There may have been intentional mocking of Christians in this film. It’s a bit ambiguous, but there is a definite mocking of home-schooling (pouch schooling). I think It would be wise of us to not get offended and consider for a moment if the criticisms implied may be true of us either as a group or as individuals. We may find it useful to our spiritual growth. The characters who may be meant to mock Christians are actually very similar to the Pharisees in the Gospels. Are we like the Pharisees? Am I?
When the story begins, Horton is getting ready for his typical day of jungle life and teaching the children in the community. He hears something, a tiny cry for help. Only Horton can hear it because he’s got really big ears. He finds a little speck on a flower and on that speck is a whole world. The Mayor of that world is able to hear Horton and talk to him. Horton is accused of corrupting minds with his talk of the speck-world.
In Horton we see someone who is welcoming of children in the same way that Jesus is. Horton took time to share his knowledge with the young animals in the jungle. In the Gospels we see Jesus telling his disciples to allow children to come to Him. The Kingdom is for such as these! Jesus was also accused of corrupting people’s minds with His teachings.
Kangaroo is not pleased with Horton’s influence on the children, or with the way the rest of the community accepts Horton’s unusual quirks. She keeps her child away from him, and does everything in her power to make him an outcast from society. She even goes so far as to recruit Vlad (not the bunny with the cookies) to “take care of” Horton and that speck.
The Pharisees and other religious leaders were so jealous of Christ’s influence on the masses that they did everything in their power to keep people from following him. They turned the people against Him. Though they could not kill him themselves, they went to Pilate to have him “take care of” Jesus.
In the end, Horton would not deny the truth. All he had to do to be let go was “admit” that there was no world on that speck. But the truth was there WAS a world on it, denying that would be to deny reality. Many people have been killed because they would not deny Jesus, even many of the original disciples were killed because they would not lie and say that He wasn’t resurrected. They saw Him alive, how could they lie about it just to save their lives? Because they knew what we know, death is not the end, and as they closed their eyes in this life, they opened their eyes into the presence of the Lord.
- Kangaroo tries to control everyone; she doesn’t like it when things aren’t perfectly as she’d like. Have you ever met someone that is like this? Have you ever been like this? Wanting things to be perfect is not a bad thing, but we need to be sure that we really aren’t being self-centered, or forgetting that we are not perfect ourselves. Jesus taught us to take the log out of our own eye before trying to help take a speck of dirt from our friend’s eye. If we aren’t seeing clearly, we’ll do more damage than good. (Matthew 7:4-5, Luke 6:42)
- Children love Horton because he teaches them and doesn’t make them stay away from him like some adults do. Jesus was that way too. When people wouldn’t let children come hear Jesus teaching he said, “Let the little ones come to me!” Jesus even said that unless someone comes to Him like a child they will not come to Him at all. Isn’t it great to know that Jesus has time for children like you? (Matthew 19:13-15, Mark 10:13-15, Luke 18:15-17)
- Horton believed in the Mayor and the whole world on the tiny speck because it really was there. Kangaroo and most of the others didn’t believe him because they couldn’t see, hear or smell the tiny world. Many people do not believe in God because they cannot see, hear or smell Him. We believe because He really is here. No matter what anyone else said, Horton did not give up on the truth. Make sure that you always believe the Truth, no matter what anyone else says. (John 20:27-29)
- (For slightly older children) Horton’s life was threatened because he believed in the speck-world, even though it was real. Today, many Christians are being put to death for their beliefs. They are told to deny the Truth of Jesus or they will be killed. Why do so many people choose death instead of denying Jesus? What waits for them on the other side if they are killed for their faith in Jesus? (John 5:29, Acts 7:51-60)