Awesome Art: The visual development team went to great lengths to recreate Seuss's drawing style for CGI and it really shows, from the rubbery characters to the oddly-proportioned buildings with inexplicable wrinkles on them, to the various nods to Seuss's entire body of work.
Awesome Music: John Powell's entire score. The way it takes bits and bobs of everything, from traditional symphonic orchestrations to world music and even some pop-production sounds, has a definitive looseness which fits Dr. Seuss's visuals to a tee.
"Into Whooville," which transitions seamlessly from symphonic music to a bizarre mix of mambo and South Asian. Good luck getting it out of your head, especially since a loop of it is used for the DVD menu music.
"Mountain Chase." The temp track for the sequence was "The Ecstasy of Gold", and you can definitely tell the influence. It can easily be mistaken for something Morricone himself wrote.
Base-Breaking Character: For some, Horton's Adaptation Personality Change makes him this. While Jim Carrey's performance was praised, applying a lot of his signature zany traits to someone like Horton didn't really make a good combination. One animator even not-so-affectionately referred to him as "that drunk guy at a party with a lampshade on his head who's trying way too hard to make people laugh."
All the Whos live in a Small, Secluded World that can only communicate to the outside through limited means. The Mayor's wife, Sally O'Malley, who's voiced by Amy Poehler, says that she doesn't know the feeling of being watched by a giant elephant. Seven years later...
Misaimed Fandom: Many pro-life people thought this was an allegory for anti-abortion. For one, Dr. Seuss was pro-choice. For two, Dr, Seuss's wife mentioned it was about fascism, corporatism and capitalism.
Vlad, who takes extreme pleasure in trying to break Horton by dropping the clover in the giant field of identical clovers.
Kangaroo having Horton roped, caged, and essentially tortured, over what she thinks is nothing but a speck. A deleted scene shows that Kangaroo would have had the Wickershams burn Horton's house down over the speck.
So Okay, It's Average: Despite the positive reviews the movie got, it seems to have developed this reputation over time. While certainly the least-disliked Dr. Seuss movie (which isn't saying much, consideringthecompetition), few see much to fuss over.
Tear Jerker: Horton finds the clover after it was dropped several feet off the ground into a patch of identical clovers in the movie, and for a few seconds, no answer. The wail of despair he lets out is just wrenching.
Some pro-life activists think this book was anti-abortion. Not only was Dr. Seuss pro-choice but the book was published two decades before Roe v. Wade. According to his wife, the central allegory is about fascism, corporatism and capitalism — "a person's a person, no matter how small" refers to big shot governments and businesses stepping on the common worker. At one point a pro-life group actually tried to use the line as their slogan, until Mrs. Geisel sued them.
It's also an allegory for how the Japanese were being treated after WWII; the book is even dedicated to a Japanese friend, Mitsugi Nakamura. There's shades of The Atoner here, as during the war Seuss did his share of anti-Japanese propaganda cartoons which he came to deeply regret.
It works as an allegory for Isolationist foreign policy too.