Around the World with Willy Fog

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Around the World with Willy Fog
PAR61239 2D WILLYFOG COMPLETE.jpg
UK DVD Sleeve Artwork For Around the world with Willy Fog.
Genre Adventures
Format Anime
Created by Jules Verne
BRB Internacional
Nippon Animation
Claudio Biern Boyd
Developed by Luis Ballester
Fumio Kurokawa
Directed by Luis Ballester
Opening theme "La vuelta al mundo de Willy Fog" by Mocedades (Series 1)
Ending theme "Sílbame" by Mocedades (Series 1)
"Romy" (Series 2)
Composer(s) Guido & Maurizio De Angelis
Country of origin Spain
Japan (Season 1)
Taiwan (Animation work, Season 2)
Original language(s) Spanish
Japan
No. of episodes 26 (Series 1)
26 (Series 2) (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Claudio Biern Boyd
Editor(s) Soledad López
Running time 26 mins
Broadcast
Original channel RTVE
Picture format 1:37.1
Audio format Mono
Original airing 1983

Around the World with Willy Fog (アニメ80日間世界一周) (Spanish: La vuelta al mundo de Willy Fog) is a Japanese-Spanish anime adaptation of Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. The cartoon was 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 as the species depicted are of much greater variety than in that series. The core trio are all felines being pursued by three canine foes. Willy Fog (Phileas Fogg in the original book) is depicted as a lion, while Rigodon (Passepartout) is a cat, and Romy (Aouda) is a panther.[citation needed]

An English dub of the series was directed by Tom Wyner, which featured artists such as Cam Clarke (as Rigadon), Gregory Snegoff (Inspector Dix), Steve Kramer (as Constable Bully) and Mike Reynolds. While the series never achieved popularity in the United States, the English version found fame when it was broadcast on Children's BBC in the United Kingdom. The series was initially screened in 1984 in the UK (and later repeated in 1991) and then on RTE in Ireland, while other dubs gained the series fanbases in several other countries.[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?).

With all of the international versions, the height of popularity remains in Spain, where in 2008, the series spawned a live-action theatrical musical show in celebration of its 25th anniversary.[2]

Plot[edit]

As with every morning since he moved into Savile Row, Willy Fog awakens at 8:00 am and rings for his servant, 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 11:00 am 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 which was discussed till 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 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, one would 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 circumnavigate 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 8:45 pm on 21 December 1872.

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

Differences from the novel[edit]

Despite the 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. The cartoon covered essentially all of the major and minor plot points from the novel to an extent that no other adaptation has accomplished. Parts of the novel were slightly modified, usually to incorporate the conniving Transfer's schemes, but the resolution remains the same. The series also expands on the original text, again usually the work of Transfer. Particularly, 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.

Cast[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Willy Fog
Willy Fog (Phileas Fogg in the original novel and French, Finnish and Greek 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 wanting 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 hamster (he has a hamster's tail instead of a mouse's, which means he can't be a 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. She originally accompanies Willy Fog on his journey with the intent of finding relatives of hers in Singapore, only to stay with his company after finding them long dead and acting as a 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 the same for both the French and Finnish translation of the series) 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 one 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 gray 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[edit]

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 deer, 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[edit]

A collection of all themes from every country can be found here: http://www.austerlitz-rock.com/WillyFogg.html. The main theme was composed by a Spanish famous group Mocedades.

Spanish[edit]

Six songs were crafted for the series, composed by background score writers Guido and Maurizio De Angelis and performed by the group Mocedades. The songs were synced with the movement of the animated characters. 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 the "Dix y Transfer" duet in addition two different melodies performed by the protagonists 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. The soundtrack can also be downloaded in Spanish in Mp3 format from Amazon's Spanish website.[3]

English[edit]

The soundtrack was re-recorded for the English dub of the series by parties unknown, re-using the De Angelis's music but with new English lyrics that are similar to 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. The English soundtrack is available to download in Mp3 format from Amazon's UK website.[4]

Japanese[edit]

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[edit]

Songs in the Finnish dub were sung by the actors of YLE Import. In the Finnish dub some scenes are cut, which includes musical numbers in some episodes.

Czech[edit]

In Czech some scenes from Willy Fog episodes are cut (songs). But those "deleted scenes" are used in the opening and ending.

Staff[edit]

Spanish[edit]

Japanese production[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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

Franchise[edit]

Willy Fog 2[edit]

Due to the success of the first series, BRB revisited the franchise ten years later in conjunction with Wang Film Productions in Taiwan, released a sequel series simply titled "Willy Fog 2". The series ran to 26 episodes, and consisted of two separate serialized stories that were based on the original 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 events as 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 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[edit]

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 from roughly 650 minutes in total down to a 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. in the UK, across three volumes of three episodes. 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[edit]

Willy Fog: El Musical poster

Willy Fog: El Musical was released in 2008 in celebration of the show's 25th anniversary in its home country of Spain. With the original cartoon soundtrack by the De Angelises, the theatrical performance featured 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. 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 until the end of the year.[1][2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]