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Horton Hears A Hilary!

April 23rd, 2008

From the old Merrie Melodies shorts starring Bugs Bunny that were as much for adults as they were for kids to the purely political cartoons on, animation has a long and rich history of social commentary and political satire. That being said, I was still a little surprised to find a skewering of Hilary Clinton in the new Dr. Seuss movie Horton Hears A Who!.

Horton Hears A Who


The story revolves around Horton the Elephant who finds a speck on it that is actually the home of the Who’s. Horton hears the Who’s screaming and realizes that there are tiny people living on this speck. He takes it upon himself to be the protector of these tiny people.

In the movie, the character of Sour Kangaroo hops around with her pouch schooled son trying to get in everybody’s business. She sees Horton and thinks he is acting crazy talking about a world of tiny people living on a speck and tries to convince Horton to cast away the speck and its tiny inhabitants. When Horton refuses, Sour Kangaroo refuses to mind her own business and tries her best to get rid of Horton’s speck by recruiting a terrorist Eastern-bloc vulture and rallying the animals of the jungle against Horton.

Hilary Clinton as Sour Kangaroo

Seeing the movie right before the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, I was fascinated by the many parallels between Sour Kangaroo and Hilary Clinton. Sour Kangaroo, as voiced by Carol Burnett, has a shrill voice and speaks with the same condescending tone and attitude as the former First Lady and current Presidential hopeful Hilary Rodham Clinton.

Hilary Clinton as Sour KangarooHilary Clinton as Sour Kangaroo

And when Sour Kangaroo rallies the jungle against Horton, she lets out a wicked laugh that’s strikingly similar to Hilary’s cackle as she’s displayed on the campaign trail.

If the spot-on voice impersonation isn’t enough, the Sour Kangaroo actually has the line “I know what’s good for you better than you”. If that doesn’t sound like Ms. Clinton and her socialized health care for all, than I don’t know what does. And near the end of the movie when the people (the jungle denizens) come to realize that Horton the (Republican?) Elephant is right, the Sour Kangaroo leaves on her own in tears before Horton and the rest of the jungle, welcomes her back. To me, this is eerily reminiscent of Clinton’s tears-for-votes ploy in New Hampshire which helped save her flagging campaign

If the Sour Kangaroo really is a send up of Ms. Clinton, then her disbelief in the little people could easily be seen as her stance on abortion as well. The original Dr. Seuss story Horton Hears A Who! is no stranger to political controversy as pro-life groups have adopted Horton the Elephant’s mantra of “a person’s a person, no matter how small” in support of their views against abortion but there’s never been anyone that Sour Kangaroo’s been symbolic of before until now.

And what of Sour Kangaroo’s Machiavellian negotiations with the Eastern-bloc vultures? Is this a foretelling of her foreign policy or perhaps just reading too much into things? After all, computer animated movies take a long time to make and this movie was made long before the whole Presidential primary process. Still, you cannot deny the many similarities between Sour Kangaroo and one Ms. Hilary Rodham Clinton.

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