Horton the Elephant
Horton the elephant is a fictional character from the books Horton Hatches the Egg and Horton Hears a Who!, both by Dr. Seuss. Horton is a kind, sweet-natured elephant who cares about other animals or people. Though he goes through many hardships, whether trying to keep an egg warm through storms, rough travels, and humiliating shows, or tries to save a small planet from harm, he always triumphs; the egg hatches into an elephant-bird, while the planet is saved and respected by the others. He is very popular because of his big heart and respectful compassion, which makes him more humorous.
Horton is also a character on the TV series The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss. Kent Rogers voiced the character in "Horton Hatches the Egg". He is also a principal character in Seussical the Musical, which uses most of the two Horton books as its primary plotline.
Horton is voiced by Jim Carrey in the computer-animated adaptation of Horton Hears A Who, where he is shown as being eccentric and imaginative, and sort of absent-minded.
Other characters 
Horton Hatches the Egg 
- Mayzie: A lazy bird who convinces Horton to sit on the egg, while she takes a "short break" (which ends up being a permanent relocation to Palm Beach). She serves as the primary antagonist of the story. When Horton and his egg (now part of a traveling circus) visit near Palm Beach, she demanded it back until it hatched into an elephant bird. In the Broadway musical production Seussical, her full name is given as Mayzie La-Bird.
- Hunters: 3 game hunters who planned to shoot Horton, but decided to sell him to the circus due to his ability to climb trees; the secondary antagonists of the story. In the Seuss book, they are illustrated as gentle folk, but in the cartoon, they look more like Yosemite Sam or Elmer Fudd.
- Elephant Bird: This was the result of what happens when Mayzie's egg was hatched by Horton. He had the parts of an elephant and a bird. Afterwards, the Elephant Bird was adopted by Horton. In "The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss," the Elephant Bird was named Morton, possibly a combination of "Mayzie" and "Horton".
Horton Hears A Who 
- Jane, the Sour Kangaroo: A cruel and obsessive kangaroo who does not believe that the Whos and Whoville exist. She serves as the main antagonist of the story. She also believes Horton knows they don't exist. She will do anything to get rid of Whoville, and even follows Horton over the mountains to carry out her nasty mission. Voiced by Carol Burnett in the film. And also, in the film, she isn't so much cruel as overprotective.
- Rudy Kangaroo: The sour kangaroo's young joey. Rudy has the habit of repeating what his mother says, even if it's not a word, such as "Hmmph!". In the film, he actually believes in the Whos. He's voiced by Josh Flitter in the film.
- Mayor of Whoville: The mayor of the microscopic world of Whoville who cares very much for his city and its people. In the animated special of Horton Hears a Who, he is changed quite a bit: his name is Dr. Hoovey and he is a scientist who works on communicating with extraterrestrial life. Nobody in Whoville believes him about Horton until Whoville crashes when Vlad drops the flower and decides to help him save Whoville. In the film, the mayor is named "Ned McDodd" and is the latest of a long legacy of mayors. He has a huge family- 96 daughters and JoJo. Voiced by Steve Carell in the film.
- The Wickersham Brothers: A group of vicious monkeys who steal the flower upon which Whoville rests. They have a very large family consisting of their uncles, cousins, and in-laws who help bind Horton. The main Wickersham, Yummo, is voiced by Dan Fogler in the film. Fogler also voices the "Chairman" in the film.
- Vlad Vladikoff: A black eagle that takes the flower that Horton protects and drops it in a huge patch of flowers. In the animated special of Horton Hears a Who, his name is changed to Whizzer McWoff and he appears more sinister than his book counterpart, more like a vulture than an eagle. Voice by Will Arnett in the film adaptation. Also in that adaptation, he is a vulture.
- JoJo: A little boy who is quiet by nature, but turns out to be very loud when he saved Whoville by shouting the made up word "YOPP". In Seussical, he plays a much larger role. He is portrayed as an over-imaginative boy who is misunderstood by everyone except for The Cat in the Hat and Horton. He ends up being the hero. In the film, he is portryed very differently, as a bit of a rebel, older (14) and silent; he is the son of the mayor and voiced by Jesse McCartney.
- Gertrude McFuzz: While in only one other media (Her original Seuss story, which did not feature Horton at all) Gertrude is a very prominent character throughout Seussical. In this play, Gertrude, a shy yet incredibly sweet bluebird is Horton's next door neighbor with a not so well hidden secret, she is very much in love with Horton. The only problem, Gertrude is unimpressed with her one feather of a tail and tries to grow it in order to get him to notice her, it fails. He does end up noticing her however when she saves him from the circus and gives him the lost clover with the speck on top. In the end, the two become a couple and decide to team together in order to give the elephant bird a proper upbringing.
Horton Hatches the Egg A very lazy, rude, and snobby mother bird named Mayzie lays an egg but wants nothing more to spend a vacation elsewhere. Horton passes by and Mayzie asks him to help by keeping her egg warm as she goes on vacation. Horton tries to decline but gladly agrees after another appeal; Mayzie leaves and to make the tree strong he holds it up with two separate large trees and spends days, and months sitting on it. Even though the weather tortures Horton particularly a hurricane, a snowstorm etcetera Horton keeps his promise even though he suffers from the weather: "I meant what I said and I said what I meant...an elephant's faithful 100%." However it is revealed that the main reason that Horton spends months performing his job is because Mayzie is far off in Palm Beach, Florida having so much fun that she secretly decides to relocate her life to the beach and then claim it is a vacation that she "deserves" (She does not). Eventually when the weather turns back to sunny Horton's friends scornfully mock him and soon hunters come to shoot him. Despite the hunters loading the rifles at him Horton keeps his promise and dares them to shoot him refusing to leave the nest. However the hunters decide not to shoot him, but to sell him for profit since elephants sitting on a nest is rare. The hunters dig up the tree, load him in their wagon and take him on a suffering, bumpy, seasickful boat trip to New York City. They sell him to a circus where Horton goes around the entire USA with a purpose of being laughed at by the people as the city officials take the profits resulting from Horton's job, for themselves. Eventually Mayzie sees commercials about Horton and so when the circus arrives to Palm Beach Mayzie goes to Horton demanding the return of her egg without thanking or offering any payment to Horton; however when the egg hatches it is revealed to be an Elephant-Bird (A new species mixed of elephants and birds). As a result of this new species the people have to return him to Africa to Horton's habitat; Horton adopts the elephant bird as a reward for his work while an infuriated Mayzie, as punishment for her laziness, ends up with nothing.
Horton Hears A Who! Horton is bathing in a pond when he sees a speck of dust fly at him; he hears cries of help from it and after investigating he realizes the speck of dust is the planet of a very small world named Whoville inhabited by a microscopic species called Whos. Horton befriends the mayor of Whoville and protects the small men by putting the planet on a red clover. However when he talks to the Whos, Horton's neighbor, Jane, the Sour Kangaroo, leads his friends in a mocking daily basis. The Kangaroo and her son do not believe that the Whos exist and brand Horton as insane to the entire animal kingdom. Horton refuses to accept the jeering and when he continues to provide for the Whos, a trio of monkey brothers, known as the Wickersham Brothers, steals the clover with the planet, from Horton and asks a rude and snobby vulture to "get rid of this thing." Despite the pleas of Horton, the Vulture sides with the animal kingdom and throws the clover in a meadow with millions of exact copies of clones. After one day of investigating every clover and after looking at 3 million flowers he finds the clover with Whoville. When he stands by his promise to protect them, Mother Kangaroo arrives with an army of monkeys; she reveals that she knew that Horton would have tried to search for the clover for "men that do not exist" and therefore she says that they will imprison him and get rid of the clover once and for all by boiling it in a hot stew. Horton asks for one last chance to prove the Whos' existence and when the Whos perform their loudest cry the Kangaroo and her son say they hear nothing but wind. The monkeys attack Horton, restrain him, and haul him into a cage. Horton struggles and shouts at the Whos to prove themselves before they are burnt; the Whos use mechanics, but none of it works. A shy little boy named Jojo shouts the word, "YOPP!", breaking the sound barrier and all of Whoville is heard by the monkeys and the Sour Kangaroo. The monkeys, animal kingdom and Kangaroo apologize to Horton and promise to protect the Whos with Horton ending with a line frequently said in the story: "A person is a person no matter how small."
Other media 
- "Horton Hatches the Egg" was made into a 10 minute cartoon for Looney Tunes in 1942 created by Bob Clampett. This was the first cinematic adaptation of a Dr. Seuss book.
- "Horton Hears a Who!" was made into an animated TV special in the 1970s. Directed by Chuck Jones.
- Both Horton books are part of the main plot in the musical Seussical. Horton is one of the main characters.
- Hortin (another spelling of Horton) has become a popular in the naming of children's stuffed elephants. The most famous of which resides in London, Ontario attracting thousands of visitors a year. Hortin has received the Victoria Cross amongst other honours for the service to his country. He is currently nominated for a Juno award, he is not expected to appear when he wins it (because he will win it).
See also 
- The Grinch
- Bartholomew Cubbins - Another Dr. Seuss character who appears in two different books.
- The Cat in the Hat
- Seuss, Dr. (1968). Horton hatches the egg. Random House. ISBN 978-0-394-80077-6.
- Seuss, Dr. (1982). Horton hears a Who!. 2, reissue, illustrated. Random House. ISBN 978-0-394-80078-3.
- "The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 2011-05-10.