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Horton Hatches the Egg (1942)

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Horton the elephant agrees to watch over lazy Maisie bird's egg while she vacations. Much later, after standing (and sitting) guard 100-percent faith- fully through rain and snow, Horton ... See full summary »



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Title: Horton Hatches the Egg (1942)

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Uncredited cast:
Sara Berner ...
Maysie / Baby (voice) (uncredited)
Mouse / Hunters / Audience Member (voice) (uncredited)
Robert Clampett ...
Various (voice) (uncredited)
Frank Graham ...
Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Kent Rogers ...
Horton / Peter Lorre Fish (voice) (uncredited)


Horton the elephant agrees to watch over lazy Maisie bird's egg while she vacations. Much later, after standing (and sitting) guard 100-percent faith- fully through rain and snow, Horton and the egg are captured by three hunters and put in a circus. Maisie happens by just as the egg is about to hatch and demands that Horton give it back to her. Written by Paul Penna <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

11 April 1942 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Peter Lorre was a favorite characterization for the famed Warner Bros. cartoonists, as he tangled several times with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. He was also portrayed as a fish in a Dr. Seuss Warner Bros. cartoon, Horton Hatches the Egg (1942). See more »


Maysie: You've nothing to do, and I do need a rest. Would you like to sit on the egg in my nest?
Narrator: The elephant laughed...
Horton: Why of all silly things. I haven't feathers, and I haven't wings. Me on your egg? Why it doesn't make sense. Your egg is so small, ma'am, and I'm so immense.
Maysie: I have to get up for a rest, otherwise I'll never get rid of these bags 'neath my eyes.
[Close-up of Maysie's eyes show traveling bags under her eyes]
Maysie: I'll hurry right back. Why, I'll never be missed.
Horton: Very well, since you insist....
See more »


Version of Horton Hatches the Egg (1992) See more »


My Isle of Golden Dreams
Music by Walter Blaufuss
Played when Maisie is lying on the beach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An improved version of the Dr. Seuss story
1 February 1999 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Directed by Bob Clampett and scripted by the great Warner Brothers storyman Michael Maltese, this animated version is very faithful to the 1940 story about Horton the earnest elephant, but has a few added embellishments. Call it an irreverent version for adults.

The story begins with a lazy mother bird who longs to go on vacation. She needs to attract Horton so he'll sit on her egg for her. So she pushes her stomach upwards to give herself really big ...

Horton keeps the egg warm during a torrential storm -- that's in Seuss -- getting submerged and nearly drowning -- that's in Clampett.

Three hunters discover Horton perched on the egg and aim straight at his heart. Only in this version it's Horton's jumbo-sized posterior they actually get in their sights. In Seuss, the hunters are gentlefolk nattily done up in bowties; in Clampett, they're coiffed in a style more befitting Yosemite Sam.

Horton is captured and taken across the sea to be exhibited in New York. The sight of Horton at sea is so startling that a fish, who looks and sounds just like Peter Lorre, shoots himself in the head.

Dr. Seuss's story ends happily, with Horton returned safely to his jungle home. Clampett's story also ends happily, with Horton earning big money for promoters.

The Warners team succeeded in reproducing Dr. Seuss's distinctive artistic style but added a full range of colour to his limited palette. A couple of scenes also have what appear to be watercolour backgrounds -- very nice. A little added touch to an already beautiful-looking, one-of-a-kind cartoon.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The suicidal Peter Lorre fish. Censorship or not? BoomerMovieFan
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