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Like the original book, Horton is a kind, sweet-natured elephant who cares about others. Though he goes through many hardships along the way, he always triumphs, as his kind nature pays off. His big heart and respectful compassion serves as comic relief in the stories. His well-known catchphrase is "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant, an elephant's faithful 100%".
In the short "Horton Hatches the Egg", Horton is an elephant who attempted to hatch an egg.
- In the book from Dr. Seuss as well as other animated screen adaptations (including the 2008 CGI-animated film by Blue Sky Studios), his skin is gray, but in his Merrie Melodies short, his skin is pink.
- Horton makes a cameo appearance in the movie Space Jam during the Looney Tunes meeting scene.