Cleo is always seen in her fishbowl, often reacting or responding to a situation through silent smiles and water twirls. She appears of be very affectionate, specifically toward Geppetto and Figaro (who seems to hold a mild dislike toward her). When asked by Geppetto whether or not the name "Pinocchio" sounds any good for his latest puppet creation, Cleo shows her distaste, but the name goes through, anyway. Later on, when Pinocchio is given life, he is sent off to school along with the other children. Excited to have a family, Geppetto sets up a delicious dinner, including a small piece of cake for Cleo. Unfortunately, Pinocchio does not return, resulting in Cleo, Geppetto, and Figaro heading out to find them. The trio ends up in the belly of Monstro the Whale, and eventually give up any hope of escape. As such, Cleo begins to build her own tombstones, knowing she will perish, along with her loved ones, should they not escape or manage to eat. Surprisingly, Pinocchio arrives and concocts a way to free them. The plan succeeds, but results in Pinocchio's demise. Geppetto, Cleo, and the others return to their village home and mourn the death of the little wooden boy, only to find his act of bravery granted his revival (via the Blue Fairy). Once this realization dons upon Cleo and the others, a celebration is held.
Cleo played a role in the short under the care of a woman by the name of Aunt Delilah. Here, Figaro tries various methods of trying to get Cleo for his supper, only to be stopped by Delilah each time.
In Fun and Fancy Free, Cleo appeared briefly, having an encounter with Jiminy, the film's host.
In Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Cleo is a background character who is often found alongside Geppetto.
Cleo appears as an Audio-Animatronic on Pinocchio's Daring Journey who pops up and down from her fishbowl in Geppetto's bedroom located in the Pinocchio Village Workshop. She also appeared in the Walt Disney's Parade Of Dreams as an Audio-Animatronic who swims in circles inside her fishbowl on top of the Dreams Of Laughter parade float.