Vitalis was an old Italian street entertainer who traveled throughout France. He was the leader of the Vitalis troupe. Mr. Vitalis had a monkey (Joli-Coeur) and three dogs (Capi, Dolce and Zerbino). He was great in playing the violin.
Vitalis was a very kind person. He, together with his animals, saved Remi after the 10-year old girl was sold by her foster father, Jerome Barberin to the evil slave trader Pollinel. The old entertainer took Remi and treated her like his own daughter. Impressed by Remi's singing talent, Vitalis included Remi as one of the members of his troupe. When Vitalis found out that Remi doesn't go to school, he taught her to read and write.
While in Toulouse, Vitalis was accused of being an arsonist. He was accused of burning a bakery. Because of this, he was arrested and imprisoned. Later, Mr. Vitalis was proven innocent of arson accusation. The true arsonist, Mr. Naval, was arrested in a different town and he confessed to all the arson cases in Toulouse including the one in a bakery. After being released from prison, the old street entertainer's health began to deteriorate. Vitalis died from tuberculosis during a cold winter. He was survived by Remi, Capi and Joli-Coeur. Dolce and Zerbino have died earlier than him. They were killed while protecting Remi and Joli-Coeur from an angry wolf.