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|Around the World in Eighty Days character|
|First appearance||Around the World in Eighty Days|
|Created by||Jules Verne|
Jean Passepartout, a character in Jules Verne's novel, Around the World in Eighty Days, is the French valet of the novel's English main character, Phileas Fogg. His surname translates literally to "goes everywhere," but this is an idiom for "skeleton key" in French. It is also a play on the English word passport.
At the beginning of the novel, Passepartout has just been hired by Phileas Fogg after Fogg's previous valet failed to meet his exacting standards. Passepartout, who has lived an irregular and well-travelled life, is looking forward to a restful employment, as Fogg is known for his regular habits which never take him further afield than the Reform Club.
Ironically, on Passepartout's first day at work, Fogg makes a bet with his friends at the Club that he can circumnavigate the world within 80 days and Passepartout is obliged to accompany him. In addition to the wager, the valet has an additional incentive to complete the journey quickly: he left a gaslight burning in his room and the resulting expense of wasted gas will be docked from his salary.
In the journey, Passepartout plays a critical role in Fogg's adventures, such as rescuing a young woman named Aouda from a forced sati, and becomes a friend of Fix, a police detective who suspects Fogg of robbing a bank. Passepartout learns of Fix's suspicions, but keeps them to himself as he believes Fogg already has enough problems to worry about. Due to his silence, however, Fogg and Fix never have a chance to discuss the case, and Fix arrests Fogg as soon as they return to England. The day after Fogg and Passepartout return to London, seemingly too late, it is Passepartout who discovers that the date is one day earlier than he thought, leaving Fogg just enough time to complete the journey and win his bet. Fogg marries Aouda, with Passepartout giving away the bride, and divides the net proceeds from the journey between Passepartout and Fix - but not without deducting the cost of the gaslight use from Passepartout's share.
The character of Passepartout serves several purposes in the narrative — as a point-of-view character for Verne's French readers, and as comic relief, both in his reactions to the strange places and events he encounters, and in a tendency to get trapped, abducted, or, on at least one occasion, left behind.
- In Philip José Farmer's 1973 novel The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, Passepartout is merely a code-name. Like Phileas Fogg, Passepartout is actually an agent of the Eridanians, a race of aliens hiding on Earth and opposed to the Capellans, whose servants include Captain Nemo and Professor Moriarty.
- In Kevin J. Anderson's 2002 novel Captain Nemo: The Fantastic History of a Dark Genius, he is one of the officials captured by Robur during the Crimean War, along with Captain Nemo and Cyrus Smith.
In other media
- In the 1956 film version, Around the World in 80 Days, Passepartout was played by the actor Cantinflas.
- In the more loosely adapted 2004 film version, Around the World in 80 Days, Passepartout was a Chinese fugitive whose real name is Lau Xing, who took the name to avoid custody by the English authorities. He was played by Jackie Chan.
- In the 1972 animated series, he was voiced by Ross Higgins. This version had a pet monkey named Toto.
- In the 1981 animated adaptation, Around the World with Willy Fog, which depicts the cast as anthropomorphic animals, Passepartout is renamed Rigadon (although he is named Passepartout in some translations), and emphasis is placed on his background as a former circus performer, hence, his desire to get away from a lifestyle that involves much travel. This adaptation also graces Rigadon with a companion in the form of Tico, his circus partner, offering the character someone he can interact with on his own level. Rigadon was voiced by Cam Clarke in the dubbed English version of the series.
- In the 2008 Rocket! Take Us to the Moon. New From the Earth to the Moon animated series. Jean Passepartout was subtly implied to have a son, whom he put under the care of Phileas and Aouda Fogg. His son is the lead character of the series, with the future Japanese girl Matogawa Eri as both his co-star and love interest. Jean Passepartout was voiced by Watanabe Kazushige (渡辺一茂), while his son was voiced by Sakai Chika (酒井智加).
- "Rocket! ぼくらを月につれてって 新・月世界旅行 （１）目指すは月 |サイエンス チャンネル". Sciencechannel.jst.go.jp. 2015-04-25. Retrieved 2015-05-07.