Whoville is a fictional town created by author Theodor Seuss Geisel, under the name Dr. Seuss. Whoville appeared in the books Horton Hears a Who! and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! However, there were significant differences between the two renditions.
The exact location of Whoville seems to vary depending on which book or media is being referenced. According to the book Horton Hears a Who!, the city of Whoville is located within a floating speck of dust which is then placed onto a clover flower by Horton the Elephant. In the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Whoville's location is not mentioned. Further, in the 1977 television special Halloween Is Grinch Night, additional geographic features are added to Whoville such as Punkers Pond. Again, however, its greater location is not mentioned, but in both works it can be assumed Whoville is still located within its speck on the clover.
In the 1970s television special Horton Hears a Who! as well as the 2008 CGI-animated film of the same name, Whoville retains its literary location being within a speck on a clover flower. The 1966 television special How the Grinch Stole Christmas! also stays true to the literature.
In the 2000 live-action film adaptation How the Grinch Stole Christmas, from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, Whoville is located south of Mt. Crumpit within the mountainous Highrange of Pontoos, described in the movie's introduction. All of which is located inside the frozen crystal structure of a snowflake, rather than on a clover flower.
Because the city of Whoville resides on a speck, it is possible Whoville is prone to unexpected movement, weather, and activity, and may from time to time change location altogether. In fact, this unexpected movement was used as a major plot device in the 2008 film.
Many different characters, known as Whos, live within the speck of dust. The Whos are whimsical, animal-like creatures who live in pumpkin-shaped houses, known for their warm hearts and welcoming spirits. They are furry humanoids with canine snouts and twelve toes. In the live-action film, the fur was missing from the Whos. Just north of Whoville, atop a high mountain, a bitter, cave-dwelling creature named The Grinch lives with his dog Max.
Cindy Lou Who is a generous young girl who was introduced in the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! In the 2000 live action film, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" she is played by actress Taylor Momsen.
The Grinch is a fictional, green colored man with a cat-like face and cynical personality. He lives in isolation upon Mt. Crumpet with his dog Max. The Grinch overlooks the city of Whoville with a lack of empathy for all Whos. He is known to be of a different species than the Whos, being stated as a What. The Grinch is played by actor Jim Carrey in the 2000 production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
In the book Horton Hears a Who!, there is a mayor in Whoville. In the live-action film How the Grinch Stole Christmas, there is a mayor named Augustus Maywho, played by Jeffrey Tambor. Actor Steve Carell plays the Mayor of Whoville in the 2008 animated film Horton Hears a Who!. In this version, he is named Ned McDodd, and he lives with his wife, 96 daughters and 1 son named Jo-Jo. There are differences between Maywho and McDodd that are instantly noticeable: Maywho is a pompous, arrogant man who views himself as the only person worth listening to, whereas McDodd is "devoted, and fair, and a little bit odd".
Adaptations of Whoville
Dr. Seuss created two children's books introducing readers to the magical world of Whoville. His first story, Horton Hears a Who! was published in 1954. His second use of Whoville was in the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas! published in 1957. Both books went on to be among Dr. Seuss's most popular works.
Seussical, is a Broadway musical produced by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty in 2000. The musical is a collection of Dr. Seuss's most famous stories that were combined to represent a synthesis of his work. The majority of the musical centers around the life in Whoville, especially the Whos' Christmas pageant and Horton the elephant. Both themes were based off the plots of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Horton Hears a Who!
Universal Orlando Resort endorses Dr. Seuss's work by attributing a section of the amusement park to him. Within the Islands of Adventure, there is a component designated to the city of Whoville. In the town, visitors of Universal Orlando Resort are able to interact with the characters and explore the theme park.
Movies and Television
The television program How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was a 26 minute segment originally telecasted on CBS in 1966. In 2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was developed into a motion picture, which became the first Dr. Seuss story ever made into a featured film. Also, Horton Hears a Who! was adapted into a 26 minute television segment in 1970. In 2008 "Horton Hears a Who!" was made into a full length movie.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Dir. Ron Howard. 2000. Universal Studios
- "Seussville Books." Random House, Inc., 2011. Web. 25 Apr. 2011.
- Horton Hears a Who! Dir. Jimmy Hayward. 2008. 20th Century Fox. DVD.