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|
|Species||Fox (The Fox)
Cat (The Cat)
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's words.
Role in the book
Pinocchio encounters the two after leaving Mangiafuoco's theatre with five gold coins, whereupon the Fox claims to know Pinocchio's father Mister Geppetto and proposes to Pinocchio to visit 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-producing tree. A white blackbird warns Pinocchio against these 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 to pay for the meal with one of his coins, and leave a message that the Cat's eldest kitten had fallen ill, and that they would meet Pinocchio at the Field of Miracles later. When Pinocchio leaves the inn, the two attack him in disguise of murderers, and in the ensuing struggle, Pinocchio bites off the Cat's paw. The murderers then hang him from a tree, which he escapes with the assistance of The Fairy with Turquoise Hair. The next day, Pinocchio encounters the pair again, unaware that they are the murderers that hung him, and the Fox claims that the Cat lost a paw to feed a starving wolf. They lead Pinocchio to the town of Catchfools (Acchiappa Citrulli), where the coins are soon buried. In Pinocchio's absence, the pair dig up the coins and escape.
Near the end of the book, the pair have become impoverished, whereas the Fox is now truly lame, nearly hairless, and tailless, and the Cat truly blind. They plead for food or money, but are rebuffed by Pinocchio on grounds that they have earned their misfortunes.
Portrayals in popular culture
In Disney media
In the 1940 Disney film Pinocchio, the Fox and the Cat are given the names John Worthington Foulfellow or "Honest John" (voiced by Walter Catlett) and Gideon (whose three hiccups were provided by Mel Blanc). The pair differ from their original counterparts in a number of ways; they do not feign disability, and it is they who persuade Pinocchio to join Stromboli's puppet show and coax him to go to Pleasure Island, upon being hired by the Coachman. Apart from his three hiccups, Gideon is mute. Though portrayed as scoundrels, they never go as far as attempting to murder Pinocchio, although they mention to the Coachman that they will if they have to. The subplot of the Field of Miracles is absent; and the villains' ultimate fate is that they are arrested by the police, but the scene in which this occurred ended up being deleted from the final draft of the film. Honest John is portrayed as a bombastic ham actor, whereas Gideon's mannerisms resemble those of Dopey from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and 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 for space restrictions.
In the Disney book, "Pinocchio's Promise", Honest John 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. Honest John attempts to sell the clock elsewhere while Gideon takes Pinocchio to the circus with two expired tickets, but abandons the boy when the latter is scolded by the admission attendant. When Pinocchio identifies Honest John's trickery to the local police, he 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: the pair pretend to be physically disabled, and tempt Pinocchio 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. At the end of the film, the two are impoverished.
- The Fox and the Cat are the primary antagonists of Pinocchio's Christmas voiced by Allen Swift (who was impersonating Sydney Greenstreet) and Pat Bright. They had previously made "friends" with Pinocchio and taught him many of his bad habits. They do not feign disability and in this version and the Cat is female. They try to sell Pinocchio to a sleigh driver that works for a rich duke who will give Pinocchio to his children.
- In the 1992 direct to video adaptation entitled Pinocchio from GoodTimes Entertainment, the Fox is replaced with a Wolf and the Cat speaks like a beatnik, and both are voiced by Cam Clarke. The two of them target Pinocchio's gold coins and have not attempted to kill Pinocchio. At the film's conclusion, the Wolf and the Cat are arrested by a police officer and beg Pinocchio to vouch for them whereupon Pinocchio tells the police officer that they stole his coins, and thus confirms their arrest.
- 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 Mangiafuoco (named Lorenzini in this adaptation). In a reversal of roles, Felinet is female and takes on the more dominant role while Volpe is a bungling sidekick. They first appear at their first encounter with Pinocchio, from which Geppetto takes Pinocchio while telling Volpe and Felinet that Pinocchio will play with his own sort. Volpe and Felinet later witness Pinocchio causing mischievous havoc in a bakery even when the police arrive. As in the novel, the pair trick Pinocchio into giving up his coins by taking him to the Field of Miracles (depicted near a monastery), where they steal the money. In conclusion, they are tricked by Pinocchio into drinking cursed water which transforms them into a real fox and cat, and later captured by a farmer where they later witness Pinocchip in town. When Volpe quotes "Don't you just hate that kid," Felinet quotes "Not as much as I hate you."
- In The New Adventures of Pinocchio (the sequel to The Adventures of Pinocchio), Volpe and Felinet (played by Simon Schatzberger and Sarah Alexander) are owned by a circus run by Lorenzini's widow Madame Flambeau (Lorenzini in disguise) where they are shown in half-animal forms. The two of them lead Pinocchio and Lampwick to Madame Flambeau to purchase her elixir, which turns Pinocchio and Geppetto into puppets. While Pepe the Cricket, in the form of the Dwarf Showman, makes off with Pinocchio, Volpe and Felinet make off with Geppetto's puppet form. In conclusion, they try and fail to restore their human forms. When Geppetto gains ownership of the circus, Volpe and Felinet are shown doing the tango after apparently accepting their fate.
- 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 Bruno Arena and Max Cavallari in the Italian version and their English-dubbed voices were provided by Cheech Marin and Eddie Griffin. Like some of the animal characters depicted in this film, this version are depicted as humans but sport pointy ears and fangs. They trick Pinocchio into digging his coins in the Meadow of Miracles outside of Grabadimwit. They are not seen again after seizing Pinocchio's coins.
- In Pinocchio 3000, the characters Cab and Rodo (voiced by Matt Holland and Jack Daniel Wells) are two robots based on the Fox and the Cat. They are owned by Mayor Scamboni's daughter Marlene.
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