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Around the World with Willy Fog (Template:Lang-es) is a cartoon adaptation of Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, produced by Spanish studio BRB Internacional, with animation by Japanese studio Nippon Animation. In the same vein as BRB's Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds, the characters are anthropomorphisms of various animals; the species depicted are of much greater variety than in that series, but the core trio are all felines, being pursued by three canine foes. Willy Fog (Phileas Fogg in the original book) himself is depicted as a lion, while Rigodon (Passepartout) is a lynx and Romy (Aouda) a panther.

An English dub of the series, directed by Tom Wyner and featuring artists such as Cam Clarke, Greg Snegoff, Steve Kramer and Mike Reynolds was recorded by Intersound Inc in Hollywood, but despite this, the series never achieved popularity in the United States. This English version instead found fame when it was broadcast on Children's BBC in the United Kingdom (being screened in the UK originally in 1984, then repeated in both 1988 and 1991) and on RTE in the Republic of Ireland, while other dubs gained the series fanbases in Israel, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Austria and South Africa.[1] The series was also dubbed into Japanese and aired on Japan's TV Asahi in 1987, where it was titled Anime Around the World in 80 Days (アニメ80日間世界一周 Anime Hachijūnichikan Sekai Isshū?).

Even with all of these international versions, befitting the globe-trotting theme of the series and the worldwide nature of its production (a Spanish adaptation of a French book about British characters animated in Japan and dubbed in America for the English market), love for the show is greater nowhere than in its home country of Spain, where in 2008, the enduring popularity of the series spawned a live-action theatrical musical show in celebration of its 25th anniversary.[2]

Plot

As he has done every morning since he moved into Savile Row, Willy Fog awakens at 8.00am and rings for his manservant, only to remember that he fired him the previous day for his inability to follow Fog's precise schedule. He has already arranged an interview for a replacement - former circus performer Rigodon, who is even now rushing towards Fog's house to make his 11.00am appointment. Rigodon is accompanied by his old circus colleague Tico, who hides within his travelling bag, and prompts him through the interview, which gets off to a bad start when Rigodon arrives four minutes late. Nonetheless, Rigodon is hired by Fog as his butler, and soon departs for the Reform Club.

At the club, the main topic of conversation is the recent theft of £55,000 from the Bank of England until the bank's governor Mr. Sullivan arrives and requests a change of topic. Sullivan's off-hand remark that the thief is still in London, however, causes the elderly Lord Guinness to bring up an article in the Morning Chronicle, detailing how it is now possible to travel around the world in eighty days. The article states that one departs London by train for Dover, where one crosses to Calais, and on to Paris. From there, it is a train journey to Brindisi, and the Suez Canal, all within a week. Having rounded the Arabian peninsula, you arrive in Bombay on day 20 and then a three day railway journey to Calcutta. Hong Kong is reached on day 33, Yokohama on day 39, and then a mammoth three week crossing of the Pacific to arrive in San Francisco on day 61, a week long train crossing to New York and then finally a nine day crossing of the Atlantic back to London making it possible to circumvent the globe in eighty days. The other members of the club laugh at Lord Guinness's suggestion that he would take on the challenge if he were younger, prompting Fog to defend his honor by taking up the task himself. Sullivan bets Fog £5,000 that it is impossible, and additional wagers by three other club members increase this amount to £20,000. He then stuns the club by announcing that he will leave that very evening and promises to return to the club by 8.45pm on December 21, 1872.

Rigodon is less than thrilled to hear the news of their impending trip, having spent his life travelling with the circus, but dutifully accompanies his master as they set out, with Tico still in hiding. Little are they aware, however, that they are pursued by three individuals determined to halt their progress - Inspector Dix and Constable Bully of Scotland Yard, who are convinced that Fog is the thief who robbed the Bank of England, and the wicked and conniving Transfer, a saboteur hired by Mr. Sullivan to impede Fog's journey in any way.

Differences from the novel

Script error

Despite its addition of three prominent new characters into the story (Tico, Bully and Transfer) and changing the names of the established characters, Around the World with Willy Fog remains one of the most accurate adaptations of Verne's novel made for film or television, covering essentially all of the major and minor plot points from the novel to an extent that no other adaptation has accomplished. In some instances, events of the novel are slightly modified, usually to incorporate the conniving Transfer's schemes, but although some events play out differently, the resolution always remains the same. In many areas, the series also expands greatly on the original text, again usually the work of Transfer - in particular, the villains causes several close shaves for Fog during the European stage of his trip, which passed without incident in the original novel, and is responsible for three incidents during the North American leg of the journey (the buffalo stampede, the collapsing bridge and the attack by American Indians) all of which happen purely by chance in the novel. Aside from these, the most prominent alterations from the book include:

  • Firstly, the discussion which prompts the wager begins over a game of billiards, not whist. Also, four, rather than five, members of the Reform Club bet against Fog.
  • In the series, Dix and Bully pursue Fog and his party from London, after Dix sees a newspaper photograph of Fog and notices that Fog resembles the suspected bank-robber. In the novel, however, these suspicions do not arise until the travellers pass through Suez.
  • Accompanied by an additional character, Brigadier Corn of the British army, Fog and his party do not purchase an elephant to take them through the jungle; rather, Transfer incapacitates the owner (who, in the series, regretfully declines to escort Fog and his party, saying his elephant needs a rest) and takes his place, intending to guide Fog into the jungle and abandon him. This leads to a further deviation from the novel, with the elephant's rightful owner pursuing Fog and his party, along with Dix and Bully, who suspect Fog is the elephant thief.
  • Rather than having Inspector Dix arrange for Fog and Rigodon's arrest in Calcutta, it is Rigodon and Tico who are arrested on a different charge (defiling a temple's sacred cow, after Rigodon is caught hanging his hat on its horns). The resolution is the same, as the characters are released on bail.
  • As in the novel, it is initially planned that Romy will travel with Fog and his party only until she has found her family. However, the resolution of her search differs in one important aspect; rather than learning that they have moved to Europe, she is told they were killed in a flash flood. She visits their graves with Fog, who, as in the novel, later invites her to come to England with him. Furthermore in the book, Aouda is soon changes out of her sari for a European dress whereas this series has her exchanging her dark colored funeral sari for a lighter colored one which she wears for the rest of the series until the epilogue.
  • As a means of leaving Inspector Dix's comedic characterization untarnished, it is Transfer who is responsible for drugging Rigodon in Hong Kong, after knocking Dix out and impersonating him. Also, rather than leaving Rigodon and Tico behind in the bar (with them later waking up and boarding the Carnatic while still drug-addled) Transfer has Bully place the two friends on board the ship. He then disguises himself as the ship's stoker and, accusing Rigodon and Tico of being stowaways, forces them to work to pay for their passage.
  • Rather than joining an acrobatic troupe in Japan, Tico and Rigodon are hired as a living cannon ball and a knife-thrower's assistant respectively, with Transfer posing as the knife-thrower.
  • The trip to San Francisco sees two of the biggest changes from the novel, with two entirely new adventures added to the story, in contrast to the simple expansion and modification of the established events of the tale. Both are the work of Transfer - first, he contaminates all the drinking water aboard the ship with salt, leading to a one-episode side-trip to Hawaii, then, he sets the boat aflame, forcing them to drift to the nearest port, which is in Mexico. This leads to the incorporation of a variation of the hot-air balloon journey made famous by the 1956 film into the series, as Fog purchases one to take them to San Francisco, where, rather than becoming caught up in a crowd which has turned ugly, the travellers encounter another of Transfer's traps, with Transfer attempting to have Fog shot by a local outlaw.
  • After Rigodon and Tico are captured by Indians, the pair are shown making friends with the chief of the tribe, something which does not happen in the novel. Also, rather than accompanying a party of thirty soldiers to look for his missing companions, Fog ventures into Indian territory accompanied only by Dix, with Bully and Romy remaining behind.
  • On arriving in Chicago, our heroes are stymied by a blizzard that halts all rail travel, preventing them from reaching New York. Instead, they take an ice-boat across the frozen Great Lakes and Niagara Falls, but when the freezing weather causes Tico to fall ill, they are delayed and, as in the novel, miss their steamer to Liverpool. Though the characters in the novel use a similar mode of transport to travel from Fort Kearney to Omaha (covered by railroad handcart and stagecoach in the series) none of them suffer any ill effects from the cold.
  • In order to preserve Fog's heroic characterization, he does not pay the crew to mutiny so that they can travel to Liverpool; instead, Rigodon, fearing any such attempt will ruin Fog's reputation, reluctantly agrees to go along with Dix's plan to stage a mutiny. But, before they can carry out their plan, Transfer, posing as the ship's cook, attempts to poison Fog, only for the ship's captain to wind up the recipient of the tainted dish. Thus poisoned, the captain hands command of the ship over to Fog so that he can get him to a port with a doctor as quickly as possible, and Fog steers the ship to Liverpool.
  • As in the novel, the ship in which the travellers are sailing to England runs out of coal on the high seas, prompting Fog to buy the ship in order to burn all its furniture and fittings. However, while the characters in the novel are ultimately forced to dock in Queenstown and travel across Ireland, their counterparts in the series succeed in reaching Liverpool.
  • Although Dix's arrest of Fog contributes to making him miss his train to London, it is a final scheme by Transfer, posing as a coachman, that ultimately leads Fog too far from the station to make the connection. Dix (who recently learned that Fog is not, in fact, the bank robber and is deeply regretful) is also not punched by Fog in this version, who remains the model of stiff-upper-lippery, saying he has "wasted enough time" and asking the police to help him reach the train station in time - instead, Dix requests that Bully punch him to help clear his conscience.
  • In the wake of Fog's apparent defeat, Rigodon and Tico reluctantly decide to leave his employ, feeling they will be a burden to him if they stay. This does not happen in the novel. Also, since the series is aimed at children, there is no hint that Fog is "planning some fatal project" (i.e., suicide) as is the case at the same stage in the novel. However, there is a brief moment where Fog disappears, causing concern on the part of Rigodon and Tico. The resolution is the same as in the novel, with Fog and the others, having learned of their mistake with the date, racing to the Reform Club and arriving with only seconds to spare.

Cast

Main characters

Willy Fog
Willy Fog (Phileas Fogg in the original novel and French and Finnish translation of this series) is a well-mannered, well-read English gentleman who is loyal to his friends and always true to his word. He leads his life according to many strict, precise rules - something afforded him by his long-term bachelor lifestyle. He resides in London and although he is well-known for his wealth, the precise source of his money is unknown as his occupation is never elaborated on. Ever the gentleman, he eschews violence of any form whenever possible, but is never without his cane, which is all he needs to defend himself and others. Willy Fog is a member of the Reform Club in London and is challenged to travel around the world in 80 days; prior to this, he had not travelled for several years.
Rigodon
Prior to working for Willy Fog, multi-talented French feline Rigodon (occupying the role of Passepartout from the original novel; however, Brazilian, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew and Slovak dubbing named him Passepartout) was a circus performer, but wanted to escape the travelling life of the circus, Rigodon sought out employment as a manservant. His first attempt was a failure, as he worked for a gentleman who constantly travelled, and so he sought out employment with Willy Fog, knowing that Fog's strict routine meant he never travelled far. Rigodon's hopes of a quiet lifestyle, however, were quickly dashed when Fog accepted the wager to travel around the world in eighty days. Nevertheless, Rigodon dutifully accompanies his master on his trip, his circus-born agility and daring coming in handy on more than one occasion.
Tico
Self-proclaimed "mascot" of the show, Tico is Rigodon's best friend and former partner in the circus. The pair are inseparable, but Rigodon was forced to hide Tico from Mr. Fog at first, concealing the small mouse within his travelling bag until their journey was underway. Tico is well-known for his epic appetite, and is rarely seen without his "sun-clock", an archaeological artifact gifted to him early on the trip that uses the sun to tell time. Tico is the only case in which the original version and English-language dub differ on a character's nationality: in the original version, he is Spanish, while in the dub, he is Italian.
Princess Romy
Orphaned following the deaths of her parents, Romy (Aouda in the original novel) became a princess when she was married to an Indian Rajah who worshipped the goddess Kali. When the Rajah died, she was destined to be suttee, burned alongside him on the funeral pyre, but was rescued by Rigodon, who risked his own life in the process. Accompanying Willy Fog on his journey with the intent of finding relatives of hers in Singapore, Romy's role in their party is as a tender medic to care for the wounded that they encounter. Tico has a crush on her and is always looking out for her safety, but as their journey together continues, it becomes clear she only has eyes for Mr. Fog.
Inspector Dix
The blustering Inspector Dix (based on Inspector Fix from the original novel and named same for french translation of the serie) is a scent hound who works for Scotland Yard. Convinced that Fog is the one responsible for robbing the Bank of England, he trails the travellers around the world looking for the proof he needs to arrest Fog, constantly trying to delay their travels to keep them on British soil so that he might arrest them, if the warrant he awaits is ever delivered. Despite his role of antagonist, he is an honorable character, driven by a strong sense of duty and is often outraged to see Fog spending what he believes to be stolen money, but is also an exceptionally excitable comic foil, who frequently muddles his words, at point point claiming to be a "pursuit officer in police of the criminal who robbed the Bank of England!" In addition, he has a tendency to forget Rigodon's name, regularly addressing and referring to him as "Brigadoon". In the original version, he calls Rigodon "Tontorron", which is a Spanish word for "fool" or "idiot". The English dub of the series provided him with the given name of "Clifford".
Constable Bully
Constable Bully - a cockney bulldog, as his name implies - is Inspector Dix's partner, although he would rather be playing darts at the pub or enjoying a Sunday roast at his mum's house than trekking across the globe. A good-hearted fellow at his core, Bully is subject to the whims of the demanding Inspector Dix, and his general clumsiness and tendency to get travel-sick often strain the inspector's patience to the breaking point.
Transfer
Transfer is a cunning wolf hired to sabotage Fog's journey by his rival, Mr. Sullivan. Throughout the series, he employs a variety of tactics to delay Fog and his party, ranging from leading them in the wrong direction to deliberately causing accidents. He is a master of disguise and can imitate perfectly the voices and mannerisms of those he is impersonating - but the audience can always identify him by his strange, glowing left eye

Supporting characters

Mr. Sullivan
Mr. Sullivan, the head of the Bank of England, is a wolf and rival of Willy Fog in the Reform Club. He accepts Fog's bet and, determined to ensure Fog's failure and expose him as a "worthless bragger", decides to send a saboteur, Transfer, after Fog's steps. Following Transfer's failure to stop Fog he is sacked as head of the Bank of England on charges of misappropriation of funds.
Farrel, Johnson and Wesson
Farrel, Johnson and Wesson are the other Reform Club members who bet against Fog. Wesson (a stoat) is the owner of the Morning Chronicle and Ralph's boss, while Farrel (a fox) and Johnson (a raccoon) own a shipping line and a railway respectively.
Lord Guinness
Lord Guinness, the wheelchair-bound oldest member of the Reform Club, is a white goat. He and Ralph continue to support Fog and his party, even when popular opinion has turned against them, and he sometimes expresses regret that his age has prevented him from joining the expedition.
Ralph
Ralph, a squirrel, is the idealistic young reporter who wrote the article which inspired Fog's journey. Even when the odds seemed stacked against Fog and his party, he rarely loses hope that they will succeed.
Commissioner Rowan
Commissioner Rowan, a cat, is the head of Scotland Yard and was the one responsible for sending Dix and Bully after Fog, warning them they would be fired if they bungled the assignment. Throughout the series, he has to fend off the demands of Sullivan, who has learned of the suspicions against Fog.
Brigadier Corn
A member of the British Army stationed in India, Brigadier Corn is on his way to rejoin his regiment when he cross pathes with Fog and his friends. He chooses to accompany them on their journey through India "for the honour of Great Britain", and is instrumental in helping to mount the rescue of Princess Romy. Whether or not his being both a deer and a brigadier is a deliberate pun is unknown.
Andrew Speedy
Andrew Speedy (a bear) is the short-tempered captain of the cargo ship Henrietta. He does not normally carry passengers, believing them to be a liability, but agrees to take Fog and his party after Fog offers to pay him $2000 for every member of his party. After falling victim to Transfer's attempt to poison Fog, he gives Fog command of the ship and orders him to head for Liverpool so he can receive medical attention; however, he recovers while still at sea. Shortly afterwards, the Henrietta runs out of coal, compelling Fog to buy the ship in order to burn the wood on board as fuel; Speedy, who will be allowed to keep whatever remains, is forced to look on helplessly as the ship is stripped of wood. Rather oddly, Speedy appears in the show's opening sequence (among a group consisting of Dix, Transfer and Ralph), despite only featuring in a small number of episodes towards the end of the series.

Music

Spanish

Six distinct songs were crafted for the series, composed by background score writers Guido and Maurizio De Angelis and performed by the group Mocedades, all designed as if they were being sung by the actual animated characters themselves. The eponymous theme song, "La Vuelta al Mundo de Willy Fog", was "sung" by Fog, Rigodon, Tico and Romy, while Rigodon and Tico also provided the ending theme, "Sílbame" ("Whistle to Me"). Extended versions of both the opening and closing theme tunes were regularly sung by the characters in-show in short musical numbers during the course of the series, as was "Dix y Transfer", a duet sung by Fog's two opponents (once by Dix, twice by Transfer) about their dedication to stopping Fog, and two different melodies performed by our heroes about their adventures in the United States, entitled "America America" and "Hay Que Viajar" ("It Is Necessary to Travel"). The sixth song, "Romy", was performed by the titular character, although it only featured in the series in an instrumental form. It would, however, later be used as the closing theme of the sequel series, "Willy Fog 2". The Spanish soundtrack was released in 1984 in LP album, CD and cassette formats.

English

The show's soundtrack was re-recorded for the English-language dub of the series by parties unknown, re-using the De Angelis's music but with new English lyrics that are similar to (but not a direct translation of) the original Spanish (perhaps most prominently, "Hay Que Viajar" was retitled "Daisy", and became a song about a woman by that name). All six songs were re-recorded in their entirety - even "Romy", which did not appear in the series. This new English soundtrack was evidently released in some countries, and while the extent of the release is unknown, several European websites still offer it for purchase.[1][2][3] As with the original version of the show, the songs are not sung by the actors who provide the characters' voices; indeed, they notably mispronounce some character names (Dix as "Dick", and Romy ("Roe-mee") as "Roh-mee."

In particular, the theme song was celebrated on "National Willy Fog Day" which took place on April 28, 1988, when Andy Crane (the presenter of Children's BBC at the time) sent copies of the lyrics of the song to anyone who wanted them for a mass singalong of the theme tune (the previous year, something similar happened with The Mysterious Cities of Gold).[4]

Japanese

Two new theme tunes were composed for the Japanese dub of the series, both sung by Keiko Han. The opening theme was entitled "Sky Way", while the closing tune was named "Our Two Watches".

Finnish

Songs in Finnish dub were sung by the actors of YLE Import with few notes. In Finnish dub some scenes are cut, which includes musical numbers at episodes. The reason for this is unknown.

Staff

Spanish

Japanese production

  • Animation by: Nippon Animation
  • Director: Fumio Kurokawa
  • Producer: Koichi Motohashi
  • Character Design: Isamu Kumata
  • Storyboards: Eiji Okabe, Fumio Kurokawa, Hiromitsu Morita, Katsumi Endo, Ko Suzuki, Shigeo Koshi, Shigeru Omachi, Toru Hagiwara
  • Episode directors: Fumio Kurokawa, Eiji Okabe, Hiromitsu Morita, Toru Hagiwara, Yukio Okazaki
  • Animation directors: Hirokazu Ishino, Hisatoshi Motoki, Takao Kanishi, Yukio Abe
  • Music by: Shunsuke Kikuchi
  • Theme songs by: Izumi Kobayashi
  • Theme songs performed by: Keiko Han

English dub

  • Music Sub-publisher: Southern Pictures Music inc.
  • Recorded and re-mixed at: Intersound Inc., Hollywood, USA
  • English version directed and supervised by: Tom Wyner
  • English adaptations by: Tom Wyner, Byrd Ehlmann, Cynthia Lake, Ben Martin

Willy Fog 2

Due to the success of the first series, BRB revisited the franchise ten years later in conjunction with Wang Film Productions, released a sequel series simply titled Willy Fog 2 The series ran to thirty episodes, and consisted of two separate serialized stories, again based on Jules Verne novels.

The first was Journey to the Centre of the Earth, which played out very similarly to the first series. Again a bet was made with Sullivan - and he sent Transfer to cause havoc. This time, however, more people believed in Willy Fog, although all of them (apart from Lord Guinness) turned against him at times - when reports came back that the volcano they journeyed into was about to erupt. Romy, Tico and Rigadon went with Willy on the voyage again and were joined by Professor Lidenbrock - an expert in archeology and Hans - an Icelandic who acted as a general dogsbody. The team again made it - just in time to win the bet.

The second story was adapted from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and was completely different from the other two. Willy was invited to help investigate strange goings on - several ships had been attacked by what seemed to be a sea monster. Willy, Romy, Rigadon and Tico went, although soon the ship they were on was invaded and they, alongside Ned the harpoonist (very like Hans from the previous story) and another Professor, were kidnapped by the mysterious Captain Nemo. After having adventures under the sea, they finally escaped.

As production occurred in Taiwan, the Japanese studio who made the first series, Nippon Animation, was not involved in Willy Fog 2, as is clearly evidenced in its much flatter, brighter, less-nuanced animation. The series re-used the De Angelis's opening theme, with new lyrics to reflect the change of premise, and employed the lyrical version of "Romy" as a closing theme. The series was dubbed into English by the London-based company Village Productions, Ltd, which had worked on dubs of several other contemporary BRB shows, such as Sandokan. Although the voice cast was entirely new, the group clearly drew upon the Intersound dub of the original series as a source upon which to base the character voices.

Home entertainment releases

In 1995, BRB Internacional released three Willy Fog TV movies - "Around the World in 80 Days", "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" - each one created by heavily editing the first series (roughly 650mins total), and both stories from the second (approx. 375mins each), down to a greatly truncated 75 minutes apiece. All three films were dubbed by Village Productions, who had previously dubbed the second series for the United Kingdom, and later reached the United States on DVD. Notably, the Village Productions dub for the first movie was able to secure use of Intersound's English-language version of the theme tune.

In 2004, Revelation Films released all twenty-six episodes of Around the World with Willy Fog on DVD in the UK, across five Region-0-encoded discs. Extras included character profiles, a Jules Verne biography, and bonus episodes of Arthur! and the Square Knights of the Round Table and Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds. In 2005, all five discs were collected in a complete series box set.

Also in 2004, the first nine episodes of Willy Fog 2 were released on DVD by Direct Video Distribution Ltd., across three volumes of three episodes. For unknown reasons, however, no further DVDs were released, and the series was left unfinished. This fate affected many other BRB series being released by the distributor at the time, such as Mort and Phil, The Untouchables of Elliot Mouse and Sandokan.

Willy Fog: The Musical

File:Willy fog the musical.jpg

In 2008, in celebration of the show's 25th anniversary in its home country of Spain, Willy Fog: El Musical was released. Featuring the famous original cartoon soundtrack by the De Angelises, this theatrical performance of the story features live actors Jaume Ortonobas (Fog), Laura Toledo (Romy) and José Troncoso (Rigodon) in make-up and masks to replicate the anthropomorphic characters of the cartoon, while Tico is represented as a puppet manipulated by Celia Vioque. Scripted by original series creator Claudio Biern Boyd and directed by Ricard Reguant, the musical ran twice a day in the Teatro Häagen-Dazs Calderón in Madrid from October 2008; although originally intended only to run until the end of the year, the show's success saw its run extended first until early February 2009, after which it proved so successful that it went on tour around the country for at least the remainder of the year.[5][6]

References

External links

Template:Around the World in 80 Daysca:La volta al món de Willy Fog cs:Willy Fog na cestě kolem světafa:دور دنیا در هشتاد روز (انیمه)it:Il giro del mondo di Willy Fog hu:80 nap alatt a Föld körül Willy Foggalpl:Dookoła świata z Willym Foggiem (serial animowany)ru:Вокруг света с Вилли Фогом fi:Matka maailman ympäri 80 päivässä (piirrossarja) sv:Willy världsvan

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