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The Fox and the Cat

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Gatto e volpe
The Fox and the Cat (Italian: Il gatto e la volpe) are a pair of fictional characters who appear in Carlo Collodi's book The Adventures of Pinocchio (Le avventure di Pinocchio). Both are depicted as con-men, who lead Pinocchio astray and unsuccessfully attempt to murder him. The pair pretend to sport disabilities; the Fox lameness and the Cat blindness. The Fox is depicted as the more intelligent of the two, with the Cat usually limiting itself to repeating the Fox's words.


Pinocchio encounters the two after leaving Mangiafuoco's theatre with five gold coins. The Fox claims to know Pinocchio's father Mister Geppetto and proposes to Pinocchio to come with them to the Land of Barn Owls (Paese dei Barbagianni) and thence to a 'Field of Miracles' (Il campo dei Miracoli) where coins can be grown into a money tree. When Pinocchio hesitates, stating his obligation to attend school, the pair claim that their disabilities were due to their eagerness to study. A white blackbird attempts to warn Pinocchio of their lies, but is eaten by the Cat. The pair lead Pinocchio to the Red Prawn Inn (Osteria del Gambero Rosso), where they eat a large meal and ask to be awoken at midnight. Two hours before the set time, the pair abandon Pinocchio leaving him to pay for the meal with one of his coins. They instruct the innkeeper to tell Pinocchio that they left after receiving a message stating that the Cat's eldest kitten had fallen ill, and that they would meet Pinocchio at the Field of Miracles in the morning. When Pinocchio leaves the inn, the two attack him while disguised as murderers. Pinocchio hides the coins in his mouth and in the ensuing struggle, Pinocchio bites off the Cat's paw. He is then pursued by the murderers, who hang him from a tree to force him to disgorge the coins.

Pinocchio escapes with the assistance of The Fairy with Turquoise Hair and encounters the pair again unaware that they are the murderers that hung him. The Fox invents a story to explain the Cat's missing paw, stating that he had sacrificed it to feed a starving wolf. The Fox further adds that they must go to the Field without further delay, as a Lord has bought it and would soon make it off limits to the public. The Pair takes Pinocchio to the town of Catchfools (Acchiappa Citrulli), which is inhabited by many emaciated and starving animals who made bad choices in their past. Pinocchio is taken to the Field, where the coins are soon buried. After telling Pinocchio to leave for a few minutes to allow the money tree time to grow, the pair dig up the coins and run away.

By the end of the book, the pair have become impoverished with the Fox being lame for real and even losing his tail for he had to sell it because they were so poor and the Cat really being blind. They plead for food or money, but are rebuffed by Pinocchio saying it serves them right for their wickedness.


In the 1940 Disney film Pinocchio, the Fox and the Cat are given the names "Honest" John Worthington Foulfellow (voiced by Walter Catlett) and Gideon (whose three hiccups in the film were provided by Mel Blanc). The pair differ from their original counterparts in the Collodi novel in a number of ways, in that they do not feign disability, and it is they who tempt Pinocchio to go to Mangiafuoco's theater (named Stromboli in the film) and coax him to Pleasure Island upon being hired by The Coachman. The Cat is portrayed as completely mute but has 3 hiccups as his only line in the film. Though portrayed as scoundrels, they never go as far as attempting to murder Pinocchio. The subplot of the Field of Miracles is absent; and the villains' ultimate fate is never revealed except in a deleted scene where they meet Pinocchio again in some way and are arrested by the Police. Foulfellow is portrayed somewhat as bombastic ham actor, whereas Gideon's mannerisms resemble those of Dopey from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the title character as the circus elephant Dumbo.

Un Burattino di nome Pinocchio

In Guilanio Cenci's animated film adaptation, The Fox and the Cat (voiced by Sergio Tedesco and Manlio De Angelis) follow the characterisation shown in the book. They meet Pinocchio, pretending to be lame and blind respectively, and lure him into the Field Of Miracles and The Red Prawn Inn. As in the book, the Fox is the more articulate of the two and the pair attempt to murder Pinocchio for his coins in guise of assasins [though the Cat is not crippled by Pinocchio as in the book]. At the end of the film the two are impoverished.

The Adventures of Pinocchio Films

The Adventures of Pinocchio

In Steve Barrons 1996 live action film The Adventures of Pinocchio, the Fox and the Cat (portrayed by Rob Schneider and Bebe Neuwirth) are named Volpe ('Fox' in Italian) and Felinet, and are portrayed as human thieves in league with the evil Mangiafuoco (named Lorenzini in this adaptation). In a reversal of roles, Felinet the "Cat" is a female and takes on the more dominant and assertive role while Volpe the "Fox" is shown as a bungling sidekick. They first appear where they have their first encounter with Pinocchio. Geppetto arrives and takes Pinocchio away while telling Volpe and Felinet that Pinocchio will play with his own sort. They inform Lorenzini of Pinocchio as he plans to obtain him. Volpe and Felinet later witness Pinocchio causing mischievous havoc in the bakery even when the police arrive. As in the novel, the pair attempt to trick Pinocchio into giving up his coins by taking him to the Field of Miracles (depicted to be near a monastery and not near Catchfools) and having him bury it. After Pinocchio leaves, Volpe and Felinet dig up the coins and leaven. Also like the book, they are dealt with poetic justice at the film's conclusion. Though rather than becoming impoverished, they are tricked by Pinocchio into drinking cursed water from Terra Magica (which Pinocchio claimed will turn any white rock they hold into gold) which transforms them into a real fox and cat. They were last seen watching Pinocchio in town as they are shown to have been captured by a farmer. When Volpe asks "Don't you just hate that kid," Felinet quotes "Not as much as I hate you."

The New Adventures of Pinocchio

Volpe and Felinet (played by Simon Schatzberger and Sarah Alexander) are shown to be owned by a circus that is run by Lorenzini's widowed wife Madame Flambeau. Here, they are shown to have been made anthropomorphic than appearing in full animal form like the last movie (though the faces of the actors are applied with makeup to make their faces look like their respectful animal forms). They still blame Pinocchio for pulling the trick on them that "gave them their fur coats."

Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio

In the 2002 film Pinocchio the Fox and the Cat [played by Bruno Arena and Max Cavallari with their English-dubbed voices done by Cheech Marin and Eddie Griffin] are portrayed almost exactly as in the book.

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