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Around the World with Willy Fog

Let's check the schemata again: old men = goats, right?THE TIME: THE mid-80s. The place: a children’s TV production meeting somewhere on the continent. One exec pipes up: “Hey, I’ve got a great idea for a cartoon! Why not take some old classic book, one that’s out of copyright, and just have all the characters played by animals!” Ensuing production lasts 100 episodes or so and involves erstwhile dignified city gent Phileas Fogg become, er, a lion who bets he can travel around the world in less than eighty days enlisting the help of French butler Rigadon, a beaver/bear thing, and Tico, a Spanish mouse who lives in Rigadon’s hat. En route they contrive to rescue an Indian princess who is a grey cat with lipstick but who’s somehow as big as Fogg and who is about to be slaughtered by a religious sect. The pair fall in love and get married, but not before outwitting the machinations of two bumbling police canines, plus a bizarre wolf/dog, The Insidious Transfer, who is supposedly a master of disguise but can’t help his eyes gleaming at inappropriate moments. Opening sequence had entire freakish menagerie marching a la DAD’S ARMY titles over an image of Big Ben while unnamed chorus crooned inaccurate promise of “finding a pot of gold”.



  1. Applemask

    June 25, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Sequel “Willy Fog 2” (they lopped off a g for the lion version, for some reason) adapted “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. If they’d sent him to the moon they would have basically completed the canon of anthropomorphic Vernery. Oh, also it’s a musical now.

  2. TV Cream

    June 25, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Cheers – superfluous ‘g’ now removed.

  3. Matty

    July 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Having seen a video of the opening titles for the first time in over 20 years on YouTube recently I was struck by how much the singing Fog(g) sounds like former Tory leader Michael Howard.

  4. Lee James Turnock

    May 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    That goat is clearly Rene Fromage from ‘Animalympics’ having fallen on hard times.

  5. Palimpsest

    June 29, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    James Mason singing on the opening theme.

  6. Tom Ronson

    March 25, 2022 at 2:19 pm

    Don’t forget, 28th April is still National Willy Fog day, as inaugurated by Andy Crane.
    Another one for the misheard lyrics pile – ‘I’m Tico the mascot,’ rendered in a hokey Spanish accent, always sounded to me like ‘I’m Tico, dumbass cat.’

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