A Disney pin of Figaro
|First appearance||Pinocchio, 1940|
|Created by||Walt Disney|
Minnie Mouse (formerly)
Mickey Mouse (currently)
Figaro is probably best known as the pet cat of Mister Geppetto and Pinocchio. Figaro was Walt Disney's favorite character in Pinocchio; he loved the kitten so much, he wanted him to appear as much as possible. Once production on Pinocchio was done, Walt made him the pet of Minnie Mouse, replacing Fifi.
He has also starred independently in a number of Disney shorts, as the pet cat of Minnie Mouse, as it was common for Disney characters to be transposed from movies to cartoon shorts. Three of the cartoons he appeared in were his own cartoons; "Figaro and Cleo" (1943), "Bath Day" (1946) and "Figaro and Frankie" (1947). Similar to Pluto, Figaro is one of the few Disney characters who is not anthropomorphized, but just a normal cat. He has a cameo in Disney's Alice in Wonderland as a caterpillar being annoyed by a copper centipede.
In the 1970s Disney mini-comics, Figaro not only "guest-starred" with other Disney characters/comics but had his own column on various Felines as "Figaro's Feline Friends". After nearly a 50-year hiatus of not being in any new Disney cartoons, Figaro, like many other Disney characters of the 1940s and 1950s, was cast as a customer in Disney's House of Mouse. While the video game Kingdom Hearts featured a level taking place inside Monstro's belly and included Pinocchio, Gepetto and Cleo, Figaro was absent (although he does appear in the manga based on the first game). Figaro's most recent appearance has been in several episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Minnie's Bow-Toons, as her pet cat. It could possibly be a different cat named Figaro as Cleo, his counterpart, is never seen.
In the parks
Figaro can be found all over the Disney theme parks, including Pinocchio's Daring Journey and Celebrate A Dreams Come True Parade. At Fantasy Faire in Disneyland, Figaro can be seen sleeping in a window of one of the buildings. He is occasionally awoken by a caged bird that chirps familiar Disney songs.
In the Pinocchio's Village Haus restaurant, he appears in various murals retelling the Pinocchio Story, as well as serving as the namesake of Figaro Fries and appearing over the exit. A design flaw led to the exit signs not being properly centered at Disneyland and Walt Disney World's versions of the restaurant, so Figaro is shown pulling the sign on a rope to fix things. At Disneyland Paris, the problem was corrected and Figaro is shown leaning on the exit sign giving a thumbs up.
His namesake is also used in a shop called Figaro's Clothiers located in the Mediterranean Harbor at Tokyo DisneySea.
Figaro is based on and acts like an immature and spoiled little boy. He is easily angered but deep down has a heart of gold. He takes a disliking to many things including, but not limited to, waiting, baths, being made a fool of, dogs and giving Cleo a goodnight kiss.
In the shorts, his character was made less cuddly and more malicious and cat-like. He is a prime rival of Pluto as the two are constantly seen battling each other for different things, most notably Minnie's affections. Figaro usually enjoys tormenting Pluto when no one's around but occasionally learns to make peace with the pup. In recent years, Figaro and Pluto's relationship become a lot less hostile; nowadays, the little kitten looks up to the big dog.
In his modern appearances in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Minnie's BowToons, we see his personality change as he becomes more well behaved. He acts as a close friend and confidant to Minnie, often sleeping in her shop while she works. His roles in the show have been minor so far.
His enemies include Monstro, Pete and sometimes Pluto in select shorts.
Figaro is the mascot of RAF Ace Ian Gleed's Hawker Hurricanes during, and after, the Battle of Britain and his Spitfire Mk. Vb Trop which he flew while he was in action over the Western Desert and the Mediterranean during the middle of the war.
- Pinocchio (1940) (shown here with Cleo and Jiminy Cricket)
- Figaro and Cleo (1943)
- Victory Vehicles (1943)
- First Aiders (1944)
- Donald's Crime (1945) (shown rummaging in rubbish bin)
- Bath Day (1946)
- Figaro and Frankie (1947)
- Cat Nap Pluto (1948)
- Pluto's Sweater (1949)
- Alice in Wonderland (1951, cameo)
- Disney's Halloween Treat (1982) (excerpts from Pluto's Sweater and Cat Nap Pluto)
- Mickey Mouse Works (1999)
- Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas (1999)
- Disney's House of Mouse (2001–2003)
- Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse (2002, cameo)
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006–2016)
- Minnie's Bow-Toons (2011–2016)
- Markus, D. H. "Wing Commander Ian Richard Gleed". Retrieved 2011-06-04.