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Western Animation: Felix the Cat: The Movie

Felix The Cat: The Movie is a feature-length film from The Renaissance Age of Animation, starring Felix the Cat, a Funny Animal who walks the earth and happens to own a Magic Bag of Tricks, who travels into another dimension after being summoned by a sentient teardrop to save the Kingdom of Oriana and its Princess from her Evil Uncle, the Duke of Zill, and his army of robotic cylinders.

No, really.

The film was produced by Pannonia Film Studio in Hungary, and directed by Tibor Hernádi. The film is estimated to have been completed in 1986 or 1987, but it only received limited release in 1988 and 1989, finally getting a proper U.S. release in August 1991. The film was a Box Office Bomb, but it aired frequently on the Disney Channel for a few years afterward; along with subsequent VHS rereleases, this allowed the film to gain a small following.

Felix The Cat: The Movie provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All That Glitters: Played aggravatingly straight in the ending. The professor tries to sneak gold back into his world through the dimensporter, only for Oriana to tell him that the device can't transport gold, and then tells Felix that she's pretty sure his gold can be transported. He says he doesn't have any gold, but she insists that he does: a heart of gold.
  • Another Dimension: Oriana
  • Anti-Climax: The final battle. They Throw the Book at Them.
  • As You Know: The Professor says to Poindexter, "Yes! That bag! I've always wanted that bag!" But, he says it in a manner that sounds like it's more for the audiences' benefit.
  • Awesome Bag of Tricks: Felix's bag of tricks can turn into just about anything the plot calls for.
  • Big Damn Movie
  • Canon Discontinuity: The movie is NEVER brought up outside of maybe a historical handwave from the creators, and none of the movie's characters appear in merchandising.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Duke of Zill is basically a revamped, humanoid, Master Cylinder. Makes you wonder why they put Master Cylinder in?
  • Cats Are Mean: Felix makes fun of the dead at one point.
  • Circus of Fear: Lizardi's Circus.
  • Conspicuous CG: Felix's disembodied, badly lip-synched head in the opening. It really teeters into Uncanny Valley territory on account of Special Effects Failure. Also a source of terror for some young viewers.
  • Cool Ship: The Professor and Pointdexter's transforming ship.
  • Covers Always Lie: Just look at how colorful and upbeat that poster is. Outside of the brief glimpses of Felix's world, the entire film is NOTHING like that.
  • Crapsack World: Oriana is reduced to an apocalyptic wasteland when the Duke takes over. The Land of Zill is a hell hole that the Duke made worse. From what we can see, Oriana gets covered in large crystals.
  • Creator Cameo: Don Oriolo voices the monster who appears out of nowhere and quotes "A Streetcar Named Desire" late in the film.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: Averted with the family of foxes Felix encounters early in the film who can't find him hiding under the bag. Mocked with the accompanying "Sly Like a Fox" song.
  • Damsel in Distress
  • Darker and Edgier: Probably the first ever attempt at taking a classic cartoon icon and giving it this treatment.
  • Darth Vader Clone: The Duke of Zill.
  • Death World: Zill is inhabited by Always Chaotic Evil sentient reptiles, sadistic cannibal giants that can detach their heads, dragons and the entire landscape of Oriana is constantly covered in a downpour of rapidly-growing crystals.
  • Deranged Animation: Especially the part early in the film where Felix is underwater. If one of the film's goals was to capture the surreal nature of the original shorts, it did its job a bit TOO well.
  • Deus ex Machina: The book.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Arguably, the entire film. Face to the Wind, anyone?
  • Disney Villain Death: Wack Lizardi, who falls from a great height and onto his circus, taking it with him.
  • Egopolis: Oriana
  • Emperor Scientist: The Duke of Zill
  • Everything's Better with Princesses
  • Evil Chancellor: Grumper
  • Evil Redhead: Wack Lizardi
  • Evil Uncle: The Duke of Zill
  • Face-Heel Turn: Grumper
  • The Faceless: The Duke Of Zill. Oddly, one trailer for the film shows that the Duke's eyes were supposed to be originally visible, but this was cut from the movie. His original human form is shown in flashback, though.
  • Fish out of Water: In a Magical Land, no less.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Felix would have finished the hero work a lot more quickly if he took more advantage of what the Bag of Tricks could do.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Most likely an unintentional example, but during one of his speeches to his audience, there is one very brief moment where it almost looks like Wack Lizardi is flipping everyone off.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Duke was possibly driven insane by the accident that left him permanently trapped inside a life support suit.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Master Cylinder, who was a minor villain in the TV Felix cartoons, makes a decidedly abrupt, completely out-of-left-field appearance for the final battle, now a heavily souped up weapon of the Duke of Zill. It isn't even explained how or why he was brought into the dimension of Oriana (since the Duke clearly does not have access to Dimensporter technology, nor would it explain how he could have found the Master Cylinder, since he lives on the moon) in the first place, or if he even has any connection to the Duke's own cylinders.
  • A God Am I: The sentient reptiles and amphibians that inhabit Zill believed that the Duke of Zill was a god who had come to help them when he was banished there. He took full advantage of it. He wants Oriana's Book of Ultimate Power to become the real deal.
  • Good Is Dumb: Princess Oriana disbanded her kingdom's army in a world where there's headhunters, mutants, giant dragons, and a pissed-off uncle her father banished. Guess what happens.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: The book is made of gold.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Pim, the hunter Felix meets early on in the film.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Duke's Master Cylinder backfires HORRIBLY on him!
  • Hollywood Cyborg: The Duke
  • Humongous Mecha: The Master Cylinder, during the final battle.
  • Interspecies Romance: Implied between Felix and Princess Oriana.
  • Karmic Death: The Duke of Zill, who dies when the Master Cylinder malfunctions and falls over on him
  • Keystone Army: Throwing the book at the Master Cylinder somehow caused the entire cylinder and cube army to go down with it. Poindexter believes that the reason for this was because the book's binding had an adverse affect on the Master Cylinder, and that the rest of the army was destroyed because they derived their power from it. Felix figures there's more to it than that.
  • The Kingdom: Oriana, which was once a warrior empire but has turned away from its old ways and sealed away its old weapons and secrets to be a peaceful and prosperous nation whose army was only for ceremonial purposes. The Duke didn't like that...
  • Large Ham
    • The Duke of Zill
    • As well as Oriana's oracle, Ms. Pearl. "A black duck on a green planet!", anyone?
    • Wack Lizardi also comes off as quite hammy, especially when he overemphasizes his lisp.
  • Lizard Folk: Lizardi and most of the inhabitants of Progress City.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: This happens twice to Princess Oriana's theme song "Face to the Wind". Neither the original version nor the one that contains Felix's saxophone solo is heard in its entirety, and both times large chunks of the song are covered up by background noise and talking.
  • Lull Destruction: The movie's audio never has any breaks in it.
  • Meaningful Name: Both subverted and played straight with Progress City. Subverted because, despite the name, it's a rundown hellhole of a city in the middle of a polluted swampland. But then if you consider that The Duke wants Oriana to be under his complete control with the subjects idolizing him like a god, Progress City ends up fitting his idea of progress.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Cylinders.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter
    • The Mizzards.
    • Most of the inhabitants of Progress City also apply.
  • Mondegreen: "Who is the Boss? A Klu Klux and a Cross."
  • Mood Dissonance: All Felix can do to a skull he finds in the mineshaft is say this:
    Felix: Boy, could you use a Big Mac! Uwahahahahaha!
  • Mood Whiplash: The upbeat Villain Song "Who is the Boss" almost makes us forget that Oriana and her kingdom is in danger. That is until they showed a dissolve effect of her crying near the end of the show.
  • The Movie
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Felix defeats the Master Cylinder not with some cool battle or fancy weapon, but by throwing a book at it.
  • Mythology Gag: When the Duke of Zill is describing the Master Cylinder he is about to sic on the heroes, he compares the new design to a drawing of the original Master Cylinder from the '60s Felix cartoon (which is drawn in a completely different art style than the new model).
  • No Fourth Wall: The opening CGI head actually has Felix talk to the audience.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: The Duke is supposedly disfigured when his prototype Cylinder explodes in his face. However, we clearly see him lying unconscious on the floor, now covered in cartoon dust. His assistant, Grumper, is none the worse for wear, either. Perhaps the Duke suffered severe internal injuries.
    "Was it supposed to do that?"
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: The mutant seahorse things from the underwater scene. And they shake them for the camera too.
  • Non-Serial Movie: This movie is only loosely connected to the 1960s Felix TV series. However it does fit with the spirit of the "Twisted Tails" version quite well. Except in "Twisted", the weirdness was there in the service of the Rule of Funny. In this film, it's hard to discern what the ultimate goal of the oddness was.
  • Off Model
    • The animation ranges from passable to mediocre in the first few parts of the film, and it goes even further after the "Who is the Boss" song?
    • Oriana and the Duke on the poster look off from their appearance in the film itself.
  • One-Way Visor: The Duke's helmet.
  • Opening Narration: That CGI head again. And he patronizes you too.
  • Panthera Awesome: The Cat Band.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Scrunted be his name!
  • Place Worse Than Death: The part where Felix comes over a hill and sees Progress City, surrounded by a deadly swamp, to which Felix says "Where are we, New Jersey?" (The latter is Self-Deprecation on the filmmakers part, as Felix Inc. is located in New Jersey.)
  • Princess Classic: Oriana
  • Princesses Rule
  • Pungeon Master
  • The Quisling: The Duke's old lab assistant, Grumper, who had since been promoted to Chancellor instantly joins with the Duke once he invades.
  • Random Events Plot: The film really has no sense of direction as far as plot is concerned. The "saving the world" bit doesn't even get started till well more than halfway through the picture — 20 minutes and half an hour from the end, to be precise.
  • Real Is Brown
  • The Renaissance Age of Animation
  • Right-Hand Cat: In a really bizarre example of the trope, Wack Lizardi has a nameless squeaking lizard head mounted to a stick that he uses as a whip for a pet and is never seen without it. It reacts to events that happen onscreen and it's not uncommon for a scene with Wack Lizardi to shift focus from him to the pet.
  • Rotoscoping: Princess Oriana's animation.
  • Save the Princess
  • Scenery Gorn: The Land of Zill. Progress City in particular has quite a few establishing shots that show just what a decadent ruined hellhole it is, from the rickety buildings that are meant to keep pollution in to the piles of rotting garbage and trashed vehicles.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: The portal to Oriana is hidden in the Anairo Mines.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Felix's New Jersey comment from earlier is a LOT funnier when you realize that Felix the Cat Productions Inc. just happens to be located in New Jersey!
    • Also the "Sly Like a Fox" musical number if you know that the Pannonia Film Studio actually did make a movie about foxes.
  • Sequel Hook: The Duke's "I'll be back." line which is said in a different voice. Well, it's been over 25 years and he still hasn't come back!
    • Justified since the Princess shut down the Dimensporter after returning Felix, the Professor and Poindexter home. To prevent the Duke from trying to conquer our world.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: One scene of Felix and the gang fighting monsters has upbeat 1980s pop music playing over it.
  • Steam Punk: Oriana has a lot of this.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The Land of Zill, a polluted swampland inhabited by a hostile reptilian race loyal to the Duke of Zill, various dragons, and carnivorous bubble monsters.
  • Swiss Army Tears: When the princess of Oriana can't finish summoning Felix, one of her teardrops finishes the job for her... activating the machine, punching in codes, pulling levers, entering the voice command, finding Felix in his world, and leading him back to the portal and into Oriana.
  • Throw the Book at Them: Done by Felix to defeat the Master Cylinder.
  • Took a Level in Badass
    • The Master Cylinder, who was just a generic villain in the original Felix TV series, makes a rather unexpected comeback as the final weapon of the Duke — he even goes to the trouble of comparing the original model to the new one side by side via pictures. Totally ruined, though, since Felix literally just throws a book at it to defeat it.
    • Felix punching two of the head hunters flying heads.
  • The Unintelligible: Wack Lizardi's unnamed lizard pet, which makes different squeaks depending on what kind of mood it's in.
  • Uncanny Valley: Pretty much the whole movie; the highly inconsistent quality of the animation doesn't help, and a lot of the characters move or look around awkwardly in most scenes.
    • Also, the computer-generated talking head of Felix at the beginning of the movie....
  • Villain Song: "Who is the Boss?" Rather catchy tune and shows the extent of the Duke's ego.
  • Was Once a Man: The Duke of Zill was an ordinary human before a prototype of his cylindrical soldier robots went haywire, severely disfiguring him and forcing him to rebuild himself.
  • Weaksauce Weakness
    • Felix' bag during a shapeshift will change back to its original form if someone other than Felix touches it.
    • Zill's secret weapon, the Master Cylinder, comes out at the end battle. Felix knocks it over by throwing a book at it. Fight scene over.
  • We Will Meet Again: It's not clear if the Duke perished with his army, but he was distinctly heard saying "I'll be back".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: So, what happened to all the other imprisoned circus performers? It's possible to assume they escaped after Wack Lizardi was defeated (even though an entire circus dropped on top of them), but that still means they're stuck in a polluted wasteland.
  • Wretched Hive: Progress City.

Willy The SparrowCreator/Pannonia Film StudioDragon And Slipper
Evil LaughFilms of the 1980sA Fish Called Wanda
The Fearless FourAnimated FilmsFernGully: The Last Rainforest

alternative title(s): Felix The Cat The Movie
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