Western Animation: Freddie as FRO7
Freddie as FRO7
(Known in the United States as Freddie the Frog
) was a... strange
children's film produced in the UK in 1992.
The basic plot: A young French prince (who, by the way, is also a wizard) is turned into a frog by his evil aunt. Then he grows into a human-sized, anthropomorphic frog. Then he becomes a secret agent.Then
things get weird.
The original and unedited UK version is now available on YouTube
. The American cut is reviewed here
The chief differences between the UK and the US version is that in the US version, there was an attempt to make the plot more streamlined, although they also removed quite a bit dialogue that makes the film a least a little
easier to follow. It also removes some strange sexual innuendo.
- Adipose Rex: El Supremo is rather rotund.
- Affectionate Parody: Of James Bond via Word of God. The movie is based on stories director Jon Acevski would tell his son about a secret agent frog.
- Applied Phlebotinum: The magic crystal which absorbs the national energy of the monuments.
- A-Team Firing: El Supremo's henchmen form a dozen man wide firing line, and open on full automatic fire on Freddie, Scotty, and Daffers. They somehow don't hit anything.
- Autobots, Rock Out!: Freddie's final confrontation with El Supremo's mooks is scored to "Lay Down Your Arms" by hard rock band Asianote
- Award Bait Song: "I'll Keep Your Dreams Alive" by George Benson & Patti Austin. It has nothing to do with the rest of the movie.
- Baleful Polymorph
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Messina and El Supremo.
- Bowdlerise: The cuts and edits to the "American version".
- Brainwashed: Daffers at the command of El Supremo. She's faking the entire time.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Nicole, who is a car. Luckily, nothing comes of this.
- Deranged Animation: The British spirit thingies inside the crystal.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?? Freddie gives Scotty the "French Kiss of Life" but assures him "This will be our little secret".
- Everyone Knew Already: An unintentional example. It's reported in newspapers that Freddie is now the world's greatest secret agent. How great can he be if it's not a secret?
- Everyone Looks Sexier If French: Seems to be only reason Daffers likes Freddie.
- Evil Laugh: Courtesy of El Supremo.
- Evil Matriarch: Messina.
- Fat Bastard: El Supremo.
- For the Evulz: In her introductory scene, Messina turns a cat into a baby chick... just because.
- Gas Mask Mooks: El Supremo's henchmen wear balaclavas with goggles and what looks like a gas mask.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: At least in the English version. The American version removes quite a bit of the more... questionable content, such as:
- A robot bug landing on Daffers' chest, and Freddy exclaiming, "I like the landing area."
- Daffers flashing her boobs at Freddy a moment later.
- Freddie's car spanking Daffers.
- Rollerskating Klansmen doing the macarena with a bunch of pseudo-nazis during "Evilmania." Furthermore, Grace Jones (who sings the song) is black.
- Hartman Hips: Messina. When she's a snake.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: El Supremo is shrunk by his own shrinking ray at the film's climax.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face:
- Scotty pulls his gun out at one point, and Freddie tells him to put it away. So, Scotty throws it away over his shoulder, and it goes off and blows a hole in his hat.
- He does it again later with an assault rifle, although it doesn't go off. He even puts his hands up to protect himself from the bullet, as if he was expecting it to go off.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In the fight scene in the room with the gem and the monuments, the soldiers practically just stand there and take the beating. In the uncut version, they actually try, and still can't hit slow-moving targets. In contrast, the only three fighters defeat them hand to hand.
- Interspecies Romance:
- Jerk Ass: The villains, obviously, but Freddie is also one at a lesser extent.
- Karma Houdini: In the unedited cut, Messina turns into a vulture and Freddie lets her fly away, possibly starting another evil organization, in spite of not only trying to Take Over the World once, but killing his parents which he seems not very angry about.
- Averted with the American, which implies that she is killed at least killed by Freddie's toss.
- Large Ham: El Supremo, who is voiced by BRIAN BLESSED.
- Liquid Assets: Apparently, a nation's heritage is stored inside historical landmarks and makes everyone in the country fall asleep when stolen.
- Magic Skirt: Daffer's outfit.
- Mind over Matter / Your Mind Makes It Real: Freddie, plotwise, tends to emphasize using his mind instead of guns. When he turns rifles into butterflies, one can see why.
- Monumental Theft: The evil aunt's plan is to steal national monuments with a shrinking ray.
- National Stereotypes:
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Freddie and his aunt both have vaguely defined magical powers which are used solely to advance the plot.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A magic, telekinetic fairytale prince who was transformed into a giant frog and became a secret agent.
- No Indoor Voice: El Supremo. When chewing out his henchmen for blowing their cover, the walkie-talkie is vibrating so much from the power of his voice that it jumps out of the henchman's hands. Might have something to do with being voiced by BRIAN BLESSED.
- No Name Given: El Supremo is only ever referred to by his title.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Nessie has an obvious bust.
- Obviously Evil: Freddie's aunt, Messina. Having pale skin, an overall snake-ish appearance and a narrator who tells the audience you're evil helps.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Messina. Her accent, in human form, is a completely over the top French accent, whereas in Snake form, it's a little more subtle. When she's singing, the french accent drops altogether, because Grace Jones sings it in her place.
- Petting Zoo Person: Freddie.
- Plague Doctor: One appears during Evilmania
- Putting on the Reich: The uniforms of the members of the Snake.
- Random Events Plot: Every new plot element comes completely out of the blue.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Freddie's evil aunt can turn into a snake. It doesn't... Wait, it actually does help once or twice! Huh.
- Running Gag: The Brigadier getting wrapped up in phone cords.
- Scarf of Asskicking: Freddie
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: For some reason, once Messina turns into a snake she doesn't turn back into a human until the very climax.
- Shout-Out: "We've just lost some of our best men! 003 in China, 005 in Russia, 007 in Hollywood—"
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The final showdown between Freddie and Messina's mooks is scored to Asia's "Lay Down Your Arms"... an anti-war song.
- Stock Footage: When you use the same thirty seconds or so of animation of the King talking to Freddy over and over through the whole US version of the movie, the audience is eventually going to notice.
- Stock Ness Monster: Freddie meets one, and eventually a family of them, through the course of the film.
- Stripperific: Duffers' outfit, if not just Duffers herself.
- Stunt Casting: James Earl Jones re-records the narration in the American release, for little reason other than to get another big name for the poster.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills:
- Suspiciously Similar Song: "Evilmania" is a sound-alike of the obscure Mel Brooks song "To Be Or Not To Be (The Hitler Rap)."
- Take Over the World: The ultimate goal of Messina and El Supremo.
- Theme Music Power-Up: "Lay Down Your Arms" by Asia plays when Freddie, Daffers and Scotty fight a horde of Mooks, and starts up again for Freddie's Heroic Second Wind.
- The Renaissance Age of Animation
- The Unreveal: Freddie calling his Aunt out by name in such a dramatic fashion suggests that it was supposed to be a secret as to who she was, and she never actually speaks to the protagonists before this point, but who knows for sure.
- Verbal Tic: Freddie has a tendency to, how you say, say "how you say" in every other sentence.
- Villain Ball: Messina could have killed Freddie any way she wanted, but she chose to turn him into frog so she could eat him in snake form, giving him an opportunity to escape.
- Villain Song: "Evilmania" by Grace Jones, like the rest of the soundtrack, is surprisingly awesome — but comes with KKK members on roller skates doing the Macarena.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- There is a member of the British Secret Service who is constantly seen grinning and laughing evilly to himself, who is later viewed to be a spy for El Supremo. The American version removes this revelation, and he just seems to be an asshole.
- In the US cut, instead of turning into a bird and flying away, Messina gets wrapped around a pole (again) and is never mentioned again, presumably dying from the toss.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When Freddie discovers the latest targeted monument is Big Ben, he tells the Brigadier that the target is Windsor Castle so Big Ben would get taken, and he could infiltrate the enemy base. To prevent them from informing the Brigadier, he disabled their walkie-talkies. Scotty and Daffers are not pleased.
- Freddie also lets Messina escape in the end, for whatever reason in the original cut (possibly because the producers had actually begun to make a sequel before UK audiences and critics put a stop to that). Averted possibly with the American, which implies she dies from Freddie's counterattack.