Francis is a British bulldog, often seen speaking with a British or Old English accent like a Shakespearean actor since he has a passion for theatres, the arts, and acting and seen watching the grainy TV and a theatrical production of Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most famous plays and which he apparently knows by heart and is seen playing a dog-hit part (which Einstein actually did) to distract the limo driver, Winston, while Oliver and Tito; mostly, handle the car's radio theft. His love for theatre and art, however, can cloud his judgment even in the most dire situations. Each time someone calls him nicknames; mostly Tito, like "Frank" or "Frankie", he gives them an uninteresting education about his real name, telling them not to call him either "Frank" or "Frankie" ever again; just "Francis" or almost loses his temper while repeating his real name 3 times. He is kind, tough, funny, easily irritated, and sophisticated.
Francis first appears on the house boat, watching the grainy television and a theatrical production of Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most famous plays and which he apparently knows by heart as he mouths the words in time with the actor. When he hears Tito making some noise with his music and playing around with his wallet, he tells him to stop that racket because he's watching his show. Tito enters the scene and starts talking, annoying, bothering, and insulting Francis, almost causing him to lose his temper. When Tito calls him "Frankie", Francis gives him an uninteresting education about his real name, telling him not to call him either "Frank" or "Frankie" ever again, just "Francis". Then Tito asks him what he brought for the gang as food for the day, "Frahn-cees", and Francis replies: "It's none of your business, you intrusive little pipsqueak."
Then Einstein shows Francis shows what he got as a "loot". Francis mocks him, telling him that all they need now is the court and the net, but Einstein takes him seriously, as he inquired as to whether the houseboat was big enough. Einstein is then told by Tito about his loot. Then Francis mocks Tito, telling him that his "loot" is nothing more than just shredded leather. This upsets Tito, causing him to lose his temper and scold Francis. Then, Rita wakes up and tells Tito and Francis to "cut it out", having to bark to shut Tito up. Rita checks out the "loot" she and her friends brought for their owner, Fagin, saying he's not gonna be too happy about it, then asks Francis if he got the food today, but as it turns out, he forgot. The rest of the dog gang are upset by the fact that he forgot to get the food today since it was his turn, leaving Francis ashamed as they reprimand him for his mistake.
Luckily, when Dodger enters the houseboat, he introduces Francis and his friends to their dinner: hot dogs. When Dodger is asked by his pals about how he got those sausages, he tells them every event that occurred to him today. As soon as Dodger mentions his "monster" (Oliver) in the story, Francis becomes a bit scared and even more spooked like the gang when the "monster" falls in. Francis is later seen running, while shouting: "Take cover!", and hiding in fear in a corner, but when the "monster" turns out to be a cat (Oliver), he's immediately angered as he refers to Oliver by his Latin origins. The gang (except Dodger) surround Oliver and ask him questions about how and why he came to their place, mostly Rita as she snarls "Now how did you find this place, cat?!". Oliver says he followed Dodger, Tito thinks he's lying while repeating "he's lying" countless times until he is kicked by Rita to shut him up. Then Francis asks: "Now why would a cat follow a dog?" to which Einstein replies: "Yeah?" Then, Oliver reveals to them the truth and about his involvement in Dodger's scheme about the hot dogs theft. Dodger admits to his friends that Oliver is telling the truth and the gang along with Dodger begin to develop respect for him. The gang start to mock Dodger's story resulting in Dodger starting a "fight" with Tito, then Francis, to which Einstein joins in enthusiastically, and then Rita.
When Fagin, the dogs' owner, enters and tells them to stop the "fight" he caught them in, the dogs notice the dog biscuits Fagin bought them and they run and jump on him to give him a warm welcome home.
When Roscoe and DeSoto enter their home after hearing a honking noise, Fagin goes up to have a meeting with their master and his evil boss, Bill Sykes, whom he owes money to. DeSoto sniffs around the place while Roscoe begins to flirt with a disgruntled Rita, but Francis insults him and Tito high-fives him to congratulate and encourage him, but finds himself confronted by the angry Doberman, who retorts back with calling Francis "Fat Boy". Tito gets angry and tries to fight Roscoe, not before being held back by Einstein. Then Einstein insults Roscoe until he is now confronted by the angry Doberman. As Dodger tries to calm Roscoe down, Roscoe smashes the television and says he finds it funny and laughs in a sinister way as a reply. When Oliver is discovered by DeSoto and DeSoto, in return for trying to eat Oliver, has his nose scratched by Oliver, Roscoe and DeSoto attempt to attack Oliver, not before Dodger jumps into the scene and protects him. Then, rest of the gang join in to protect their new cat friend from the two evil dogs. Luckily for them, Sykes has finished talking with Fagin and summons his dogs back to his car. Though reluctant to leave Dodger, Oliver, and the gang after what Oliver did to DeSoto, Roscoe gives in and tells DeSoto that they are leaving, but not without warning Dodger that they'll be back, and Oliver will be the first to pay for what he did to DeSoto.
When Fagin enters the home, all wet after falling off a pier and full of sadness since he's been given three days to pay Mr. Sykes back or else there's no telling what will happen to him, his house, and his dogs, the dogs do everything they can to cheer him up. Fagin is cheered up and thanks them. When it's time for bed, Einstein insists Fagin reads them a bedtime story. At first, Fagin is reluctant because he's too tired, but when he hears and sees Einstein whining sadly, Fagin accepts, "but just one chapter." Francis helps bring the lamp to Fagin's side while Tito turns it on and in Fagin's direction. During the story reading, Fagin asks Francis to demonstrate a real bark, to which he does, perfectly well-rehearsed. Later, Francis is seen sleeping on the floor next to Fagin with Tito sleeping on the left side of his face and using his left cheek as a cover.
The next day, the gang are riding in Fagin's scooter, but then they're told to get out on the street to search for food while Fagin searches for a way to earn or even steal money. Dodger intends to help Fagin with his financial problems and the gang agree to help too. While Rita sings "Streets of Gold," a vicious alley dog begins to chase Oliver, not before Dodger, Francis, and the rest of the gang growl at the alley dog and shoo him away. Oliver even tries to "bark" like a dog to shoo the alley dog as well and the gang find it amusing a bit. When Dodger notices a limousine, he comes up with a plan on how to steal its radio and give it to Fagin to exchange it for some money as partial payment to his debt with his evil boss. Later on, after Einstein stops the limousine with Jenny Foxworth in it by running into the fender of it head-first as part of Dodger's plan, Francis plays the part of the dog hit as a way of distracting Winston, the driver and Foxworth family's butler, while Oliver and Tito mostly handle the theft. When the plan backfires due to Oliver slipping on the keys and starting the engine, Tito is seen flying out of the car and Francis, thinking the plan worked, licks Winston goodbye and runs off to hide in a corner with the rest of the gang as the car drives away. Francis and the gang get back to Fagin while Dodger and Tito follow the car where Oliver was taken in.
A few moments later, Dodger and Tito return to Fagin and the gang to inform them about everything, thinking their friend, Oliver, is in "danger" and that he's being "tortured". The gang decide to "rescue" Oliver, but Einstein asks: "But what about Fagin?". When they are stuck between the decision of whether to help Fagin or Oliver, it results in Francis speaking Old English, which Tito finds annoying, resulting into Francis losing his temper while repeating his real name three times after having been insulted and called "Frankie" again, before Dodger intervenes and breaks up their argument, though Tito still gets one last raspberry in at Francis before Dodger forces him to stop by looking at him upon hearing it with an annoyed glare, forcing Tito to look away and play innocent. Dodger then discusses the "rescue mission" with the gang. When Tito also voices how Oliver is considered family, even blood family, to the gang, Francis adds in a agreeing "hear, hear".
Dodger leads the "rescue" mission to recover Oliver the next day while Jenny's at school. The gang notice Winston banging on something with a rolling pin, thinking he's "torturing" Oliver. Francis says he will "handle that ruffian". After Einstein distracts Winston with the doorbell, Francis distracts him by playing the dog injury scene like before, then licks him "again". Winston quickly realizes he is the dog who faked his injury the other day and starts to shoo him away with his rolling pin while Francis is pulling him by his apron. When the rest of the dog-gang are inside, Francis runs back to the house to join them and locks the door, leaving Winston outside. In the house, the gang's admiring the place, mostly Francis, who is admiring Chagall and Matisse's masterpieces (dog paintings), more than focusing on their friend. Luckily, Dodger helps them snap out of it right away.
After checking out the house, Dodger enters Georgette's (the Foxworth family's spoiled pedigree poodle dog show queen) room. Georgette panics and calls for Winston countless times, thinking that he's after her. When Dodger assures her that he isn't, Georgette feels insulted, thus giving him an uninteresting education about herself. Then, the rest of the gang enter her room and cause a mess in it, with Francis lying on her bed and eating her chocolates and mostly Einstein when he sniffs her powder and sneezes, thus causing her to call Winston again, but when Dodger mentions that they'll leave as soon as they get their cat back, she's cooperative. Before cooperating with the "rescue", Winston manages to get back inside and checks to see if Georgette is alright. Einstein, along with Francis, are seen hiding under Georgette's bed cover with half of Georgette's body sticking out, Dodger and Rita posing as dog statue replicas and Tito hanging on a coat hanger of the door. Winston finds it a bit weird nevertheless he leaves. When Georgette takes the gang to Jenny's room, they notice Oliver sleeping happily and calmly on his pillow. Rita's the first one convinced he's okay and proposes they "forget the whole thing" but Georgette, eager to get rid of him, convinces them that "he's so traumatized" and when Winston's voice is heard again, she hands him to them in a pillow sack held by Einstein and Francis and allows them to escape through the fire escape before Winston can catch them.
After Oliver's 'rescue', it turns out that he wanted to stay with Jenny. After having a talk with Dodger, Francis and the rest of the gang are sad to see their friend go and Oliver leaves, but is also sad and full of sorrow at leaving the gang behind to return to Jenny. Then, Fagin returns and takes Oliver back in. When Fagin notices Oliver's new golden collar tag, he has an idea for ransoming him.
After Fagin, Oliver, and Dodger's rendezvouz with Sykes and his Dobermans, Francis and the dogs are seen waiting with Fagin and Oliver, in his pocket, for their rendezvous with Oliver's unknown wealthy cat owner (Jenny). After Fagin and Jenny have a small conversation with Sykes and his dogs unnoticeably watching them in his car, Jenny turns out to be Oliver's owner with only a piggy bank as payment to get Oliver back and starts crying. Fagin, at first, has a hard decision about whether to follow his good heart or not, then he gives up and pretends to find Oliver in a box and hands him to Jenny. Unfortunately, Sykes bursts into the scene, kidnaps Jenny, throws Oliver out of the window, and tells Fagin to keep his mouth shut and to consider their account closed.
Then, Dodger and the gang come to Oliver's aid. Dodger assures and promises Oliver that they'll "absitively" get Jenny back. The dogs run to Sykes' warehouse without riding in Fagin's scooter this time. After an inspection of the warehouse has been made by Francis and Tito, it turns out everything is locked up, so now, Dodger comes up with a plan on how to get inside. As the plan is set with Francis as the 1st "cannonball", Oliver as the 2nd "cannonball", and Tito as the "maestro", Einstein and the gang call for Francis to see if he's ready and he is, jumping on the seesaw and launching Oliver up and through a window and inside, but only initially after doing some acting and being yelled at by the gang, causing him to grumble "peasants" because they couldn't accept him getting into character first. After Oliver opens a hatch from the inside, everyone enters in as well, first Georgette ("Ladies, first") as suggested by Tito, which Georgette finds admirable about him since he has "manners", convincing her to change her opinion of him from how she was repulsed by him earlier, to which Francis says: "Good grief." The gang do everything they can to avoid their enemies and security cameras (taken care of by Tito), when Georgette screams because of breaking her nail, alerting Roscoe and DeSoto, to which Francis says: "Oh, balderdash" which upsets Tito as he snaps back at Francis "What did you call my woman?!".
From the top of Sykes' office, Oliver and the dogs observe Sykes talking on the phone to Winston for the ransom and Jenny okay, but tied up. Dodger comes up with a plan on how to distract Sykes and help Jenny. The Dobermans are later alerted by their enemies' smell. Tito, Francis, and Einstein distract Sykes by posing as a pizza delivery guy and luring him away, while Oliver and the rest of the dogs enter and try to rescue Jenny. Oliver and Jenny are happily reunited. The rest of the gang run as fast they can to avoid Sykes until they end up in front of Roscoe and DeSoto. When all seems lost, Georgette traps the evil dogs in a net and the gang return to their friends.
Dodger tells Francis to keep an eye on the monitors and locks the office door while they figure out another way of escaping since chewing the ropes off Jenny failed. Dodger checks the monitors again and asks Francis if the coast is clear, only to find Francis watching old girl dancing shows on one of them. Dodger quickly switches the monitors from the shows back to what is going on outside, only to notice Sykes and his dogs heading back their way, to Francis' shock as he realizes his error. Dodger notices a crane on top, thus another idea comes to his head, once again involving Tito with electronics, despite Tito having been electrocuted too many times already. At first, Tito's reluctant, but with a little love persuasion from Georgette, he's cooperative. They manage to escape with Jenny, before Sykes and his dogs break down the locked door. Things go well until Sykes cuts off the controls of the crane with a fire axe, causing Oliver and the rest to fall and land on a long slide. They slide until they reach the end where, unfortunately, their enemies have them cornered.
When all seems lost, and before Sykes can snap his fingers to order his dogs to attack, they hear a honking noise, and breaking in through the window, it turns out to be Fagin with his scooter. Oliver and everyone else jump in and drive away as fast as they can. They seem to be able to outrun Roscoe and DeSoto, but not before Sykes manages to catch up with them in his Cadillac. Fagin, having no choice, drives his friends into a subway station, but Sykes, driving like a madman, is able to drive in as well. Fagin then drives them through a tunnel with Sykes still in pursuit. When Sykes' car collides with Fagin's scooter, Jenny falls and ends up on Sykes' hood. Francis and the rest of the dogs are seen barking and growling at their enemies, while Oliver helps Jenny, followed later by Dodger, and Dodger helps Oliver, killing Roscoe and DeSoto as they fall and are electrocuted by the subway's third rail. On the Brooklyn Bridge, when Jenny is calling for Fagin's help, Fagin comes to help her while Tito takes command of his scooter. Sykes manages to grab Jenny's leg and pull her back in, before Oliver and Dodger jump on him and fight him off, allowing Jenny to jump to Fagin on his scooter.
In front of them, a train is coming their way. Tito is capable of saving everyone by jumping on one of the cables of the bridge and driving them to the top, but Oliver and Dodger are still in the car, fighting Sykes. Sykes throws Oliver and Dodger out of his car before he notices the train heading his way and the train kills him, thus sending him and his car into the East River. When the rest of the company drive back down, Jenny runs to search for Oliver, only to find a sad Dodger approaching, holding a "thought to be dead" Oliver. At first, everyone thinks he's dead, but when Jenny hears a soft meow from Oliver, she quickly realizes that Oliver is alive and everyone is relieved, except Georgette, who is still in great shock from the chase. Then, Dodger and the rest of the gang are accepted as Jenny's new best friends.
The next day, at Jenny's home, Oliver and his friends are celebrating Jenny's 8th birthday and giving her birthday gifts. Francis is trying to bark along before he realizes something is distracting him, causing him to turn with contempt towards Tito, who's dancing with Georgette to the same music Tito annoyed Francis with earlier. When it's time to go, the gang (except Tito) say their good-byes to Oliver and vice versa, before taking off after Fagin when he leaves without them on his scooter.
Francis is finally seen joining in with his friends at the end of the reprise of "Why Should I Worry" and riding in Fagin's scooter back home.
Francis appears in the episode "Pluto Saves the Day" with the Pet Shop Dogs band singing "Everybody Wants to Be a Woof". Later, he is seen with the other Pet Shop Dogs fighting off Pete (who's disguised as Snow White) and then chasing him out along with the rest of the dogs and Pluto. He can also be briefly seen along with some of the dog gang members in the show's opening theme.
Francis made numerous appearances at the parks in the years following the movie's release.
- Francis is seen watching the grainy TV and a theatrical production of Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, and which he apparently knows by heart.
- In Jenny's house, when not focusing on "rescuing" Oliver and admiring masterpieces, Francis mentions: Chagall and Matisse; two famous French artists.
- Roscoe Lee Browne does the voice of Francis, who later did the voice of Mr. Arrow in Treasure Planet.
- Patrick Stewart was considered for the role of Francis.
- Francis was shown eating Georgette's box of bonbons. It should be noted bonbons are small candies coated in chocolate which is poisonous to dogs.
- Francis greatly resembles Bull from Lady and the Tramp as both are the same breed.