiphop music is played once. A picture shows a painting of a guy in a ballet dress. A guy once refers to a girl as “bro.”

Overall: 1/5 All Ages Appropriate: I would say that almost anyone of any age could watch this, as most if not all of the violence is done in a slapstick manner, and most things that would disturb younger people would be seen humorously by children and adults. Babies and toddlers may find the vulture scary, but other than that, it is recommendable.


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