Around the World in 80 Days is an animated television series that lasted one season of sixteen episodes, broadcast during the 1972-1973 season by NBC. It was the first Australian-produced cartoon to be shown on American network television. Leif Gram directed all sixteen episodes, and the stories were loosely adapted by Chester "Chet" Stover from the novel by Jules Verne.
Around the World in 80 Days (1972 TV series) Wikipedia
More comedic in tone than Verne's novel, the motives of Phileas Fogg (Alastair Duncan) differed somewhat from those of his literary forerunner. Fogg was passionately in love with Belinda Maze (Janet Waldo), whose uncle, Lord Maze (Owen Weingott), sternly disapproved of the commoner Fogg marrying his niece. Fogg proposed a wager: if he could travel around the world in eighty days, then Lord Maze would give him Belinda's hand in marriage; if Fogg failed, he would abandon her. The two men also made a side bet of ₤20,000.
Fogg was accompanied by his manservant, Jean Passepartout (Ross Higgins), and Passepartout's pet monkey, Toto. They employed all the methods of transportation available in the late 19th Century–balloons, trains, elephants, and steam ships–in the course of their journey. Fogg and Passepartout dispensed geographical knowledge to the audience at each of their stops.
Lord Maze hired a saboteur, Mr. Fix (Max Osbiston), to interfere with Fogg and Passepartout's journey. Unlike his counterpart in Verne's novel, Fix was not a Scotland Yard detective attempting to arrest Fogg on suspicion of bank robbery.
Fogg managed to complete his journey by the end of the programme's single-season run, winning Belinda's hand with little time to spare.
Each episode has the same structure:Fogg describes their destination to Passepartout.
Fogg asks Passepartout to pack the bag with a seemingly random collection of items.
Fogg teaches a proverb.
Fix describes aloud about his plan to stop Fogg.
Fogg and Passepartout follow their itinerary, while Fix tries to stop them.
During the journey, Fogg finds the time to explain the history and geography of the locations they visit.
Eventually, all the items Fogg and Passepartout took with them prove to be essential.
The proverb Fogg introduced at the beginning of the episode also proves to be essential for their success.
The episode ends with Fogg saying "Good job, Passepartout!"
The series was produced through Australian Air Programmes International, one of whose staff producers, Walter J. Hucker, served as the showrunner. NBC transmitted the sixteen episodes in the United States on its Saturday morning schedule during the 1972-1973 season.
John Sangster composed the theme music, set to the tune of "Mademoiselle from Armentières". The lyrics were composed for the show by an uncredited writer.
Around the World in 80 Days was released on Region 1 DVD in the United States in a two disc set by Visual Entertainment Incorporated on September 27, 2011.