The Fox and the Cat
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2009)|
|The Fox and the Cat|
|The Adventures of Pinocchio character|
The Fox and the Cat, as drawn by Enrico Mazzanti
|First appearance||The Adventures of Pinocchio|
|Created by||Carlo Collodi|
The Fox and the Cat (Italian: Il gatto e la volpe) are a pair of fictional characters who appear in Carlo Collodi's book The Adventures of Pinocchio (Le avventure di Pinocchio). Both are depicted as con-men, who lead Pinocchio astray and unsuccessfully attempt to murder him. The pair pretend to sport disabilities; the Fox lameness and the Cat blindness. The Fox is depicted as the more intelligent of the two, with the Cat usually limiting itself to repeating the Fox' words.
Role in the book
Pinocchio encounters the two after leaving Mangiafuoco's theatre with five gold coins. The Fox claims to know Pinocchio's father Mister Geppetto and proposes to Pinocchio to come with them to the Land of Barn Owls (Paese dei Barbagianni) and thence to a 'Field of Miracles' (Il campo dei Miracoli) where coins can be grown into a money tree. When Pinocchio hesitates, stating his obligation to attend school, the pair claim that their disabilities were due to their eagerness to study. A white blackbird attempts to warn Pinocchio of their lies, but is eaten by the Cat. The pair lead Pinocchio to the Red Prawn Inn (Osteria del Gambero Rosso), where they eat a large meal and ask to be awoken at midnight. Two hours before the set time, the pair abandon Pinocchio leaving him to pay for the meal with one of his coins. They instruct the innkeeper to tell Pinocchio that they left after receiving a message stating that the Cat's eldest kitten had fallen ill, and that they would meet Pinocchio at the Field of Miracles in the morning. When Pinocchio leaves the inn, the two attack him while disguised as murderers. Pinocchio hides the coins in his mouth and in the ensuing struggle, Pinocchio bites off the Cat's paw. He is then pursued by the murderers, who hang him from a tree to force him to disgorge the coins.
Pinocchio escapes with the assistance of The Fairy with Turquoise Hair and encounters the pair again unaware that they are the murderers that hung him. The Fox invents a story to explain the Cat's missing paw, stating that he had sacrificed it to feed a starving wolf. The Fox further adds that they must go to the Field without further delay, as a Lord has bought it and would soon make it off limits to the public. The Pair takes Pinocchio to the town of Catchfools (Acchiappa Citrulli), which is inhabited by many emaciated and starving animals who made bad choices in their past. Pinocchio is taken to the Field, where the coins are soon buried. After telling Pinocchio to leave for a few minutes to allow the money tree time to grow, the pair dig up the coins and run away.
By the end of the book, the pair have become impoverished with the Fox being lame for real and even losing his tail for he had to sell it because they were so poor and the Cat really being blind. They plead for food or money, but are rebuffed by Pinocchio saying it serves them right for their wickedness.
Fox: Look at me! For the foolish passion for study, I lost a leg. Cat: Look at me! For the foolish passion for study, I lost sight in both eyes. - Chapter XII
Fox: A gift to us?.. God forbid!.. We do not work for vile interest: we work only to enrich others. - Chapter XII
Fox: And to think that instead of four coins, tomorrow they could become a thousand and two thousand! - Chapter XVIII
Fox and the Cat: We do not want gifts. It is sufficient for us to have taught you the way to enrich yourself without enduring labour. - Chapter XVIII
Portrayals in popular culture
In Disney media
In the 1940 Disney film Pinocchio, the Fox and the Cat are given the names "Honest" John Worthington Foulfellow (voiced by Walter Catlett) and Gideon (whose three hiccups in the film were provided by Mel Blanc). The pair differ from their original counterparts in the Collodi novel in a number of ways, in that they do not feign disability, and it is they who tempt Pinocchio to go to Mangiafuoco's theatre (named Stromboli in the film) and coax him to Pleasure Island. The Cat is portrayed as completely mute but has 3 hiccups as his only line in the film. Though portrayed as scoundrels, they never go as far as attempting to murder Pinocchio. The subplot of the Field of Miracles is absent; and the villains' ultimate fate is never revealed except in a deleted scene where they meet Pinocchio again and are arrested by the Police. Foulfellow is portrayed somewhat as bombastic ham actor, whereas Gideon's mannerisms resemble those of Dopey from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the title character as the circus elephant Dumbo.
The duo were set to make an appearance in the 2009 RPG video game Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days but were cut as a result of space restrictions.
In the Disney book, "Pinocchio's Promise", Foulfellow and Gideon see Pinocchio walking into town to give a Cuckoo clock to Gepetto's friend, Mrs. Ramono, whereupon he is diverted to a circus by Foulfellow while the latter attempts to sell the clock elsewhere. Under orders of Foulfellow, Gideon takes Pinocchio to the circus with two expired tickets but then ditches the boy when the latter is yelled at by the admission attendant for trying to fool him with the tickets. When Pinocchio accuses Foulfellow to the local police, Foulfellow is arrested and Pinocchio gives the clock to Mrs. Ramono.
In other media
In Giuliano Cencis 1972 adaptation Un burattino di nome Pinocchio, the Fox and the Cat (voiced by Sergio Tedesco and Manlio De Angelis) follow the characterisation shown in the book much more accurately than in the Disney adaptation. The pair pretend to be physically disabled, and tempt Pinocchio to come with them to the Field of Miracles. As in the book, the Fox is the more articulate of the two, and the Pair attempt to murder Pinocchio for his coins, though the Cat is not crippled by Pinocchio as in the book. By the end of the film, the two are shown to have become genuinely impoverished.
In the 1992 direct to video adaptation entitled Pinocchio from GoodTimes Entertainment, the characters are portrayed closely to those in the book (though the Fox is changed into a Wolf). The pair do not attempt to murder Pinocchio. By the film's conclusion, they are arrested.
In Steve Barrons 1996 live action film The Adventures of Pinocchio, the Fox and the Cat (portrayed by Rob Schneider and Bebe Neuwirth) are named Volpe ('Fox' in Italian) and Felinet, and are portrayed as human thieves in league with the evil Mangiafuoco (named Lorenzini in this adaptation). In a reversal of roles, Felinet the "Cat" is a female and takes on the more dominant and assertive role while Volpe the "Fox" is shown as a bungling sidekick. They first appear where they have their first encounter with Pinocchio. Geppetto arrives and takes Pinocchio away while telling Volpe and Felinet that Pinocchio will play with his own sort. As in the novel, the pair attempt to trick Pinocchio into giving up his coins by taking him to the Field of Miracles. Also like the book, they are dealt with poetic justice at the film's conclusion. Though rather than becoming impoverished, they are tricked by Pinocchio into drinking cursed water (which Pinocchio claimed will turn any white rock they hold into gold) which transforms them into a real fox and cat. They were last seen watching Pinocchio in town as they are shown to have been captured by a farmer. When Volpe asks "Don't you just hate that kid," Felinet quotes "Not as much as I hate you."
The Fox and the Cat were featured in the Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child version of Pinocchio where they were referred to as Redd Foxx (voiced by Barry Douglas) and Sporty the Cat (voiced by Franklyn Ajaye).
The Fox and the Cat were featured in the 2002 film Pinocchio where they were played by I Fichi d'India in the Italian version and their English-dubbed voices were provided by Cheech Marin and Eddie Griffin.
Often the Field of the miracles has been mistaken with the poetic phrase Square of the miracles that is used since the second half of the 20th century to describe the Piazza del Duomo of Pisa. The monuments of the famous square had been called miracles by Gabriele D'Annunzio in his book Forse che sì, forse che no (1910). Several famous squares in Italy being called campo and the story of Pinocchio being widespread in the World, many people, in and outside Italy, tend to confuse the two.
- Collodi, Le Avventure di Pinocchio 1883, RCS MediaGroup