Saturday March 29, 2008

According to a reviewer on this Christian Web site, most people who see the new movie “Horton Hears a Who” knows the story of Horton the Elephant. Well, I must admit that I didn’t. I don’t know if I just wasn’t raised on Dr. Suess or what, but I had never even heard of the book until the movie came out. Heck, I didn’t even remember reading “Green Eggs and Ham” until I was in high school.

But I digress. John and I went last weekend to see this wonderful big-screen adaptation of what is apparently a Suess favorite.

It was fantastic, we loved it. The funny thing is, it’s supposed to be a kid’s movie but I’m pretty sure there wasn’t anyone under the age 18 in that theater. I was going to write my own synopsis, but the guy on the Web site did it so well that I’ll quote him here:

“Horton (voice of Jim Carrey) lives in the land of Nool. During a peaceful afternoon, a speck of dust floats by and Horton hears a scream. Horton decides he is going to protect this speck of dust because there has to be some life on that dust that made that scream. During this entire movie, Kangaroo (Carol Burnett) goal is to stop Horton from his foolish behavior. She thinks that he is warping the children’s minds with his foolish beliefs and anarchy will result.

“Horton and the Mayor of Who-ville (Steve Carell) talk, but nobody else can hear them. Both of them are thought to be crazy. Horton seems to be the only one who can hear the Mayor down in Who-ville, and when the Mayor finally gets someone to listen, Horton is not holding the clover and nobody can hear him. Horton’s goal is to find a safe place for his speck (and the people of Who-ville) to live because as Horton says ’A person’s a person, no matter how small.’”

There’s much more to the movie, but you get the idea. Besides, I don’t want to give away the ending. Anyone who has done a book report knows you lose points if you do that!

As John and I discussed after the movie, we both had similar impressions of the flick. First of all, it was great entertainment. The actors were top notch and really fit their characters. It was funny without being stupid. The humor and plot was innocent enough to be kid-friendly but still interesting for adults. Although we didn’t have to pay for this movie (John had free passes from work), it would have been well worth the 8 bucks for the approximately 90 minutes.

But what we also noticed is that there were several very cool underlying themes in the movie. There was no blatant proverbial “Bible thumping,” there were several key Christian ideas throughout the movie.

First of all, it’s a great way to explain God to little kids. The Mayor knows that something bigger is holding the clover just like Horton knows there is something actually on the clover even though it’s too tiny for him to see. The mayor places his faith in Horton to get them to safety and Horton trusts that the Mayor is real and that he’s not just hearing voices.

Another major idea in this movie was about forgiveness. There’s an awesome scene at the end that teaches the Godly (and just nice human being) way to forgive someone for past hurts. The person that must be forgiven, the kangaroo momma, is guilty of using her authority to manipulate others and ultimately to mentally and emotionally abuse them. Although the situation in the movie wasn’t spiritual, I thought this was a great example of spiritual abuse if understood in the right context. That’s how perpetrators of spiritual abuse, or really any kind of abuse can act, in my opinion.

Something that the Web site author brought up that I didn’t even think about was the pro-life message in this movie. The same message can also be used to teach about the less fortunate. Not understanding the connection? Well the message that the Kangaroo momma kept trying to give was that “If you can’t see it, hear it, or feel it, it doesn’t exist.” That is the argument made by pro-choice people all the time and as Horton points out repeatedly, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Horton also defends those too small to defend themselves, which is another vital life lesson.

OK now that I’ve possibly ruined a cartoon for you by pointing out that provides great life lessons (with a Christian slant no less), just believe me when I say the lessons are there but they aren’t pounded in. This really is a well done, entertaining movie for the whole family.

After you take your family or your date to this movie, you need to head to IHOP. Well at least until mid-April, that is. In conjunction with the movie producers, IHOP is offering a Who-ville breakfast special and it’s DELICIOUS. I had grown tired of going to IHOP but I gladly went for this and would gladly go again, just for the heck of it.

Basically there are two meal options that are the same thing, just different sizes. John got the Mayor’s Breakfast, which is here:

It’s hashbrowns, green eggs and ham (fresh cooked spinach and scrambled eggs), and a slab of grilled ham. It also comes with Who-cakes:

The syrup on the cakes is a combo of blueberry and boysenberry (we think). The little candy pieces are a bit too sweet for my taste but not bad for something special.

I got the Jo-Jo’s breakfast, which is named after the Mayor’s only son (he has 96 daughters and they all share one bathroom). It’s only one egg with spinach, one strip of the ham and a shorter stack of the Who-cakes. There is no hashbrowns.

There’s also some drink that is lemon-lime soda with cubes of red and blue jello in it but we didn’t get that.

The meal was a perfect ending to a perfect Who-filled night.

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