Dapper British globetrotter Phileas Fogg turned cartoon adventurer in Around the World in 80 Days, an Australian animated version of the classic Jules Verne novel. Premiering 100 years after the novel first appeared as a newspaper serial, the cartoon Around the World in 80 Days followed a similar course to Verne’s original, but with a slightly different motive.
This Phileas Fogg was madly in love with the stunning Belinda Maze, niece of aristocrat Lord Maze. The uncle sternly disapproved of Mr. Fogg as a nephew-in-law, but Phileas came up with a gentleman’s solution: If he, Fogg, could circumnavigate the globe in 80 days, Lord Maze would give Belinda’s hand in marriage. And to keep it interesting, a large sum of cash was on the line as well.
Lord Maze agreed, and soon Fogg was off with the assistance of his personal valet, Passepartout. Using every means of transportation possible in the late 19th century—balloon, train, steam ship, elephant, etc.—the intrepid pair crossed through the wilds of several continents, giving a bit of geographical knowledge to the kids at home with every stop. There was little time for lessons, however, as the two had to deal with the plots of Mister Fix, a nasty saboteur hired by Lord Maze to make sure Fogg failed.
It took an entire season’s run of 16 episodes, but Fogg finally did make it, winning his lady love’s hand with little time to spare. Naturally, the couple wasn’t keen on making another around-the-world journey, so the series came to a close after its single season on the air.
USA / NBC – Air Programs Intl. – D.L. Taffner / x20 minute episode / Broadcast 9 September 1972 – 1 September 1973
Alistair Duncan as Phileas Fogg
Janet Wald as Belinda Maze
Ross Higgins as Jean Passepartout
Max Obistein as Mister Fix
Owen Weingott as Other Voices