Mr. Rossi – the cartoon character by Bruno Bozzetto

Mr. Rossi – the cartoon character by Bruno Bozzetto

Mr. Rossi is more than just an animated character: he is a cultural icon that represents the social and economic transformations of Italy in the 60s and 70s. Created by the Italian animator and cartoonist Bruno Bozzetto, Signor Rossi is a character that has crossed over many media – from short films to feature films, and even an unreleased television series. But who is Mr. Rossi really and why does he continue to be so influential?

Origins and Cultural Impact

The origin of the character dates back to 1960, born from the inspiration of Bozzetto who, despite the failure in a film competition, decided to undertake a new project. He thus created Mr. Rossi as a symbol of the average Italian man during the years of the economic boom. Collaborating closely with Guido Manuli, Bozzetto portrays the life of the average Italian in an ironic and at times cynical way, addressing themes such as loneliness, alienation and pollution.

Music: A Distinctive Element

We must not forget the importance of the soundtrack in the series. Initially curated by Paolo Tomelleri and then by Franco Godi, the music contributed to making the character even more memorable. Who could forget the famous theme song “Viva la Felicità”?

The Transformation of the Character

In 1976, the collaboration with the German production company Halling Film marked a change for the character. The approach changes, the tones soften and Mr. Rossi becomes a more accessible character to the children audience. Maurizio Nichetti and Manuli take the reins of the project, introducing new elements such as the faithful dog Gastone and a more psychedelic palette.

An International Success

In the following years, Mr. Rossi's popularity grew, especially in Italy, Germany and Spain. The character becomes so popular that it becomes the subject of an Italian television show, "I problema del signor Rossi," which deals with issues related to consumer rights.

Mr. Rossi at the seaside

End of an Era

Despite the character's death in the film "Allegro non Troppo," Signor Rossi manages to mysteriously return in his latest feature film, "Signor Rossi's Vacation." Since then, the character has appeared in various commercials and comics, but as confirmed by Maurizio Nichetti, there will be no further films with Mr. Rossi as the protagonist.

Mr. Rossi is a character who marked an era and who continues to be a point of reference in Italian popular culture. Although no new film projects are planned, Signor Rossi's legacy lives on, representing the changes and challenges of Italian society of his time.

Short Films

1960: An Oscar for Mr. Rossi
1963: Mr. Rossi goes skiing
1964: Mr. Rossi at the seaside
1966: Mr. Rossi buys the car
1970: Mr Rossi at the campsite
1972: Mr. Rossi on the photographic safari
1974: Mr. Rossi in Venice

Feature Films

1976 Mr. Rossi seeks happiness
1977 The dreams of Mr. Rossi
1978 Mr. Rossi's holidays

Mr Rossi and the sport episodes (1975)

The narrator of the miniseries is Walter Valdi.


The adventures of Mr. Rossi

In 1972 Mr. Rossi appeared in a six-episode miniseries on the program Gulp!:

Mr. Rossi to the psychiatrist
Mr. Rossi in Sweden
Mr. Rossi is looking for a wife
Mr. Rossi goes on a cruise
Mr. Rossi is a professional employee
Mr. Rossi at the pop festival

Character Sheet: Mr. Rossi

  • Original languageItalian
  • Author: Bruno Bozzetto
  • Production Study: Studio Bozzetto
  • First Apparition: 1960-1994
  • Debut in: An Oscar for Mr. Rossi
  • Last Apparition: Commercials of the Italian Gas Committee (1991–1994)

Original Voices:

  • Carlo Romano (1976) – One of his last dubbings
  • Giuseppe Rinaldi (1977–1978)
  • Gianni Magni (1972) – In the “Adventures of Mr. Rossi” by Gulp!