Horton Hears A Who (2008)

One Elephant One World One Story.
The Next Big Comedy Event.
A person’s a person no matter how small!

Isla voices Dr. Mary Lou Larue

Director: Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino
Writer(s): Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul wrote the screenplay, with additional story by Jeff Siergey. Based on the book by Dr. Seuss.
Genre: Family, Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Filming: Isla probably recorded her voice part in mid 2007.
Budget: $85m
Box Office: Took a total of $297,138,014 worldwide. Made a total of $154,529,439 in the US, $10,917,574 in Australia, $15,469,090 in France, $13,914,992 in Germany, and $17,255,430 in the UK. Took $45,012,998 on opening weekend in the US, charting at #1.
Runtime: 86 minutes
Rating: G in the US, U in the UK.


The film, like Seuss’ book, presents an imaginative elephant named Horton (Carrey) who hears a faint cry for help coming from a tiny speck of dust floating through the air. Although Horton doesn’t know it yet, that speck houses an entire city named Who-ville, inhabited by the microscopic Whos, led by the Mayor (Carell). Despite being ridiculed and threatened by his neighbors, who think he has lost his mind, Horton is determined to save the particle…because “a person’s a person, no matter how small.”



Jim Carrey … as Horton
Steve Carell … as Mayor
Carol Burnett … as Kangaroo
Will Arnett … as Vlad
Seth Rogen … as Morton
Dan Fogler … as Councilman / Yummo Wickersham
Jonah Hill … as Tommy
Amy Poehler … as Sally O’Malley
Jaime Pressly … as Mrs. Quilligan


International Release Dates

Was released around the world in quick succession in March 2008. Started out on March 13th in countries including Argentina, Russia and Germany, then followed more widely on March 14th including in the US, Brazil, and Spain. Australia got the film on March 20th, and the UK one day later on March 21st. It was released in Japan on July 12th 2008.


Character Information

Isla voices Dr Mary Lou LaRue, the wacky but brainy scientist from Who U. Dr. LaRue wears thick safety glasses, sports big purple hair and lacks basic social skills. Everything for her is about science. Dr LaRue is the only one that fully understands the ramifications of the climate change caused by Horton’s journey through Nool, and she lets a horrified Mayor in on the news.



Horton Hears A Who Horton Hears A Who Horton Hears A Who Horton Hears A Who Horton Hears A Who

Photos: Gallery at Isla Fisher Web
Videos: Videos at Isla Fisher Web



• This is Isla’s 2nd biggest box office hit to date, after Wedding Crashers.

• Isla was pregnant when she recorded her voice for this.

• This is the first Dr. Seuss adaptation fully animated using CGI technology.

• This was Isla’s first animated project. She’s since gone on to voice roles in Rango (2011) and Rise Of The Guardians (2012).


Quotes: Isla, Cast & Crew

Isla Fisher: “There’s so much pleasure to be had for the reader [of Seuss]. Almost as much as there is for the listener, because it’s so onomatopoeic. It’s so much fun to have those sounds roll off your lips, you know?”

Isla Fisher: “When I did Horton Hears a Who!, I was just alone with the director in a booth. I’m really enjoying this process. It really adds such depth to the performance to actually see the other actor you’re interacting with and to experience it, rather than just be alone in a booth.” (talking in 2011 about Rango, and how different that process was to recording for Horton.)

Isla Fisher: “The saying that ‘a person’s a person no matter how small’, has particular relevance to me.”

Isla Fisher: “She’s furry and purple. Do I look purple? It means you’re sexually frustrated if you wear purple. I just read it in some book.”


Quotes: Character

Dr. Mary Lou Larue: “You saved us!”

[The Mayor has come to ask for advice on what would happen if their world was a tiny spec floating through space.]
Dr. Mary Lou Larue: “There would be several ramifications.”
Mayor: “Good ramifications?”
Dr. Mary Lou Larue: “Tiny spec…”
Mayor: “Ah, yeah, tiny spec…”
Dr. Mary Lou Larue: “Floating around … well, we’d have unexplicable tremors, dramatic changes in the weather, and if we didn’t eventually achieve some sort of stability, our world would be … destroyed!”



Entertainment Weekly: “The actors who lend their voices to the film aren’t people we generally think of as working ”small.” But in a felicitous group effort guided by directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino, comic powerhouses Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, and Carol Burnett temper their own full-throttle performances with an unironic respect for the original text. The backup players (among them Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, and Isla Fisher) also swing in the breeze.”

DearCinema.com: “‘Horton Hears a Who!’ isn’t a masterpiece of animation, but it is the strongest Dr. Seuss adaptation to come along in a while, an energetic and infectiously amusing animated film that should satisfy all audience demographics not attending for anything beyond a well-meaning 86 minutes.”

New York Times: “Get some box-office-proven comedians to do the voice work — Jonah Hill, Isla Fisher and Dan Fogler make up part of the B team here, in smaller parts — and you can’t fail. And ‘Horton Hears a Who!’ probably won’t, at least as a commercial proposition.”

USA Today: “Writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul skillfully weave in the poetry of Seuss’ actual words with their amusing dialogue. Equally noteworthy is how the animators capture the visual magic of Seuss’ distinctive and stylized illustrations. They also build ingeniously upon Seuss’ rich fantasy world: Horton fashions his big floppy ears into a bathing cap before diving into a lake. Later, his trunk becomes a shower nozzle.”

BBC: “After the dismal, freakish failures of The Grinch and The Cat In The Hat, Hollywood seems to have finally learned its lesson: don’t turn Dr Seuss books into live action movies. Horton takes the far more sensible route of computer animation, and perfectly captures the scrawny, scruffy, floppy elegance of Seuss’ drawings.”

DVD Talk: “That angle of performance is extended to the entire cast, including the likes of Seth Rogan, Will Arnett, Isla Fisher, Jonah Hill, Jamie Pressly, Amy Poehler, and Dan Fogler. Along with Carell, it’s an interesting jumble of vocal performances, but the whole affair feels too trendy at times; the picture desperate to appear relevant instead of reaching for a more golden, timeless appeal.”

CS Monitor: “… and best of all, Dr. Mary Lou Larue, a purple-haired nerdette with thick safety glasses who, alone among Who-villians, believes in the Mayor’s alarms. I don’t wish to give offense here, but it certainly doesn’t hurt that Mary Lou is voiced by that famously small bundle of energy Isla Fisher. (She’s 5-foot-2.)”


Fisher Fantastic

As this is an animated film we obviously do not get to see Isla, but we do get to hear her, and she sounds almost unrecognisable with a funny accent! Isla brings her usual enthusiasm and comic skills to the character, bringing the little purple scientist to life – albeit in only 2 short scenes! The film itself is enjoyable, although lags at times and is not always the most gripping. It’s not as good as Rango in terms of its appeal to grown-ups, but it has its fun moments. It’s bright and colourful for kids to enjoy, but again, its slowness may be off-putting. It is packed full of talented comedians providing voices, though.



Isla did not do any promotion for this movie.


Related Links

• News & Updates for Horton Hears A Who at Isla Fisher Web


Seuss.Wikia.com – more brief information on Mary Lou LaRue
Jim Carrey – fansite for the actor with more information on the film

Amazon.co.uk – purchase the DVD
Amazon.co.uk – purchase the 2-Disc Edition DVD
Amazon.co.uk – purchase the Blu-ray
Amazon.com – purchase on Amazon Video
Amazon.com – purchase the DVD
Amazon.com – purchase the Blu-ray
EzyDVD.com.au – purchase the DVD
EzyDVD.com.au – purchase the Blu-ray


Last Updated: October 5th 2012