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Series / Topo Gigio

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Topo Gigio (Italian for mouse —topo— and the derivative "Gigi" for Luigi —Louis—, thus meaning Louie Mouse) is an Italian puppet character mouse that sprung a franchise of children's products around the world, particularly popular in the Latin World note . Although the character also debuted in the US and other non-Latin countries. In the US it had recurring appearances in The Ed Sullivan Show.

Topo Gigio was created in 1958 by puppeteer Maria Perego and both the puppet and the technique used in it were revolutionary at the time, especially for the way it opened and closed the eyelids, moved the mouth, and for the specially made and very detailed miniature clothing that wears. It became a hit and popular culture icon in Italy during The '60s and spawned a big franchise with animated series, comics, children's music, and two movies. When the show was exported to other countries, particularly in Europe and Latin America, it became a hit as well. The show was remade in different languages generally with a well-known celebrity (usually Talk Shows hosts) in their respective countries or regions, some of them were Chris Howland for Germany and Austria and Raul Astor (later Julio Alemán) for Latin America. Nippon Animation also made an anime series about him.

Topo Gigio provides examples of:

  • Christianity is Catholic: Topo Gigio makes several references to prayers (especially before sleep) and constant reference to a made-up saint San Peppino (Saint Cucumber). It helps that the character was popular among Latins that are mostly Catholics.
  • Crossover: Topo Gigio once made a guest appearance on El Chapulín Colorado.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Japanese-produced movie Topo Gigio and the Missile War
  • Furry Confusion: Topo Gigio has a pet cat… and is smaller than him. Despite of this, normal-looking cats have appeared alongside him.
  • Furry Female Mane: Both inverted and played straight. Topo Gigio and all the male mice in his family have hair on their heads, as do the females and his girlfriend, Rosy.
  • Nice Mice: Topo Gigio is a friendly sweet mouse.
  • Latin Lover: In a child-friendly version, Topo Gigio is very popular with ladies. But, he’s Italian so what did you expect?
  • Species Surname: Topo means mouse in Italian. Curiously it also means mole in Spanish causing some confusion to some viewers.
  • Vague Age: Topo Gigio’s exact age is never revealed. Sometimes he has the behavior of a little kid (as he requires certain care before going to sleep) and sometimes has more adult behavior, especially with the ladies.