The Family Jules

For those of us of a certain age in England the works of Jules Verne was pretty much represented by a cartoon called Willy Fog.

To be more exact, Around the World in 80 Days  will be represented by Willy Fog. For those unfamiliar or just in need of a reminder, it was a antrophamorphic cartoon with the characters changed from people to talking animals and for reasons known only to the makers some, if not all, of the character’s names changed. So Philleas Fog become Willy Fog, Passporteau became Regadon and a random third character was added, no doubt to help split the dialogue up. While the series loosely followed the book as far as I can recall there were several liberties taken with some subplots to extend the story a bit.

The odd thing I found when I finally got  around to reading Jules Verne’s most famous (or is popular a better word?) works; Around the World  in 80 Days, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was how interchangeable some of the characters are. The aloof professor in Journey is very similar in character to  Fog and it is only really their occupations which set them apart from one another, whilst Ned Land in 20,000 Leagues is not overtly different from the Swedish heavy in Journey. It is only the character whose  point of view the stories are told through vary somewhat and even then it is not a great amount, both 20,000 Leagues and Journey are told in the first person and as such we have a very singular point of view. Though 80 Days is told in the third person we are mostly kept within the viewpoint of Passporteau and very little, if any, of the narrative does not have him taking centre stage of events in the journey.

Funnily enough, later on there was a second series of Willy Fog which used the same three lead characters from 80 Days replacing the characters in Leagues and Journey… evidently someone else picked up  on the  interchangeable characters.



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