The Ghost of Christmas Past
Cadpig is a fictional character originally created by Dodie Smith for her books The Hundred and One Dalmatians and The Starlight Barking, which were subsequently used in the Disney animated television series.
In the Dodie Smith novel, Cadpig was one of Pongo and Missis' original 15 puppies. She was the smallest of the litter, despite being the twelfth born, and shared a close bond with Patch. She is referred to as "the Cadpig," as Cadpig is a name for runts in a pig's litter. She was a very weak puppy: she could not walk long distances and got tired easily. She was also addicted to television, even believing that a native display in a church was a television itself. In The Starlight Barking, she was the pet of the British prime minister, and aided her parents during the events of the story. She first appeared as a puppy of Pongo in 101 Dalmatians. In The Starlight Barking, Cadpig took lead of the dogs but became weak with pressure and needed the help of her family.
101 Dalmatians: The Series
In September 1997, Disney released the television series, which was a reboot in their 101 Dalmatians franchise rather than a continuation. In the series, there were four main characters: Lucky, Cadpig, Rolly, and Spot. Cadpig is voiced by Kath Soucie.
Cadpig is the runt of her litter and she is the smallest dog on the farm. She is very much into New Age philosophies and does her best to promote her ideals and spread goodwill throughout the world. While her small stature has prevented her from obtaining the same level of strength as her brothers and sisters, she is much more learned than them and has a better understanding of the world. She also has an extensive vocabulary and often makes use of what Spot refers to as "metaphysical metaphors," which those whom she is speaking with are seldom capable of understanding.
Despite her positive vision for the world, Cadpig is considered to be an antagonist by many of her fellow denizens on the Dearly Farm, as her efforts to generate harmony often generates animosity. This is primarily due to the fact that she sticks her nose into the conflicts of others when her assistance hasn't been requested; she tends to ignore the obvious and instead favors psychoanalysis in order to discover the root cause of their conflict, which is something that everybody she has met has intensely disliked. However, she is incredibly gifted at doing just that and has proven on numerous occasions that she can talk to animals and completely break their spirits, discovering their emotional scars within moments and exploiting those emotional scars in order to achieve her objective.
While Cadpig has proven that she is a kind individual who strives to be as good as possible, her underlying hostility has caused her desire for peace and harmony to be something of a façade, as even though she has a genuine desire to do the right thing, she often fails to practice what she preaches and has proven on multiple occasions that she can be quite ruthless. Not only has she physically assaulted various individuals on the Dearly Farm, including her own family members, she has also expressed a desire to manipulate the President of the United States' dog so that she could tell him what to do and in effect take over the world. While such remarks are seldom taken seriously, her friends are often left bewildered by them, as they appear to come out of nowhere.
In original concept art for her, she is shown to have had Black Ears (slightly different to her official model) and also had a pink nose and bow. Eventually, her design was changed so she have white floppy ears, black nose and a blue collar instead. Her concept design can still be seen on the business card of a Disney cartoonist.
Cadpig was the youngest of the ninety-nine Dalmatian puppies and she was also the runt of the litter, being physically smaller than her brothers and sisters. Her physical appearance also has some characteristics that are unique to her, as she has a larger head than most of the other Dalmatians, along with floppy ears and blue eyes. Despite her small stature, however, Cadpig can perform feats of strength that her brothers and sisters often cannot do (such as being able to lift another character who is twice her size), though she usually only exhibits such strength when she is angry; she also has an adept sense of hearing, which is stronger than that of her brothers and sisters. Cadpig also seems to have an extensive knowledge of (fictional) tribes and cultures.
Many of the denizens on the Dearly Farm have trouble understanding what Cadpig says, since she loves to speak in what Spot calls “metaphysical metaphors”, though she once mentioned that she got a thesaurus for Christmas, which she implied has helped expand her vocabulary, especially when it comes to synonyms of stupidity such as moron.
Cadpig also displays a great gift for sarcasm. The remarks are usually used to bring Lucky back to earth when he is on an ego-trip. Some examples are:
- "Attention, Flight Director Lucky, your ego-trip has been cancelled."
- "Welcome to Lucky's rich fantasy life, and now, back to reality!"
- "Yeah, and maybe the Tooth Fairy will fly away to Lollipop Land and get a cavity!"
- "Of course Rolly's a robot! We're all robots! Whirrr! Whizz!"
Cadpig has had several alternate personalities in various episodes of the series, each of which is a manifestation of her true personality. In one episode, when Cruella De Vil took over all the television networks, the Dalmatians decided to imagine how an episode of "Thunderbolt P.I." would end, in which Cadpig’s ending involved an alien known as Gipdac, "Gipdac" being "Cadpig" spelt backwards. Gipdac was dedicated to finding peace in the universe; she speaks with others, not through oral discussion, but through a form of telepathy. She travels the universe in her heart-shaped spacecraft that is disguised in storm clouds, and she has her two assistants, who appear to be Horace and Jasper, assist her in her endeavors to teach the way of peace to others.
In the Christmas special, when Cruella De Vil was visited by the ghost of Jasper and Horace, he warned Cruella that she would be visited by three spirits. Later in that episode, Cadpig came to Cruella as the Ghost of Christmas Past, who told Cruella that she was going to take her on a journey trough her childhood. When Cruella initially refused, Cadpig resorted to using special effects in an attempt to scare her into changing her mind, which ultimately succeeded. As the Ghost of Christmas Past, Cadpig did her duty and she showed Cruella why she is evil today, though Cruella’s lack of caring over her past misdeeds only frustrated Cadpig, she cuts their journey into the past short, claiming her hour is up (despite Cruella insisting that it's only been fifty minutes and wanting the full hour).
However, some of Cadpig's "alter egos" aren't really alternate egos, but rather, a shift in her personality to achieve a greater goal. In the three-part series finale, when Cadpig realizes that she had to do what she could to save Anita, she decided to dress up, with green algae and a headband with two planets, as the Shaggy Green Messenger, a prophesied being that the "SAUCER-DOLTS" (Society for Achieving Utopian Consciousness through Extraterrestrial Rebirth & Desert Operational Lacrosse Team) are looking for, as they believe that the Shaggy Green Messenger would take them to the Mother Ship, and to their (disagreed upon) planet such as Squignon, where the rivers run with cream soda, or Dripnon, where the rivers run with gold, and many other planets. Cadpig's antics managed to free Anita from the group in question and through such, Cadpig was ultimately responsible for saving Roger Dearly and Anita’s marriage, though it was later revealed that in doing such, the "SAUCER-DOLTS" managed to find the Mother Ship, which suggested that she really was the Shaggy Green Messenger.
Spinoffs and Other Info
There were accounts that in the novel Patch and Cadpig were never seen apart from each other. This account is also observed in the 1961 Animation where Patch and Penny are always seen together, thus supporting the idea that Cadpig is "Penny" in the animated 101 Dalmatians. Also, in various dubs of the series, Cadpig is often renamed as Penny.
- Although she is one of the characters in Dodie Smith's book, she did not appear in the 1961 animated film nor the 1996 live-action film.
- She is one of the main characters in the series together with Lucky and Rolly.
- She has a very strong tail and defeated El Diablo with it. ("My Fair Moochie")
- Despite not being a bird, her ears can make her fly. ("Coup DeVil") After Dumbo, she is the second non-bird Disney animal to do so.
- Oddly enough, she wasn't in any of the franchise's films with the other dogs, not even in House of Mouse, despite being a major character in the series.
- She has some strength as she can push a wheelbarrow with Spot in it, ("Alive N' Chicken") but needs help with her friends to push a large box.
- She can shout very loudly to have all the farm animals listen to her. ("Mooove It On Over").
- Cadpig has diagnosed herself with PDS, Petting Deficit Syndrome. The symptoms are sinusitis, a "poofy" tail and aggressive behavior. ("Animal House Party")
- Cadpig phones her agent, whose name is apparently Sandy. ("The Maltese Chicken")
- She owns a thesaurus (she claims to have gotten it for Christmas) and a book on conflict resolution.
- In one episode, she owns a plushie Go-Go, a famous champion racing Greyhound.
- She is at least one year old, as she mentions that she had gotten the same toy from last year. ("A Christmas Cruella")
- In the German version of the series, her name was changed to "Goliath" or "Goli" for short, which is ironic, considering that Goliath is a giant.
- Cadpig is the only Dalmatian with blue eyes.