Monday, January 21, 2019
HORTON HEARS A WHO is my favorite Dr.Seuss movie, not only fun to watch but it is based on a true story you won't believe.
Horton Hears A Who is Theodore Geisel's most poignant book/movie. Even if you have seen the movie (or read the book to your children) you should watch it again because Dr. Seuss (as he is known) was much more than an entertainer of children. He was a sage.
As an author, he was rejected by publishers 29 times before his first of 49 books, And I Think I saw it on Mulberry Street, which was published in 1936. Horton Hears A Who, published in 1954, is based on a true story--only perceived in his time without evidence--as you will see.
Remember how that story goes?
A speck of dust on a clover leaf is dislodged by the wind and drifts leisurely over a lagoon in the jungle where Horton, an eccentric, nature loving elephant is taking an afternoon dip. As the windblown speck wafts past Horton, he hears a tiny 'yelp' and believes it came from that speck of dust. He scrambles to catch the leaf before it hits the water.
He discovers that the tiny speck houses the microscopic city of Whoville and all it's inhabitants, including Mayor Ned McDodd and wife Sally and 96 daughters (don't ask... it's a cartoon, right?) whose names all begin with the letter H and his only only son, JoJo, who is destined, against his will, to be the next mayor, as Horton learns.
Horton continues to carry the cloverleaf causing the microscopic town of Whoville to experience earthquakes and weather changes that they can't explain. Sadly, the animals in Horton's jungle think Horton is either lying or delusional and that there is no Whoville. Horton is asked to stop talking so foolishly. Of course, Horton becomes more adament that Whoville exists and needs help.
All of Whoville are distressed, convinced their world will be destroyed. There are attempts by Whoville residents to be heard and believed but their efforts to signal others all fail.
It gets ugly in Horton's world as all the animals try to get him to stop. Finally, Vlad, the vulture, learns where Horton has hidden the clover leaf, steals it and drops it into a vast field of clover leafs.
Horton is mortified and desperately tries to find Whoville among all the clover leafs, going through every one of them until, on exactly the 3,000,000th clover, he finds it.
The animals all cage Horton and make him watch as the speck of dust on the clover leaf known as Whoville, is dropped into a vat of boiling liquid to settle the issue once and for all.
With all the drama that is happening in Whoville and the realization that Horton and all the residents on the clover leaf have failed, JoJo blows his horn, an instrument he was forbidden to use if he were to become mayor, AND IS HEARD by all the animals. At the last second, Vlad flies to intercept the leaf just before it is destroyed.
The story is rich in characters, both on Whoville's clover leaf and in the Jungle to play this drama play out to the last possible second. And what movie have you seen lately that stars Jim Carrey. Steve Corelle. Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Seth Rogan, Jena Fisher, Jonah Hill, Charles Osgood and more? Horton Hears A Who scored 79 on Rotten Tomatoes, but you must see it yourself to fully enjoy. It is a melodramatic nail-biter that will have you on the edge of your seat (except that I have perhaps, spoiled the ending.) It still feels good.
So now, what's this true story it tells?
Well, take a look t this:
This is an actual photo of our Earth and Moon taken from 71 million miles away. NO, NOT THE BIG WHITE ROUND THING IN THE UPPER RIGHT CORNER, that little teensy dot near the lower left... and the even tinier dot, if you can see it, is our moon!
So friends, We are Whoville, our earth is the clover leaf and only God knows if we can make a noise loud enough to be heard to save ourselves. So who's the big shot now? We're not even the 'flick of a finger.' Will we ever learn that we control nothing but ourselves and often, not even that.
*Nice Going D. Seuss. You've don it again and it took us 38 years years after your death to snap the picture,
* the large white object is Bennu, an asteroid only 27 miles distant from the rocket we sent into orbit around the asteroid. Some feat, yea? Now all we have to do is continue to evolve in a peaceful way instead of learning the technology to destroy ourselves with a push of a button. In the meanwhile, couldn't we be nicer to one another for a greater reason?