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Gideon is one of the first two antagonists in Disney's 1940 animated feature film, Pinocchio. He is an anthropomorphic cat who acts as a sidekick to Honest John, a shifty con artist. Gideon is undoubtably loyal, but his drunken fumbling does more to annoy Honest John, than assist.

Background

Development

Gideon is based off the nameless Cat character from the original collection of Pinocchio stories by Carlo Collodi, who was paired with a sly fox. Although their personalities remain more or less the same, their roles in the Disney film were greatly altered. In Carlo Collodi's story, Gideon was originally a cat who pretended to be blind until ultimately gaining that disability as a comeuppance. They plead for Pinocchio to give them food, but Pinocchio will give them nothing, as he claims that they have earned their fates.

In the Disney version, the cat was given a name and distinct personality. Gideon's characterization is said be inspired by Harpo Marx, the silent member of the Marx Brothers comedy act. An interesting note is that Gideon coexists in a world where Figaro—a "normal" cat—resides, but animation historians excuse this as being part of the fantastical nature of the movie's world.

While Gideon and Honest John are never reprimanded for their schemes in the film, a deleted scene showed them getting arrested after attempting to swindle Pinocchio for a third time.

Voice

Gideon was going to be voiced by the legendary voice actor Mel Blanc (who famously went on to voice characters in Warner Brothers cartoons). Lines were already laid out for Blanc to perform, but the studio eventually decided to delete all of Gideon's dialogue, preferring a pantomime sidekick performance. However, Blanc later returned to record Gideon's three hiccups in the film, for which he did receive payment (quipping afterwards that is it was the most expensive hiccup he ever recorded).

Personality

Unlike his buddy, Honest John, Gideon is flimsy, punchdrunk, and daffy. Without his boss, Gideon would most likely be performing petty theft and pick-pocketing, maybe given a large number of arrests. Like Honest John, however, Gideon has followed the 'easy road', but with no education and thus cannot read or write. According to a tie-in book, Gideon admires Honest John a great deal and aspires to be like him someday.[1] This is indicated in the film, as Gideon frequently—albeit, sloppily—observes and mimics Honest John's mannerisms.

Gideon also seems to be a tad bit more malicious than Honest John, as seen when he planned to knock Pinocchio unconscious with his mallet in order to kidnap him and sell him to Stromboli, only to be stopped by Honest John, who wanted to take a more humane approach or believed using blunt force would bring unneeded attention to their scam. Moreover, the dopey cat takes it upon himself to resort to brute force if he feels that Honest John's plans don't seem to work via sly persuasiveness. This is evidenced when Pinocchio tried to decline the fox's offer to go to Pleasure Island, wherein Gideon, armed with his mallet, quickly blocked the boy's path with the intent of knocking him out, until Honest John continued to coax the boy into finally going.

Despite this, Gideon is smart enough to think of a way to get Honest John unstuck from his hat (especially after he was the one who got him into it to begin with).

Physical appearance

Gideon's wardrobe describes that he is dim-witted, compared to Honest John. Although the attire of both crooks are equally ragged and worn-out (patches on their pants and elbow sleeves, and tearings on their hats, gloves, and capes, etc.), Gideon wears long, baggy clothing while Honest John wears more proper and civilized clothing.

Appearances

Pinocchio

Pinocchio-disneyscreencaps.com-3846

Gideon attempting to strike Jiminy Cricket.

In Pinocchio, Gideon and Honest John are out taking a stroll in the village; in during which, Honest John notices a poster advertising the famous puppeteer Stromboli. The duo reminisce about the time Honest John passed Gideon off as a puppet to swindle the showman, to which Gideon agrees with a bashful expression. As they resume their stroll, they spot a living puppet, Pinocchio. Honest John quickly formulates a scheme to sell Pinocchio to Stromboli. Gideon tries to knock Pinocchio unconscious with his mallet, but Honest John goes for a less cruel approach. He convinces Pinocchio to become an actor, and to the tune of "Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee", they make way to Stromboli's caravan. Jiminy Cricket tries to stop them, and although Honest John fails to notice him, Gideon does after being briefly tricked by the cricket into remaining quiet. Gideon pulls out a mallet with intent to crush him, stealthily sneaks onto the John's back and raises his mallet, but his cast shadow on Jiminy gives him away, and Jiminy hops off John's hat at the last minute, causing the cat to inadvertently hit John instead. Realizing the mistake and fearing the repercussions, Gideon hands Pinocchio the mallet and quickly flees. Honest John angrily yells at Gideon to help him, to which the cat responds by using John's cane to secure the hat to the ground and bashing John again with the mallet, the force finally freeing the fox from the hat but also sending him flying into a nearby puddle. After regaining composure, the two con men find Pinocchio and convince him again to come with them to Stromboli's caravan, where they succeed in selling the boy to the puppet master.

Later on, Gideon is seen at the Red Lobster Inn, where Honest John is in discussion with the Coachman for a proposition. As Gideon drinks and smokes away leisurely, the Coachman offers a large sum of money in exchange for delivering "stupid little boys" to take to Pleasure Island. Honest John fears the repercussions, but the Coachman assures that they'll never come back "as boys". During their hunt for little boys, Honest John and Gideon run into Pinocchio once again. While Gideon holds Pinocchio in place with his cane, Honest John ropes the puppet into another scam. He and Giddy pose as doctors and diagnose Pinocchio as allergic, with the only cure being a vacation on Pleasure Island. When Pinocchio tries to return home regardless, Gideon nearly whacks the puppet with his mallet. Instead, he and Honest John simply carry the boy to his fate. Gideon is not seen or mentioned again for the remainder of the film.

Other appearances

Gideon was planned to appear alongside Honest John in the Mickey and the Beanstalk sequence of Fun and Fancy Free as the con-artists who sell Mickey the magic beans.

In the cartoon Bath Day, an alley cat resembling Gideon (albeit with yellow fur) appears when Figaro wanders into an alleyway.

Gideon's made numerous cameos along with Honest John in crowd shots of House of Mouse, specifically in "Jiminy Cricket", "Mickey vs. Shelby", and Mickey's House of Villains.

Live-action appearances

The Mouse Factory

Gideon made recurring appearances in the live-action wrap-around skits alongside the other costumed characters and celebrity guests.

Once Upon a Time

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The con artist Myrna serves the roles of Gideon in Once Upon a Time.

In the ABC fantasy/drama, Gideon is represented by the character Myrna (portrayed by Carolyn Hennesy), who has brown hair resembling Gideon's fur in a style that resembles cat ears. She and her partner, Martin (who represents Honest John) are the parents of Jiminy (before he became a cricket) and were, like in the film, con artists. Their son, however, disapproved of their selfish crimes and was constantly forced to partake in their cruel agendas. One day, however, Jiminy obtains a potion from Rumplestiltskin, capable of putting an end to his parents' thefts.

Later that evening, Jiminy's parents begin another one of their schemes. After a young couple offers them hospitality for the evening, his parents warn about a false plague. Terrified, the poor couple forfeits most of their possessions to pay for the "cure" Jiminy's parents have. As they leave, Jiminy stands up to the crooks and throws Rumplestiltskin's potion onto them. Unfortunately, however, it has no effect. Jiminy soon realizes his parents switched the potion and gave it to the poor couple. Once he rushes back into their home to save them, he finds the couple magically transformed into puppets. Seeing this, Martin and Myrna laugh cruelly at the fate that befell the family, coming out victorious.

Printed Media

Comics

Foulfellow--GideonComicCrossover

Honest John and Gideon spying on Donald Duck, Snow White and the seven dwarfs.

Gideon appears in numerous comic stories as Honest John's sidekick and an occasional antagonist to various Disney characters including Donald Duck and Snow White, often trying to swindle them. They could also be seen with other Disney villains, as well, such as Captain Hook and the Big Bad Wolf. Unlike the film, Gideon actually speaks in the comic stories.

Mickey's Christmas Carol

Gideon and Honest John would appear on the original Disney storybook and record of Mickey's Christmas Carol as the two charity collectors who try to solicit a donation from Scrooge (Uncle Scrooge) at the beginning. An inside gag in the story is Gideon's ability to speak. When it was redone as a 1983 cartoon featurette, they would be replaced by Water Rat and Mole.

The Emperor's New Clothes

In the Disney adaption of the story, Gideon and Honest John swindle Prince John into buying "an invisible robe" fit for a king.

Kingdom Keepers

Gideon and Honest John appear in the fifth installment of the popular book series. They are featured as members of the Disney Villains legion known as the Overtakers and battle Finn in chapter six of Shell Game.

Video games

Pinocchio

In the Pinocchio game, Gideon appears as an enemy during the first stage, as Pinocchio makes his way for school. He peers over walls to throw potted plants at Pinocchio. He also runs back and forth through certain sections of the level as a hazard.

Disney Parks

Gideon in Tokyo Disney

Gideon posing for a photo at Tokyo Disneyland.

Gideon has been a staple character in the Disney theme parks for decades, always paired with Honest John. His costume has undergone numerous iterations throughout the parks' history. In some years his fur was grey, while in others it was yellow. In the 1990s, the costume was finally altered to resemble Gideon's animated counterpart to the last detail. In the past, Gideon has been used as a "training character" for new cast members.

Disneyland Resort

An animatronic of Gideon appears in the Pinocchio's Daring Journey attraction. He is seen during the Pleasure Island sequence, playing a game of strength. A mural depicting Gideon with Honest John and Pinocchio is also featured at the vehicle loading station.

Walt Disney World

In Florida, Gideon has appeared in the Magic Kingdom during Halloween and has made surprise appearances Epcot. In 2013, he and Honest John took part in Unleash the Villains at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

In the former Magic Kingdom parade, Celebrate A Dreams Come True Parade, Gideon and Honest John were seen alongside half boy/half donkey children strolling behind Mickey Mouse's float with Pinocchio/Snow White's following behind them.

A statue of Gideon, Pinocchio and Honest John can be found at the Pinocchio Village Haus Restaurant

Tokyo Disney Resort

Today, Gideon is most commonly found at the Mediterranean Harbor in Tokyo DisneySea, where he is available for daily meet and greets. With Pinocchio being one of the more popular Disney franchises in Japan, exclusive Gideon merchandise can be found in the Tokyo parks.

Gallery

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Gideon (Pinocchio).

Trivia

  • Gideon and John were slated to appear in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days due to their popularity in a Pinocchio-based world. The idea was dropped due to space restrictions. Although profile sprites of them appeared in the game's data.
  • Honest John and Gideon are the only villains in the film to appear, disappear, and return in later scenes.
  • Gideon does not appear in the musical adaptation in London. However, the Fox's cane is capped off with a figurine of a cat, as an homage to Giddy.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Unknown (1940). Honest John and Giddy. Random House, New York. 


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Pinocchio logo
Media
Films: PinocchioLive Action filmVideoGeppetto

Television: House of MouseA Poem Is...
Video games: Video gameKingdom HeartsKingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop DistanceDisney Emoji Blitz
Books: Classic StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingGolden Sight 'n' Sound BookLittle Golden BookPinocchio's Adventures

Disney Parks
Cinderella Castle Mystery TourDisney Animation BuildingDisney Friends of the MonthIt's a Small WorldPinocchio's Daring JourneyStitch and Friends Summer SurpriseStorybook Land Canal Boats

Entertainment: AnimagiqueDisney's Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicDisney's WishesFantasmic!Fantasy FestivalOne Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives OnOnce Upon a Mouse
Restaurants: Cleo'sPinocchio Village Haus Restaurant
Shops: Geppetto's Holiday WorkshopPleasure Island CandiesStromboli's Wagon
Parade: Celebrate A Dream Come True ParadeDisney's Dreams On Parade: Moving OnDisney's Magical Moments ParadeDisney Carnivale ParadeDisney Cinema ParadeDisney Magic on ParadeDisney Stars on ParadeDreaming Up!Festival of Fantasy ParadeHappiness is Here ParadeJubilation!Main Street Electrical ParadeMickey's Rainy Day ExpressMickey's Storybook ExpressMickey's WaterWorksSpectroMagicThe Wonderful World of Disney ParadeWalt Disney's Parade of Dreams
Firework: Believe... There's Magic in the StarsDisneyland ForeverFantasy in the SkyMagicalOnce Upon a TimeRemember... Dreams Come TrueWishesWonderful World of Animation
Halloween: Kooky Spooky Halloween NightMaze of Madness: The Nightmare Experiment Continues
Christmas: Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration

Characters
PinocchioJiminy CricketThe Blue FairyGeppettoFigaroCleoHonest JohnGideonStromboliThe CoachmanThe Coachman's GoonsLampwickThe Stupid Little BoysMonstro
Locations
VillageGeppetto's WorkshopStromboli's CaravanThe Red Lobster InnPleasure Island
Songs
Pinocchio: When You Wish Upon a StarLittle Wooden HeadGive a Little WhistleHi-Diddle-Dee-DeeI've Got No Strings

Geppetto: ToysEmpty HeartAnd SonJust Because It's MagicBravo, Stromboli!Satisfaction GuaranteedPleasure IslandSince I Gave My Heart Away
Deleted: Jiminy CricketHonest JohnAs I Was Sayin' to the DuchessTurn On the Old Music BoxNo StringsRolling Along to Pleasure IslandThree Cheers for AnythingMonstro the Whale


v - e - d
Disney Villains Logo
Members
The Evil QueenChernabogQueen of HeartsCaptain HookMaleficentCruella de VilUrsulaJafarScarHadesDoctor Facilier

Other Members: Big Bad WolfPeteThe Headless HorsemanMortimer MouseBr'er FoxBr'er BearHonest JohnGideonStromboliThe CoachmanMonstroRingmasterPink ElephantsDiabloHitchhiking GhostsLonesome GhostsLady TremaineAnastasia TremaineDrizella TremaineLuciferMr. SmeeSi and AmJasper and HoraceMadam MimKaaShere KhanEdgar BalthazarPrince JohnSir HissSheriff of NottinghamMadame MedusaAmos SladeHorned KingRatiganFeliciaBill SykesHeffalumpsWoozlesFlotsam and JetsamPercival McLeachGastonIagoShenzi, Banzai, and EdOogie BoogieGovernor RatcliffeClaude FrolloPain and PanicFatesShan YuClaytonYzmaKronkCaptain GantuDr. HämstervielDOR-15Michale "Goob" YagoobianQueen NarissaLawrenceMother GothelThe Stabbington BrothersKing CandySour BillHansYokaiTamatoa
Pixar Villains: Sid PhillipsHopperEmperor ZurgRandall BoggsHenry J. Waternoose IIISyndromeLots-o'-Huggin' Bear
Guest Villains: Sarah SandersonWinifred SandersonMary Sanderson

Disney Parks
Celebrate A Dreams Come True ParadeCelebrate the MagicCinderella Castle Mystery TourClub VillainDisney's FantillusionDisney's Maleficious Halloween PartyDisney's Not-So-Scary Halloween ShowDisney's Once Upon a Dream ParadeDisney Dreams!Disney's Stars 'n' Cars... As Never Seen BeforeFantasmic!Feel the MagicFrightfully Fun ParadeGlow in the Park Halloween ParadeHappy HallowishesHocus Pocus Villain SpelltacularInferno Dance PartyIt's Good To Be Bad With The Disney VillainsIt's Good to Be Bad Villainous CelebrationIt's Party Time... with Mickey and Friends... and the Disney VillainsMickey's Boo-to-You Halloween ParadeMickey and his Magic Halloween NightRe-Villains! Halloween ParadeSorcerers of the Magic KingdomThe Disney Villains Halloween ShowtimeThe Nightmare ExperimentThe Villains WorldUnleash the VillainsVillains GardensVillainy in the SkyVillains Mix and MingleVillains Night Out!Villains Tonight!WishesWorld of Color
Media
Mickey's House of VillainsOnce Upon a HalloweenDisney Villains: Simply Sinister Songs

Video Games: Disney Villains ChallengeDisney's Villains' Revenge
Books: Disney Villains: The Essential GuideDisney Villains: Delightfully Evil: The Creation • The Inspiration • The Fascination


v - e - d
Kingdom Keepers Logo
Books
Kingdom KeepersKingdom Keepers I: Disney After DarkKingdom Keepers II: Disney at DawnKingdom Keepers III: Disney in ShadowKingdom Keepers IV: Power PlayKingdom Keepers V: Shell GameKingdom Keepers VI: Dark PassageKingdom Keepers VII: The Insider
Characters
Original Characters: Finn WhitmanCharlene TurnerTerrence MaybeckDell PhilbyIsabella AngeloWayne KreskyAmanda LockhartJessica LockhartMrs. Whitham • Wanda Alcott • Greg Luowski • Storey Ming • Bess Maybeck • Gladis Philby • Sally Ringwald • Dillard Cole • Hugo Montcliff • Mattie Weaver

Disney Characters: Mickey MouseMinnie MousePlutoArielViolet ParrMulanKing TritonMegaraStitchRemyDjangoRajahPrince PhillipElsaRapunzelTimonPumbaaChip and DaleGoofyTiggerLiloWinnie the PoohPiglet
Overtakers: MaleficentChernabogThe Evil QueenCruella De VilClaude FrolloUrsulaJafarShan YuJack SparrowTia DalmaGastonPrince JohnHorned KingBig Bad WolfJ. Worthington FoulfellowGideonShenzi, Banzai, and EdDiabloMagic BroomsGreen Army MenBlackbeardShere KhanSi and AmHopperFlotsam and JetsamJudge DoomMadame LeotaSaborThe Headless HorsemanStormtroopersScarZira

Locations
Magic KingdomEpcotDisney's Hollywood StudiosDisney's Animal KingdomTyphoon LagoonDisneyQuestCinderella Castle • Escher's Keep • It's a Small WorldSplash MountainThe New Adventures of Winnie the PoohBig Thunder Mountain RailroadCamp Minnie-MickeyExpedition EverestFantasmic!Voyage of the Little MermaidDisney DreamWalt Disney: One Man's DreamDisney's Animal Kingdom LodgeSoarin'Mission: SPACETest TrackWonders of LifeMorocco PavilionChina PavilionFrance PavilionNorway PavilionMexico PavilionDisneylandJungle CruiseThe Sorcerer's HatIndiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden EyeBuzz Lightyear Astro BlastersThe Haunted MansionCasey Jr. Circus TrainToontownMatterhornThe Disney Gallery
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