Dr. Seuss (1970)
In celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, born on this day in 1904, I present to you Horton Hears a Who!
Horton Hears a Who! is a 1970 animated television special based on the 1954 Dr. Seuss book Horton Hears a Who! It was produced and directed by Chuck Jones and was first broadcast on March 19, 1970. The special contains songs with lyrics by Seuss and music by Eugene Poddany, who previously wrote songs for Seuss’ book, The Cat in the Hat Song Book.
Directed by Chuck Jones and Ben Washam
Voiced by Hans Conried, Chuck Jones, and June Foray
Narrated by Hans Conried
Music by Eugene Poddany
Horton Hears a Who! is a children’s book written and illustrated by Theodor Seuss Geisel under the pen name Dr. Seuss. It was published in 1954 by Random House. This book tells the story of Horton the Elephant and his adventures saving Whoville, a tiny planet located on a speck of dust, from the animals who mock him. These animals attempt to steal and burn the speck of dust, so Horton goes to great lengths to save Whoville from being incinerated.
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”Horton the Elephant
The above quote is the most popular line from Horton Hears a Who! and also serves as the major moral theme that Dr. Seuss conveys to his audience. Horton endures harassment to care for and ensure the safety of the Whos, who represent the insignificant. Horton Hears a Who! has been well-received in libraries, schools, and homes across the world. Much of the plot has been incorporated into the Broadway musical production Seussical.
Creator and fancier of fanciful beasts, your affinity for flying elephants and man-eating mosquitoes makes us rejoice you were not around to be Director of Admissions on Mr. Noah’s ark. But our rejoicing in your career is far more positive: as author and artist you singlehandedly have stood as St. George between a generation of exhausted parents and the demon dragon of unexhausted children on a rainy day. There was an inimitable wriggle in your work long before you became a producer of motion pictures and animated cartoons and, as always with the best of humor, behind the fun there has been intelligence, kindness, and a feel for humankind. An Academy Award winner and holder of the Legion of Merit for war film work, you have stood these many years in the academic shadow of your learned friend Dr. Seuss; and because we are sure the time has come when the good doctor would want you to walk by his side as a full equal and because your College delights to acknowledge the distinction of a loyal son, Dartmouth confers on you her Doctorate of Humane Letters.
You’re wrong as the deuce
And you shouldn’t rejoice
If you’re calling him Seuss.
He pronounces it Soice.