Horton Hears A Who In Russian

[Video link was removed from Google]

Horton Hears A Who is a 1992 Russian animated short directed by Alexei Karayev, who also directed another Dr. Seuss adaptation that we’d linked to earlier called Welcome (1986). The English translation of the piece, producd at Pilot Studio, was done by Niffiwan who writes more about the film on his excellent Russian animation blog Animatsiya in English.

Haven’t had a moment to watch the film yet, although the man-elephant design of the title character is a bit off-putting at first glance. Niffiwan writes, “The art took me a little time to get used to, but I soon realized that it is really quite beautiful…It shows the exaggerated, overly-saturated, slightly unreal world of the creatures which must seem like gods to the people on the dust speck.” He also offers a thought about how this Russian version compares to the recent trailer for Blue Sky’s Horton:

I think that Pilot Studio’s version changes the surface layer by using an utterly different art style (among other things), but keeps the heart and soul of the story completely intact. The Blue Sky adaptation looks like it will do the opposite; keep the pretty crust and toss the insides.


  • red pill junkie

    That’s not Horton!

    That’s GANESH!! :-D

  • http://sandwichbag.blogspot.com Elliot Cowan

    I saw this at the cinema many years ago.
    It’s absolutely charming.

  • http://trevour.blogspot.com Trevour Meyer

    I’m pretty sure this would’ve scared the crap out of me had I seen this as a child.

  • Chuck R.

    I hope we can revisit this topic once the BlueSky vesion comes out and compare all the versions.

    This Russian version has its merits, but I think the characters get lost somewhere among the brushstrokes, and they’re losing a sense of drama that was in the original book. The peril of the Who-folk is not keenly felt, nor the exhaustion put upon Horton by his vigilance. Compare the scenes of the eagle dropping the clover in that huge field —Suess really puts it over.

    I don’t think they got Horton’s character exactly right either. Horton is already a bit kookier (not in the Jim Carrey sense, but still on the fringe of his community) and seems to need the Whos as much as they need him. The original story sugggests that Horton gets along with others pretty well, until his keen ears and strong sense of responsibility puts him at odds with his society.

  • Gerard de Souza

    How ’bout keeping the “pretty crust” AND the insides, hmmmmm?

  • http://niffiwan.livejournal.com/ Esn

    Gerard de Souza:

    You always have to pick which one of those will dominate the other; you can’t have two things which are both “the top priority”.

    I also wrote a reply here to the other posters, but it must’ve gotten lost in the system…

    Anyway, I’ll just say that Google Video makes the image more blurry than it really is. And I wouldn’t say that Horton is kooky here – he takes care of himself pretty well and is perfectly sane. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. Probably is.

  • Chuck R.

    “You always have to pick which one of those will dominate the other; you can’t have two things which are both “the top priorityâ€?.”

    So Esn, which did Dr Seuss pick? Pretty crust or insides? I’d say he created a book that looks amazing and has a wonderful message told with memorable characters. Given that there’s so much to like about Seuss books, why do filmmakers have so much trouble being faithful to the source material? Just make the books move!

    And if the books are too short for feature length, make it a TV special or an anthology film with 3 stories.

  • red pill junkie

    “And if the books are too short for feature length, make it a TV special or an anthology film with 3 stories.”

    That would be a great idea!

    The problem is that I think a studio would object to pay for the rights of 3 separate intellectual properties of Dr Seuss just to make 1 single feature. It’s all about the buck…