Lessons from Horton Hears a Who

hortonhearsawhoDr. Seuss is one of my favorite childhood authors.  The silly rhymes and weird looking creatures created funny and interesting worlds for children and adults alike.  Each story always had a couple of lessons to be learned.  Yesterday my daughter and I watched Horton Hears a Who, well actually I wanted to watch and she happily chewed on our new bean bag.  Did I tell you I bought a huge bright orange bean bag?  I did, it’s for extra seating and to block her pathway to the TV table and well honestly, I’ve always wanted one, I just needed a valid reason for getting one.

Back to the movie, I loved it.  My husband came home after it had just started and actually watched it with us  (he’s Mr. I don’t watch a movie if it doesn’t have action scenes) and liked it too.  Colorful and vibrant, the movie stays true to the book and Dr Seuss’s style.

There are several morals in this movie and I think that when Lulu is a little bit older we can watch it and discuss them together (another excuse for me to watch this movie again).

If you can’t see, hear or feel something it doesn’t exist.

Actually this is not true and the story proves that even though the animals in the jungle couldn’t see the Whos, they did exist.  It takes faith to believe in things we can not see, touch or hear.

A person’s a person no matter how small.

This in my view is a composite lesson.  It teaches respect, compassion, tolerance and acceptance.  If someone is weaker or different than us that does not give us the right to be mean or offensive to them.  The stronger and bigger you are the more compassionate you should be.  Learning to accept that other people are different is probably one of the most important lessons children need to learn.  After that they need to learn that these differences can be very beautiful and they need to be respected.

I meant what I said, and I said what I meant.

Horton promised the mayor that he would save Whoville and even when things got really difficult he chose to keep his promise instead of saving himself or taking the easy way out.

I am as light as a feather, I am as light as air.

This is a slightly advanced concept but I am guessing children can understand it in a simplified concept.  Horton has to cross a very precarious and delicate looking bridge.  He decides to pretend to be as light as air because air is so light and it will be easier to cross the bridge.  It’s like a positive imagery 101 and a fake it till you make it attitude rolled into one sweet, simple and very effective lesson.

Team spirit.

All of the Whos worked together to save Whoville.  Everyone made noise and chanted “we are here”.  Sometimes the only way something can happen is that if everyone works together.


Horton forgave Jane the obnoxious kangaroo even though she put him through hell.  Forgiveness is a skill that you need to learn.  We are born with a very limited ability to forgive and we need to practice forgiveness in order to do it more often.

Party Poopers

Party poopers exist everywhere in many different forms.  Jane Kangaroo just couldn’t let Horton be and had to meddle and poke her nose into his affairs with her negative and disbeleiving views.  In life there will always be someone who wants to rain on you parade, learn early on how to deal with them, by standing up for yourself, ignoring them or exposing them to the world.

If you were watching this movie with a child what would you discuss?


  • At 2009.05.07 08:42, inas said:

    i like this article please allways watch what u will allow ur daughter to wach before she will. This is useful to use a agreat educational tool, u will be ready to Qs and u will have in mind what u want her to learn and it will be nice time to spend together and enjoy (I DID THAT LONG TIME BEFORE BUT I THINK U STARTED EARLY AND IN A MORE SYSTEMATIC WAY I TNINK GENERATION DEVELOPMENT AND EVOLUTION AS WELL GOODLUCK)

    • At 2009.05.10 07:24, jessyz said:

      Thanx Ma, I am trying my best.