The recent CGI adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! has been out in theatres for a few weeks now, and has been the biggest commercial success of the year thus far with over $130 million in ticket sales. Obviously it helps that most of its competition has been god awful, and also the fact that it’s a family-friendly flick. Recently, however, there has been a little bit of controversy surrounding what might appear to be a harmless film… and not for the reasons you might think.
Initially, there were some concerns that the movie was going to become a rallying cry for the Pro-life movement, because of the film’s motto, “A personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a person no matter how small”. Thankfully, this hasn’t really turned out to be an issue; most viewers understand that the story has broader implications (after all, you could say that The Lord of the Rings Trilogy has a similar theme as well, and that was never labelled as being “Pro-life”). However, a new issue has bubbled to the surface, thanks to a few critics who apparently feel that the movie is sexist. Yep, that’s right, sexist.
NPR’s Peter Sagal wrote an editorial last week that points out a few interesting details: “Not only does the movie end with father and son embracing, while the 96 daughters are, I guess, playing in a well, somewhere, but the son earns his father’s love by saving the world. Boys get to save the world, and girls get to stand there and say, I knew you could do it. How did they know he could do it? Maybe because they watched every other movie ever made?”
Now I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I am pretty sure this subplot wasn’t in the original story and was added just for the film. I guess it shouldn’t be all that surprising, after all, Hollywood is clearly still a boys’ club for the most part. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it right. Did anyone else see the movie and find this aspect of the story to be upsetting? Or is this just an example of someone overreacting and looking for controversy where there is none? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.