Western Animation / Fantomcat

"The year was 1699. High in Castle Fantom, two sworn enemies engaged in mortal combat. But for one valiant hero, the fight would end in a cruel twist of fate - trapped within an evil spell, powerful enough to endure the passing of centuries. Until the dawn of a new millennium heralds the return...of Fantomcat!"
— Opening narration

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fantomcat2.png

Fantomcat is a 1995 animated series by Cosgrove Hall and Anglia Television.

The series centres on the character Phillipe L'Entrique Elan de Chanel, Count Givenchy and the Duke de Fantom, a masked swashbuckling hero who thrived in 1699, in mortal combat with his nemesis Baron Von Skelter. Fantom was treacherously cast into a painting within the halls of his house, Castle Fantom, and became trapped for 3 centuries. As the years passed, the area around Castle De Fantom became a bustling metropolis called Metro City, a city submerged in crime rings led by the fiendish arachnid Marmagora. It's then Fantomcat is freed from his prison and joins up with Tabitha "Tabs" Wildcat, a stern detective, MacDuff, a timid mouse who hates holes, and Lindberg, a bumbling, acrophobic pigeon, to fight the evil that has grown in modern times.

Fantomcat ran for two seasons with the last episode broadcast on CITV in 1996. In recent years, it has been repeated on POP, a children's channel in the UK, and on CITV itself. Overseas, it has been broadcast on TV3 in New Zealand, Network Ten in Australia and Happy TV in Serbia.

This series has a distinction as being the last Cosgrove Hall production to be animated with traditional ink-and-paint methods. From Sooty's Amazing Adventures onwards, the studio would use computers for the ink-and-paint process, with the animation drawings scanned in beforehand and then digitally coloured on a Silicon Graphics Indigo Workstation.

Fantomtropes:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Marmagora owns half the sewers in Metrocity, and they are surprisingly large.
  • Acrophobic Bird: Lindberg is terrified of heights so tries his best to never fly.
  • Action Girl: Tabs. She's not afraid to get involved with Fantomcat's sword battles.
  • Alchemy: Baron Von Skelter is skilled at this, which drove him towards the path of evil in the first place.
  • Alliterative Name: Vinnie the Vole.
  • American Accent: Tabs speaks with one of these.
    • Bonus points in that her voice actress, Lorelei King, is American.
  • And I Must Scream: Baron Von Skelter specifically allows Fantomcat to think when trapped in the portrait, claiming that he's being "a considerate man".
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Fantomcat obviously averts this while his nemesis, Baron Von Skelter, plays it straight.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Our hero is named Phillipe L'Entrique Elan de Chanel, Count Givenchy and the Duke de Fantom. The Detective Team opt to just call him "Fantomcat".
  • Back from the Dead: Fantomcat dies twice in the series, once in Episode 6, "The Mind Leech", and the other time in Episode 18, "Tomb of the Fantoms", and is brought back to life by his father in "The Mind Leech" and his ancestors in "Tomb of the Fantoms", who each have the power to grant him life again. However, they can use this power only once.
  • Bad Boss: Marmagora to Vile. See Cool and Unusual Punishment below.
  • Bank Robbery: Marmagora commits this twice, once in Episode 4, "The Aeroship", and the other time in Episode 11, "The Eye of Harakti".
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Some of the background characters.
  • Billionaire Playboy: Hiram Big Bucks, the Metrocity billionaire who is always trying to steal Tabs for himself.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: Tabs does this to the Monitor in Episode 5, "The Asteroid Adventure".
  • Catch-Phrase: Most of the characters have these:
    • Fantomcat:
      • "M'lady Tabs..."
      • "To me, Touché!"
      • "Have no fear, Fantomcat is here!"
    • Tabs:
      • "Yipes!"
    • MacDuff:
      • "I'm not going down that hole, Fantomcat/Tabs! I mean it!"
    • Lindberg:
      • "I can't fly!"
    • Marmagora:
      • "Shut up, Vile!"
      • "You fool, Vinnie!"
    • Vile:
      • "Um, my lady..."
  • The Casanova: Fantomcat is one of these.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: Unsurprisingly, the Chameleon Brothers have this power.
  • Christmas Episode: Episode 12, "Where the Heart Is".
  • Clothes Make the Superman: In Episode 17, "Warrior of the Skies", MacDuff's brother Bunty invents MacDuff an indestructible bionic suit of armour so that he can be the hero of Metrocity instead of Fantomcat.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: When Vile screws up in Episode 6, "The Mind Leech", Marmagora feeds him to her giant Fly Trap, Gloria.
  • Cool Sword: Fantomcat has an enchanted rapier called "Touché" which can respond to his beck and call.
  • Cowardly Lion: MacDuff is timid by nature but always comes through when the other members of the Detective Team need him.
  • Crystal Ball: The titular object in Episode 11, "The Eye of Harakti", is one of these.
  • Curse: The Fantom lineage suffers a curse where, every 400 years, when Comet Caractacus orbits the planet, a monster called the Mina Tiger comes to life and tries to kill a member of the Fantom family.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Fantomcat looks like he should be the show's villain, with his elaborate black cape and facial mask, but is unquestionably heroic.
  • Dice: Marmagora enjoys playing craps with two creatures that look like a cross between an armadillo and a dice, one of which is on the Youth Training Scheme.
  • Expy: Fantomcat has been called a cross between Zorro and Errol Flynn, with a dash of the French Anti-Hero Fantômas for flavor, and a backstory that owes something to Adam Adamant Lives!.
  • Fake Russian: Marmagora speaks with a Russian accent, and was voiced by Lorelei King, an American voice actress.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: We've got magic, ghosts, cyborgs, aliens, evil computers, mutant fly-eating plants...all living in a World of Funny Animals.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Fantomcat came from the seventeenth century so his (understandable) ignorance about the modern day world often causes problems.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: The Monitor, an intergalactic space villain, uses one of these to destroy planets. See Planet Destroyer below.
  • Giant Spider: Marmagora is a black widow spider "many, many times over".
  • Gratuitous Italian: Don Ratso speaks like this, with subtitles translating what he's saying.
  • Home Version Soundtrack Replacement: When the series was released on VHS, some licensed music was changed.
    • For example, in Episode 8, "Great Balls of Fire", parts of Carnival of the Animals: Aquarium by Camille Saint-Saëns can be heard in the scenes set in space. This was changed in the VHS release to Star Trek-esque music.
    • Another example is that in Episode 2, "The Preying Mantis", The Entertainer by Scott Joplin can be heard in the scene where Marmagora is playing craps in her lair. On the VHS release, this was changed to generic saloon music.
  • Hopeless Suitor: MacDuff. He is hopeless at getting a girlfriend, until Episode 21, "The Lonely Hearts Club", where he starts going out with a lady mouse called Leandra, who responded to his Lonely Hearts advert in the Metro News.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Vile the Bluebottle does this in the final episode, "One Good Deed", where he decides that he's had enough of Marmagora pushing him around and tries to prove to the Detective Team that he can be a good guy.
  • Huge Girl, Tiny Guy: Tabs is at least three times MacDuff's height.
  • Hypno Pendulum: In Episode 7, "Lady Gobbling's Gems", Hedouni the Hypnotist uses one of these on his audience to hand over their jewels.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: In Episode 3, "The Swords of the Scorpion", Tabs sticks a literal bug on The Scorpion's shoulder. It's spotted effortlessly by Marmagora's second-in-command, Vile the Blutebottle... through a videophone.
    • Marmagora does the same in Episode 8, "Great Balls of Fire".
  • Interrupted Bath: In Episode 4, "The Aeroship", Vile the Bluebottle accidentally uses the aeroship's claw to grab a German cat who is having a bath.
  • Invisibility: Fantomcat's distinctive cape is enchanted to let him become invisible when he wishes.
  • "Kick Me" Prank: In Episode 9, "The Chameleons of Death", MacDuff paints a "Swat Me!" sign on the back of Vile the Bluebottle's head while he's unconscious. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Last of His Family: Fantomcat. He proclaims himself to be the "Last of the Fantoms".
  • Literally Shattered Lives: At the end of Episode 8, "Great Balls of Fire", Tabitha tests to see if the petrified Mina Tiger is invulnerable. He isn't.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Gloria, Marmagora's pet fly trap, is one of these.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Vile the Bluebottle is pretty useless without Marmagora telling him exactly what to do.
  • Mouse Trap: This is MacDuff's main weapon.
  • Mundane Solution: After Fantomcat manages to narrowly defeat the Mina Tiger, and the rest of the Detective Team heads inside, Tabs decides to try something no Duke of Fantom has tried before: she throws a hammer in the air, which smashes the now-petrified Mina Tiger to pieces, speculating whether that will end the curse. It does.
  • Mythology Gag: The Comet that awakens the Mina Tiger is called Caractacus, the same name as the Big Bad of earlier Cosgrove Hall show Avenger Penguins.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: Marmagora learns this the hard way in Episode 11, "The Eye of Harakti", when she tries to rob the Metrocity Bank of its gold like she did in Episode 4, "The Aeroship".
  • The Night That Never Ends: Marmagora's plan in Episode 9, "The Chameleons of Death", is to suck all the light out of Metrocity with a machine called the SpectroVac.
  • Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List: In Episode 6, "The Mind Leech", Vile the Bluebottle attempts to get the secret of time travel from Professor Oliphant with the titular object, but he ends up getting his shopping list instead. Needless to say, Marmagora is not happy.
  • Public Service Announcement: MacDuff gives one of these to the audience near the end of Episode 8, "Great Balls of Fire".
    MacDuff: High places are dangerous and scary. You all remember that at home!
    • Bonus points in that this was thrown in by Rob Rackstraw, who is well known for improvising.
  • Planet Destroyer: The Monitor, an intergalactic space villain, is one of these.
  • Police Are Useless: The Metrocity Police Force are absolutely dreadful at their job. Justified, since they are owned by Marmagora, the main antagonist.
  • Power Floats: Fantomcat's cape can make him levitate to high places.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Said word for word by Baron Von Skelter in Episode 12, "Where the Heart Is".
  • Ring of Power: Fantomcat's ring, The Ring of the Fantoms, a thousand-year-old ring which gives him the power to overcome his enemies whenever he's in sunlight.
  • Scouse Accent: MacDuff, his girlfriend Leandra and his brother Bunty speak with one of these.
    • Hedouni the Hypnotist speaks with one as well.
  • Shout-Out: Being a Cosgrove Hall cartoon, there are plenty of these.
  • Shrink Ray: Marmagora uses one of these in Episode 25, "The Incredible Shrinking Fantomcat", to shrink Fantomcat to the size of an ant.
  • Solar Sail: Fantomcat's ring needs sunlight to make it work.
  • Space Station: The Monitor's asteroid base is one of these.
  • Species Surname: Most of the characters have one.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": "Fantom" as opposed to "Phantom".
  • Submarine Pirates: The Lobster Brothers are these.
  • Swarm of Rats: Fantomcat faces one of these in Episode 16, "Cinema Purradiso", led by Don Ratso.
  • Sword Fight: Nearly every episode has one of these, usually with Fantomcat and his rapier, Touché, against the Villain of the Week and their weapon. Sometimes, Tabs gets involved.
  • Taken for Granite: When Comet Caractacus is not in the night sky, the Mina Tiger slumbers as a stone statue. If defeated, he reverts to this stony form for the next 400 years.
  • Taped Over Something Important: Vile the Bluebottle accidentally does this in Episode 8, "Great Balls of Fire", taping over the footage of the Mina Tiger that the bug in Castle Fantom caught with a diaper commercial.
  • Time Machine: Fantomcat and MacDuff encounter one of these in Episode 14, "Once Upon a Time Machine". They accidentally get transported back to prehistoric times in it, and must complete a quest in order to get back to the 21st century.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: This happens in Episode 9, "The Chameleons of Death", when Marmagora invents a machine called the SpectroVac to suck all the light out of Metrocity so that she can commit crimes unnoticed.
  • The Unintelligible: Lindbergh, who speaks in an incomprehensible gobbledygook like that of Clunk in Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. However, unlike Clunk, some of his words can actually be made out.
  • Vicious Vac: In Episode 7, "Lady Gobbling's Gems", Vinnie the Vole uses one of these, called The Cat Seeking Super Suction Swivel Hose.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: In Episode 22, "The Mirror Monster", Marmagora recruits the Mirror Monster, who can change himself into anything and everything.
  • Walking Techbane: Fantomcat is one of these. Justified as he is from the 17th century, and they didn't have technology like microwaves and televisions back then.
  • When Trees Attack: Aside from Marmagora's pet fly trap Gloria, also invoked by the Monk, a preying mantis assassin from the second episode who disguises himself as a plant in order to ambush his victims.
  • Why Did It Have to Be The Dark?: MacDuff. He hates the darkness, and so becomes very nervous when he has to enter the Metrocity sewers.
  • World of Funny Animals

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/Fantomcat