Thursday, 24 December 2009

Around ze World in ze 80 Days, with an oh-so gentleman-like Lion!

Around The World With Willy Fog Ep 2 Part 1

Several episodes have been uploaded for this legendary cartoon. Episode 1 is missing sadly, but episodes 2-8 of 26 episodes are there. It was produced in 1983, but it wasn't until the late-80's, it reached the peak of it's popularity in the UK. It follows the classic Willy Fogg tale, but with a twist, set in a world where animals play the human parts, from the elegant Lion as "Willy Fogg", to a feline playing "Rigodon" and "Princess Romy" and a wolf/coyote, playing "Transfer" the main villain trying to thawrt Fogg's quest.

The cartoon is created by the Spanish animation company BRB International, who were also behind "Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds" and "The World of David the Gnome". The show was co-produced and actually animated by Japanese studio Nippon Animation. The first dub of the cartoon was in Spanish, the English dub came later and may be one of the reasons for the delayed interest in the cartoon in UK, championed by CBBC broom cupboard presenters like Andy Crane.

It's a somewhat intelligent and wholesome cartoon, and what was clever, was the cliffhangers and pomped-up previews of the next episodes, carried by an urgent sounding out-of-vision narrator. The wealth of places they go to, as it is a trip around around the world, from London to Paris, to Bombay to Calcutta, it was a great show. And that theme song, damn catchy. The title character sings solo first as he swings about the street like Fred Astaire, and the rest of the gang, bad and good, join in. A more softer song is played in the ending credits, with some great random, imaginative animations surrounding the credits, like one of the goons falling through a sand hourglass. However, just as memorable with its little whistling tune in the background.

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