Horton Hears a Who! (TV special)
|Horton Hears a Who!|
|Created by||Dr. Seuss|
|Directed by||Chuck Jones|
|Voices of||Hans Conried
|Narrated by||Hans Conried|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||26 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Cat in the Hat Productions
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original network||CBS (America)|
|Original release||March 19, 1970|
Horton Hears a Who! is a 1970 television half-hour-long special based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name, Horton Hears a Who!. It was produced and directed by Chuck Jones - who previously produced the Seuss special How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - for MGM Television and first broadcast March 19, 1970 on CBS. The special contains songs with lyrics by Seuss and music by Eugene Poddany, who would later write songs for Seuss' book, The Cat in the Hat Song Book.
In the Jungle of Nool, Horton the elephant bathes in the watering hole when he sees a small dust speck floating by. He hears a call for help coming from the dust speck and, thinking someone is living on it, saves it from going over a waterfall. Setting it on top of a clover, he discovers it is home to a tiny town called Whoville, home to the microscopic Whos. One of the Whos, scientist Dr. H. Hoovey (replacing the Mayor), communicates with Horton through a device he built to see other worlds outside of the speck. The other Whos, however, only laugh at him, thinking nothing exists beyond their world. Horton promises to protect Whoville from harm, feeling that "a person's a person, no matter how small." The other animals in the jungle — particularly the stuffy Jane Kangaroo — think he is crazy, and do not believe in the existence of the Whos.
Thinking Horton's behavior is a problem, Jane sends the Wickersham Brothers to take the clover with the speck from him. They give the clover to the black-bottomed eagle Whizzer McWoff, who flies away with it. Horton pursues McWoff across the mountains below, but the eagle drops the clover into a large field of clovers and leaves Horton to find it. Horton searches frantically through the field, eventually finding his clover, and learns from Dr. Hoovey that Whoville was badly damaged when the clover was dropped. The other Whos, seeing the destruction as proof that Dr. Hoovey was right, rally behind him.
Jane finds Horton with the clover and, with help from the Wickersham Brothers (and their relatives), plans to end Horton's "problem" once and for all and they tie Horton up and pulls him into a cage, intending to boil the dust speck in beezle-nut oil. Horton urges the Whos to make noise to prove their existence, but even with the Whos' shouting and loud instruments, the other animals still hear nothing. Dr. Hoovey searches through town and finds a small Who named JoJo, who is bouncing a yo-yo instead of making noise. He takes JoJo to the top of his tower, where JoJo utters a "Yopp", which breaks through the dust speck and allows the animals to finally hear the Whos and they release Horton and allow him to keep it. The special ends with Dr. Hoovey relaxing in his chair when he sees a small dust speck and hears a call for help coming from it, much to his dismay.
- Hans Conried previously worked with Seuss on The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, in which Conreid played the title character.
- Some animated cels featuring noisemaking instruments were reused from the 1966 television special How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.
- The Mellomen, including Thurl Ravenscroft, a singer on How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, also lent his voice to the Wickersham Brothers.
- The Grinch makes a cameo during the song "Dr. Hoovey, You Were Right".
Home video releases
The special was frequently included on VHS, LaserDisc and DVD releases of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and was released on its own DVD on March 4, 2008. Bonus features include a songs-only version, the cartoons inspired by Horton Hatches the Egg, The Butter Battle Book, and Daisy-Head Mayzie, and the 1994 documentary In Search of Dr. Seuss. It was also made available in high definition Blu-ray Disc on October 6, 2009 with all the bonus features except Horton Hatches the Egg, a DVD of the special, and a Digital Copy.
- Hans Conried as Horton / Dr. H. Hoovey
- Chuck Jones as Junior Kangaroo / Vlad Vladikoff (renamed "Whizzer McKwoff")/ JoJo
- June Foray as Jane Kangaroo / the Birds
- The Mellomen as the Wickersham Brothers
- The MGM Chorus as the Citizens of Whoville
- Produced by Chuck Jones & Ted Geisel
- The Story is Told by Hans Conried
- Music Composed and Conducted by Eugene Poddany
- The Production was Designed by Maurice Noble
- ...and Directed by Chuck Jones
- Animation: Hal Ambro, Carl Bell, George Nicholas, Tom Ray, Phil Roman, Irven Spence, Richard Thompson, Ben Washam
- Layout: Dan Morgan
- Background: Phil DeGuard, Angela Esparza, Irven Wyner
- Graphic: Don Foster
- Co Direction: Ben Washam
- Editor: Jim Faris
- The Songs: Lyrics by: Dr. Seuss and Music by: Eugene Poddany
- Production Manager: Earl Jonas
- Voices: June Foray, Chuck Jones
- Storyboard by Chuck Jones and Bob Ogle
- Teleplay by Dr. Seuss
- "DVD Review-Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas". The Digital Bits. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- "Warner Home Video Releases Dr. Seuss' Classic Animated Television Special Horton Hears a Who! on DVD, in an All-New, Re-Mastered Deluxe Edition March 4, 2008". Reuters.com. 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- "WHV Press Release: Seasonal Family Classics Combo Packs (Blu-ray)". Hometheaterforum.com. Retrieved 2011-12-28.