Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. A delight, brimming with colorful, elastic characters and bountiful wit.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The look of the story is an undeniable treat, and the message it weaves is both funny and sweet. Horton Hears a Who! is razzle-dazzling and artful, and it builds on Seuss' words by the clever cart-full.
  3. Finally! For the first time, Hollywood has made a whimsical, witty, feature-length version of Dr. Seuss that's neither overblown nor smutty nor emotionally hollow.
  4. 75
    Horton Hears a Who wisely preserves most of Seuss' verse in voiceover narration, but the main dialogue, while it doesn't rhyme, preserves the author's humanistic humor and whimsy.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Listen closely: It's the sound of a million Who fans cheering.
  6. 75
    Frequently charming, beautifully drawn and far more faithful in spirit to the source material than those dreadful Ron Howard-Brian Grazer productions.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    It's rendered in shiny, state-of-the-art CG animation, not the charming pen-and-ink drawings with which Seuss illustrated his own books or the hand-drawn artistry Chuck Jones brought to the 1970 Horton Hears a Who! short. But considering the messes that came before, that's a minor quibble.
  8. 75
    Jim Carrey re-invents Horton much as Robin Williams did with the Genie of the Lamp in Disney's animated "Aladdin."
  9. Someday, if we’re all good little boys and girls, the world will hand us a Dr. Seuss film half as wonderful as one of the books. Meantime we have the competent, clinical computer animation and relative inoffensiveness of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! to pass the time.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    It's a tough balancing act and probably a futile one. As greedily as Hollywood looks upon these books as a franchise to strip-mine, the hard fact remains that what's good about them - Ted Geisel's untrendy gentleness, humor, and intelligence - resists translation to the big screen.
  11. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    Even if Horton's world can't shine like Whoville, this movie's visuals keeps things vivid, while digital animation is so often crisp, precise, and cold.
  12. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Charming, funny and great turns from a cast with no finger-wagging. But if you don’t like psychosis-inducing imagery, steer clear.
  13. If I ran the circus, the gang that made the sturdy, witty, inventively animated Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! would get first dibs on any future movie productions of the Theodor Seuss Geisel canon.
  14. 91
    Stays true to the spirit and characters of the book while embellishing it to overflowing.
  15. Reviewed by: Travis Nichols
    It's a loving and attentive take on a charming classic.
  16. After the terrifying grotesques that were the live-action "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "The Cat in the Hat," it was easy to dread a feature-length Horton Hears a Who!. But -- surprise -- the computer-animated "Horton" is largely funny and faithful to the spirit of the Dr. Seuss book.
  17. It's a feature-length reparation for the appalling live-action versions of Seuss' books we've endured over the last few years.
  18. 80
    Warm, playful and inventive, this tale of an elephant with a spirit as generous as his waistline comes juiced with the genially goofy animation of the folks who brought us "Ice Age" (and, less memorably, "Robots") coupled with a respectful doffing of the cap to Geisel’s exuberantly wacky visual style.
  19. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    You may leave the movie with Seussian anapests dancing in your happy head. Here's mine: A treat for the eye, an epic event/ This film is delightful, one hundred percent.
  20. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Horton Hears a Who! has blessedly been conceived and executed in reverence to Seuss's story, padding out the original narrative with some meaningful new ideas and casting a mercifully muzzled Jim Carrey as the titular beast.
  21. Unlike so many computer-animated movies, "Horton" doesn't have that garish, sealed-in-plastic effect that can be so claustrophobic.
  22. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    The real stars of the movie are the animators, who imbue even the overgrowth in Horton's jungle with a certain floppy Seuss-ishness.
  23. It does honor the book's flavor and spirit with a bright, funny treatment. Voice performers Jim Carrey (as Horton) and Steve Carell (the Mayor) play their roles just right, without making the movie about them.
  24. The tolerance and loopy poetry of the beloved book by Dr. Seuss have been nicely captured.
  25. Endearing, though sometimes belabored.
  26. 50
    There are aspects of “Horton,”... that are fresh and enjoyable, and bits that will gratify even a dogmatic and orthodox Seussian.
  27. 50
    Just because the live-action Seusses have dialed down expectations doesn't mean that Horton shouldn't aspire to more than time-wasting mediocrity. There are precious childhoods at stake here.
  28. I don't wish to give offense here, but it certainly doesn't hurt that Mary Lou is voiced by that famously small bundle of energy Isla Fisher. (She's 5-foot-2.)
  29. For its intended audience, Horton's agenda is overt: Listen, be a friend, and most important - have fun!
  30. I meant what I said And I said what I meant A flick pretty faithful 'Bout 80 per cent.
  31. In the mold of their previous films "Ice Age" and "Robots": a nice blend of rudimentary and inventive touches.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 113 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 50
  2. Negative: 4 out of 50
  1. Oct 23, 2011
    Horton Hears a who! But I don't hear anything.
  2. Dec 17, 2011
    Horton Hears a Who! may be simplistic in story, but that doesn't keep it from having charm. Great visuals and faithfulness to the book make it a very interesting animated film. Full Review »
  3. Apr 15, 2014
    Props to "Horton Hears a Who!" for staying true to Seuss' words, but the movie, like "The Lorax" is awkward in some ways. Since the Dr. Seuss books weren't very long, it is hard to make a full-length feature film about them. Particular to this movie, Jim Carey was rather annoying as Horton. Full Review »