Topo Gigio, one of the most famous Italian puppets, will soon turn 50; its debut goes back to 1959 when Topo Gigio was the lead character of a children’s puppet show on Italian tv. It was a prime time show directed by Vito Molinari and which was aired on Saturday. The success of Maria Perego’s character was instantaneous and this thanks to the puppet’s winsome innocence and sense of humour; its fame even reached Japan where film director Kon Ichikawa (his most famous film was The Burmese Harp) made a movie called Toppo Jijo no botan senso (Topo Gigio and the missile war) centred on Topo Gigio who, of course, played the main character - a guy trying to steal an atomic bomb from a group of hideous criminals; actually the movie bombed at the box office, but despite this rather unexpected flop, Topo Gigio’s success has remained great; in fact he’s still loved by children and adults alike; after all who could ever forget that falsetto voice of his (Peppino Mazzullo‘s)? So Happy Birthday, Mr Topo Gigio!
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