For challenge #3 we decided upon the Dr. Seuss classic Horton Hears a Who! This past April completed a Dr. Seuss unit with my Kinderoos and this is a book I didn’t have a chance to sad with them. Kaitlyn also got a number of Dr. Seuss books a few Christmas’ ago and this one we hadn’t looked at much. I had seen the movie on Netflix a while ago but it isn’t there now so we ended up purchasing the film from iTunes.
We started by reading the book together. Kaitlyn had already seen the film at school but she didn’t remember much. Next they watched the film (I watched most of it with them but missed part putting Michael down for a nap). We didn’t have time to do much follow up so again today the kids watched the film and revisited the book. Next we went through the 6 guiding questions, and most of the answers are from Kaitlyn.
Did the characters look the same as in the book?
The Who’s looked different, especially their hair. The Kangaroo also had different hair (she seemed fixated on everyones hair). After some prompting she did say that the characters were different colours. Our classic Dr. Seuss book has only white, black, blue and red so this is a pretty big difference. Finally she said the clover in the movie was purple as opposed to red in the book. On further investigation the clover is more pink in the movie and red in the book.
Did the characters speak the way you imagined?
This is a great question and one I often think about when seeing movie adaptations but I think it is a bit to abstract for my children. Kaitlyn’s quick answer was yes. I always find that when I watch films the accents sometimes throw me off!
What parts of the story were left out of the film? Were there any extra parts in the film?
This is interesting because often in adult adaptations much has to be left out due to time but when adapting a children’s picture book the reverse often happens and more has to be added to increase the length. Kaitlyn’s biggest worry was that there was no snow in the book but there was in the film. She also came up with on her own that the cage they held Horton in was different. I found it interesting that she focused on the small details and missed some of the bigger differences. For starters there are a lot more characters in the film and one main character was changed. In the book JoJo is a little Who with no connection to other characters but in the film he is the mayor’s only son (and he as A LOT of daughters). She did come up with this with some suggesting but still seemed focused on the small details. The thing that struck me was that in the film Horton had an ultimate destination and was trying to get the clover up to the flower to protect it but in the book he was just trying to protect it without having a specific plan.
What did you like about the film?
The song at the end. My girls are obsessed with the song Can’t Fight this Feeling at the end of the film. If anyone knows where I can get a copy of this version please let me know. I played the REO Speedwagon version and even the GLEE version for them but they really want the Horton version.
What didn’t you like about the film?
That the Mommy Kangaroo didn’t believe Horton. In both versions the Kangaroo didn’t believe Horton but it seemed much more exaggerated in the film – especially after the Who’s are heard by everyone else.
What did you like better – the book or the film? Why?
The Film – because of the song (I should have seen that answer coming).
Kaitlyn drew a picture of her favourite part to share. It you read carefully it is Mommy and Daddy Who with JoJo in the middle singing “I Can’t Fight this Feeling Anymore”.
Eileen was more interested in renaming one of Michael’s stuffed elephants Horton (he seems to have a fair number) and running around the house pretending to get away from the other animals. It was quiet cute and her way of retelling the story!