A Disney pin of Figaro
|First appearance||Pinocchio (1940)|
|Created by||Walt Disney|
Minnie Mouse (currently)
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Figaro is a fictional cat character who first appeared in Disney's 1940 animated film Pinocchio.
Figaro, a tuxedo cat, is probably best known as the pet kitten of Geppetto and Pinocchio, debuting in the Disney's 1940 animated film Pinocchio. He has been one of two new characters Disney invented for their animated retelling of the classic. Figaro was Walt Disney's favorite character in Pinocchio; he loved the kitten so much, he wanted him to appear as much as possible.
Figaro later starred independently in a number of Disney shorts, as the pet cat of an unnamed African-American woman similar to Tom and Jerry's Mammy Two Shoes, and later Minnie Mouse, as it was common for Disney characters to be transposed from movies to cartoon shorts. Three of the cartoons he appeared in were his own cartoons; "Figaro and Cleo" (1943), "Bath Day" (1946) and "Figaro and Frankie" (1947). Similar to Pluto, Figaro is one of the few Disney animal characters who is not anthropomorphized, but just a normal cat. He has a cameo in Disney's Alice in Wonderland as a caterpillar being annoyed by a copper centipede bearing resemblance to a dog.
Figaro has appeared periodically in Disney comics, in Pinocchio adaptations as well as in his own stories set in the present day of Mouseton. Adaptations of Bath Day and Figaro and Frankie were published in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #73 (Oct 1946) and #79 (April 1947) respectively. He was used very sparingly in the 1950s, but in five issues of Walt Disney Comics Digest, he had a bimonthly column on types of cats called Figaro's Feline Friends, from issue #17 (Nov 1969) to #25 (Oct 1970). Since the late 1990s, Figaro has occasionally popped up in Dutch Disney comics as a story's lead character.
Figaro was going to have a cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but was later dropped for unknown reasons.
After nearly a 50-year hiatus of not being in any new Disney cartoons, Figaro, like many other Disney characters of the 1940s and 1950s, was cast as a customer in Disney's House of Mouse. While the video game Kingdom Hearts featured a level taking place inside Monstro's belly and included Pinocchio, Geppetto and Cleo, Figaro was absent, but appeared in the manga based on the first game. Figaro's most recent appearance has been in several episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Minnie's Bow-Toons, as her pet cat. It could possibly be a different cat named Figaro as Cleo, his counterpart, is never seen.
In the parks
Figaro can be found all over the Disney theme parks, including Pinocchio's Daring Journey and Celebrate A Dreams Come True Parade. At Fantasy Faire in Disneyland, Figaro can be seen sleeping in a window of one of the buildings. He is occasionally awoken by a caged bird that chirps familiar Disney songs.
In the Pinocchio's Village Haus restaurant, he appears in various murals retelling the Pinocchio Story, as well as serving as the namesake of Figaro Fries and appearing over the exit. A design flaw led to the exit signs not being properly centered at the Disneyland version of the restaurant, so Figaro is shown pulling the sign on a rope to fix things. At Disneyland Paris, the problem was corrected and Figaro is shown leaning on the exit sign giving a thumbs up.
His namesake is also used in a shop called Figaro's Clothiers located in the Mediterranean Harbor at Tokyo DisneySea.
Figaro is based on and acts like an immature and spoiled little boy. He is easily angered but deep down has a heart of gold. He takes a disliking to many things including, but not limited to, waiting, baths, being made a fool of, dogs and giving Cleo a goodnight kiss.
In the shorts, his character was made less cuddly and more malicious. He is a prime rival of Pluto as the two are constantly seen battling each other for different things, most notably Minnie's affections. Figaro usually enjoys tormenting Pluto when no one's around but occasionally learns to make peace with the dog. In recent years, Figaro and Pluto's relationship become a lot less hostile; nowadays, the little kitten looks up to the big dog.
In his modern appearances in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Minnie's BowToons, his personality changes as he becomes more well behaved. He acts as a close friend and confidant to Minnie, often sleeping in her shop while she works. His roles in the show have been minor so far.
His enemies include Monstro and Pluto in selected shorts.
Figaro has been described as a "hit with the audiences", which resulted in him making appearances in many later Disney productions.
Figaro swatting a swastika is the mascot of Wing Commander Ian Gleed's Hawker Hurricanes during, and after, the Battle of Britain, and his Spitfire Mk. Vb Trop which he flew during the Tunisia Campaign in 1943.
- Pinocchio (1940) (debut)
- All Together (1942)
- Figaro and Cleo (1943)
- Victory Vehicles (1943)
- First Aiders (1944)
- Donald's Crime (1945) (shown rummaging in rubbish bin)
- Bath Day (1946)
- Figaro and Frankie (1947)
- Cat Nap Pluto (1948)
- Pluto's Sweater (1949)
- Alice in Wonderland (1951, cameo)
- Disney's Halloween Treat (1982) (excerpts from Pluto's Sweater and Cat Nap Pluto)
- Mickey Mouse Works (1999)
- Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas (1999)
- Disney's House of Mouse (2001–2003)
- Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse (2002, cameo)
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006–2016)
- Minnie's Bow-Toons (2011–2016)
- Mickey Mouse (2013–present)
- Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures (2017–present)
- "Fred Flintstone Meets Jiminy Cricket: A Salute to Alan Reed -". cartoonresearch.com. 25 August 2020.
- Roberta Altman (1995). The Quintessential Cat. Blandford. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-7137-2526-1. Search this book on
- Sandra Choron; Harry Choron; Arden Moore (2007). Planet Cat: A Cat-Alog. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 101. ISBN 0-618-81259-8. Search this book on
- Max Cryer (1 February 2015). The Cat's Out of the Bag: Truth and lies about cats. Exisle Publishing. pp. 134–. ISBN 978-1-77559-207-5. Search this book on
- Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. p. 80. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020. Search this book on
- "Bath Day". Inducks. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- "Figaro and Frankie". Inducks. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- "Walt Disney Comics Digest #17". Inducks. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- "Figaro - Story Index". Inducks. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman". www.dailyscript.com. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
- Markus, D. H. "Wing Commander Ian Richard Gleed". Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- Figaro at Inducks
- Figaro at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on July 25, 2016.
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