Western Animation / The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat

The Cat Returned.

The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat is an updated 1990's take on the classic Felix the Cat series, being an attempt to return the series back to its roots after decades of using the 1950s Joe Oriolo portrayal of Felix.

The series is very kooky, surreal and fast paced-as a whole, owing a lot to cartoons from The Silent Age of Animation and The Golden Age of Animation, especially the surreal works of Max and Dave Fleischer.

Unfortunately, the series lasted only 21 episodes, and for years only a few of the series' episodes have been available on VHS and DVD until the November 2013 release of the complete box set, and even then, you're still screwed because the set was released in Germany and region-locked. Originally aired from 1995-1997 on CBS' Saturday morning block in America. Other countries have aired this show on overseas cable channels (mostly any Nickelodeon or Viacom-based kids' network).

Tropes This Series Provides Examples Of:

  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Felix's tail can turn into a mallet and smash things, unfortunately for his noisy sentient alarm clock.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Sheba.
  • The Bus Came Back: When Season 2 shifted to make the series more in vogue with the Joe Oriolo Felix the Cat cartoons, several characters from it were brought back. The Professor and Rock Bottom, two major characters from the original Tv Felix cartoons, return for the episode "Attack of the Robot Rat". Pointdexter, the professors nephew, also started making recurring appearances, and the Master Cylinder returns for one episode.
  • Call Back: In "The Extraterrestrial Robot", Felix sends Master Cylinder packing by turning his Magic Bag into a can opener and threatening him with him. Long time fans of the Trans-Lux cartoons will recognize this as a reference to "Felix and the Mid-Evil Ages", where Felix scared off Professor's metal horse by turning his bag into a can opener.
  • Canon Welding: The series combines the style of the original Felix shorts (with the bizarre, surreal atmosphere and Felix's mischievous jokester personality) and several of the characters and props from 1950s series (such as Poindexter and the bag of tricks).
  • Captain Obvious: Poindexter.
    Felix: We need to get a better genius.
  • Carnivore Confusion: During the "Meat Song" in "Guardian Idiot", the demon butcher is seen serving pork to a family of pigs.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Ratzenheimmer!"
    • (acknowledging the increasing surreality of the situation) "This is too stupid!"
  • Classically Trained Extra: The two worms that Felix is trying to catch and feed to Slimo in "Shell Shock".
    "We're not worms, I tell you! We're actors!"
  • Conspicuous CG: In one part of the opening.
    Felix: Computer animation. Big deal!
  • Continuity Nod: "Big Deal" animation studio from "The Sludge King" makes a brief reappearance in "Phony Phelix".
  • Chaotic Stupid: The Bermuda Triangle.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Peking Duck only got one mention in "Dueling Whiskers", but is otherwise absent in Season 2.
  • Covert Pervert: Sheba when she spots the NY Giants players in the locker room in "Forever Rafter"
  • Crying Indian: Appears alongside with Woodsy Owl and Smokey the Bear in the Green Aesop parody.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The old man who wanted a meatball tended to reiterate this several times per sentence.
  • Deranged Animation: Oh yeah.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In "The Punderground", Felix is thrown in a dungeon on a sentence of a thousand years because he made a pun.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When the magic bag gets stolen in "Viva Lost Wages", Felix acts as if he's lost his wife. (Complete with angst about having to sleep alone, a wallet full of romantic photos of Felix and the bag together, and the line, "I never should have taken it for granted!")
  • Double Take: Felix does this in "Black Magic Bag" after Roscoe flies by with his hand stuck in a knockoff magic bag and they casually say "hi" to each other.
  • Dream Sequence: Felix deliberately initiates one in "The Maltese Milkshake" by looking for a way to get knocked out, in a probable Shout-Out to The Great Piggy Bank Robbery.
  • Dream Weaver: Jeepers Creepers (a parody of Freddy Krueger). Actually, according to this universe's physics, pretty much everyone has this ability—just jump into the thought balloon of a dreaming person (or out of your own dream balloon and into theirs).
  • Easily Forgiven: In "Shocking Story", a worn-out lightning bolt low on power stays in Felix's house and eats all of Felix's (sentient) appliances, except for the TV, while Felix is out shopping. When Felix gets back, he simply hits the lightning bolt until it coughs everything up. Felix's TV is less than thrilled.
    "That's all he's gonna get is a whooping? TENANT MEETING! RIGHT NOW!"
  • Easy Impersonation: Oscar to Felix in the episode, "Phony Phelix".
  • Empathic Weapon: The bag of tricks.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: "Surreal Estate".
  • Everything Talks: Literally. Borders on Nightmare Fuel in one particular episode.
  • Evil Laugh: Felix likes to end episodes with a vaguely evil variant.
  • Expospeak Gag:
    Poindexter: It appears, Mr Felix, that an extraterrestrial expedition has designated our planetary body as a locale for jettisonable waste materials…Mr. Felix?
    Felix: (playing a video game on Poindexter's computer) Huh?
    Poindexter: Aliens are using Earth as a trash can!
  • Failure Is the Only Option/Did Not Get the Girl: Any attempt of Felix to gain Candy's affection is doomed to failure, even in dreams.
  • Fantastic Aesop: "Black Magic Bag" ends with Felix delivering a PSA-style announcement to the audience to "make sure this never happens again":
    "So remember, kids, if someone offers you a magic bag, just tell 'em, 'No, thanks! I'm savin' up my money for an edible wig!' And that's one to grow on!"
  • Fantastically Indifferent: How Felix answers the phone in "Nightmare on Oak Street".
    Felix: (bored monotone) "Felix the cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat..."
  • For the Evulz: Peeking Duck.
  • The Gambling Addict: Felix meets one named Billy in the Twisted Tales. Billy lost his luck because of this, since Felix is a black cat that crossed his path. Billy even begged Felix to "uncross" his path. Which Felix did. Felix, however, kept crossing Billy's path, eventually sending him to the poorhouse. Later on, Billy steals Felix's magic bag, hoping it'll restore his luck. Billy has been winning bets since then, which made him the (probably) only person who managed to steal the bag and use it. Felix eventually confronted Billy, who had a security guard throw Felix away. Felix then challenged Billy for a bet with the bag at stake. Felix then picked two dice and told Billy he could get any number he wants from them. Billy then called "13". Felix protested the biggest number he could get was "12" but Billy insisted with "13". Felix soon had an idea: he got the dot from the exclamation mark that came with the idea and added it to the six-dot face of one of the die, turning it into a seven-dot face and then threw the dice, obtaining "13". As soon as Billy lost the bag, he lost his new fortune.
  • Genre Savvy: As always, Felix frequently uses the surreality of his animated universe to his advantage. In one episode, he uses a remote to go back in time by rewinding the episode to a point when he could have watched a CGI version of the cartoon he's in and seen the ending, thus understanding how to get out of his difficulty. (If you had a hard time following that, you're clearly not savvy enough to inhabit this particular universe.)
  • Genre Throwback: The series as a whole is one big love letter after the next to classic cartoons.
  • Gesundheit: In "Felix in Psychedelicland":
    Sheba: Whoa. Escher!
    Felix: Gesundheit.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Standard as it's a 1990s cartoon, but the scene in "Star Trash" of the Mr. Spock expy checking out his computer comes across as...off. Very, very off. Here's the clip (it's at :19)
    • In "Phony Felix", Felix is tied up in a building that ends up flooding. No problem—he leaps out of an overflowing window, salmon-style:
      "I feel like spawning!"
    • in Superfelix the Elf's flashback has one of the most blatant references to rape in a children's show.
  • G-Rated Mental Illness: The Talkative Loon asylum-escapee frog.
  • Group Hug: Felix with Slimo the Slug and the two worms at the end of "Shell Shock". And note that it's a really weird place for a group hug, since Slimo is about to eat the worms.
    Felix: Aww! Hugs all around, ya slobs!
  • Hall of Mirrors: Peking Duck and his sumo chicken sidekicks chase Felix through one of these in "Step Right Up".
  • Hostile Show Takeover: In "Phony Felix", a very obvious Felix impersonator named Oscar kidnaps Felix and tries to take over his show just so he can be the cartoon star he had failed to be in the past.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: A noticeable tic in Shamus H. Gold's speech pattern. And then there's this:
    Duck: Step right up! See human oddities! The unusually inclined! The normality...challenged!
    Felix: Oh boy, freaks!
  • Hurricane of Puns: The episode "The Punderground" is about an island where puns are illegal and La Résistance is full of punsters.
  • I Call Her "Vera": In "Viva Lost Wages", we find out that Felix calls the magic bag "Baggie".
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Several examples in "The Punderground".
  • Jerkass: Rat Matsion from "Felix's Gold Score"
  • Jive Turkey: Sheba.
  • Killed Off for Real: The two worms at the end of "Shell Shock".
  • King Dedede: Rat Matsion
  • Large Ham: Felix's TV in "Shocking Story".
  • Laugh Track: Thrown in to emphasize all the punnage in "The Punderground".
  • Let's Meet the Meat: Just about every object in this show is animated. It doesn't seem disturbing, until one episode had Felix as a meatball deliveryman. And the meatball spoke, and had eyes, and seemed very comfortable in entering a plate full of spaghetti. Also, there's The Meat Song from "Guardian Idiot" may be the single most disturbing example of this trope ever.
  • Lustful Melt: When Felix sees Candy for the first time.
  • Magic Skirt: In "Felix Breaks The Bank", when Candy is falling quickly, she comes to an abrupt stop for a moment, as a sudden draft up her skirt causes it to billow like a parachute. She manages to keep her skirt from rising any higher, as she looks at the camera and audience, giggles coyly and descends slowly, and safely.
  • Mascot with Attitude: Felix (who, in fact, inspired the trope's inspiration).
  • Mind Screw: The show's active ingredient.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Candy Kitty, Roscoe's sister.
  • Must Have Caffeine / Never Sleep Again: Roscoe in "Nightmare on Oak Street".
  • No Fourth Wall: Felix and the gang are perfectly aware that they're cartoon characters.
  • Older Than They Look: Invoked in the comic episode where Felix proudly shows of fone of his original comics from the 1920's. He later expressed shock when he Roscoe pointed out that this meant Felix was even older than that.
  • Organ Theft: "The flower girl will steal your heart! And your lungs! And possibly your liver, or your spleen, or your colon..."
  • Platonic Life Partners: Felix and Sheba.
  • Retool: The second season pushed for much more linear storylines and less emphasis on visual surreal humor compared to Season 1.
  • Riches to Rags: The episode "Bet a Billion Bill" featured a gambler named Billy. He was wealthy and lucky until a black cat (Felix) crossed his path. In "Viva Lost Wages", Billy stole Felix's magic bag and used it as a charm to regain his fortune. Once Felix recovered the bag, it didn't take long before Billy returned to the poorhouse.
  • Self-Deprecation: In the first part of "The Fuzzy Bunny Show", the show is (tellingly) referred to as The Not So Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat.
  • Serenade Your Lover: In "Viva Lost Wages", Felix looks at photos of himself and his bag in various romantic-looking scenes, one of which is the bag on a balcony and Felix beneath, playing a mandolin.
  • Sexophone: Accompanies Natasha Slinky.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: The black magic bags mass-produced in "The Black Magic Bag". When some of the materials indentified as being part of the original bag are discovered to be very expensive, they were replaced with cheap ones under the belief the customers would never know. To replace the non-identified materials, they used cheap ones under the belief nobody cared.
  • Shout-Out: The episode Phoney Phelix has the Felix impostor singing a small verse of the 1950s Felix theme song.
    • In the same episode, in the fake Felix's flashback, one of the studios he is booted out of is called "Scumco". Also, in order to learn how to be a cartoon character, fake Felix attended an academy named Fleischer.
      • In a TV ad for the Fleischer school, a character is shown plummeting off a cliff, Wile E. Coyote-style.
    • In the two-part episode "The Fuzzy Bunny Show", Felix was mistaken for Garfield once per part.
    • The episode "Nightmare on Oak Street'' features a villain who goes after victims in their dreams and Roscoe drinking tons of coffee to avoid him.
    • "The Maltese Milkshake'' has certain similarities with "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery", including a bit where Felix realizes he has a dream sequence coming up and searches for a way to get knocked out.
    • The episode "Background Details", in which Felix and Roscoe search for a new background, is very reminiscent of "Duck Amuck".
    • The smiling moon used in the series strongly resembles the one in Krazy Kat.
    • The name of cat who kidnapped Felix and goes around impersonated as him in "Phony Phelix" is Oscar. This could be a reference to Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple". It about two opposite roommates, a neat freak named Felix and a slob named Oscar Madison. "Oscar" probably was a perfect name for a Felix the Cat impersonator to the homage of The Odd Couple.
  • Sidekick: In one episode, Roscoe is referred to as such to Felix.
  • Simpleton Voice: Roscoe; the Bermuda Triangle; Oscar.
  • Souvenir Land: Played with. The carnival Felix goes to in "Step Right Up" is a pretty simple standard carnival, but it does contain a parody of the "Small World" ride.
  • Spaghetti Kiss: Among the romantic photos of Felix and his bag in "Viva Lost Wages".
  • Spoof Green Aesop: "Star Trash".
    Felix: Poindexter, this is horrible! We're prisoners in a cartoon with a moral to it!
  • Stealth Parody: "Phoney Felix" is a none too subtle one of the shows retool in Season 2, where Felix has his show hijacked by an imbecilic imposter who imitates some of the traits of Oriolo Felix, such as saying his "Righty-O!" catchphrase, singing the TV show theme song and using a (shoddy knockoff) of the magic bag of tricks. As mentioned below, much of the staff hated the Joe Oriolo Felix and were not happy about the retool to make the show more in line with that take on the character.
  • Talkative Loon: The recurring frog character, an inmate at the "Middle of Nowhere Home for the Hopelessly Looney" who keeps escaping.
  • Take That: "Attack of the Robot Rat" is one to the series itself—it's an rather mean spirited parody of the Joe Oriolo TV Felix cartoons, especially the crude parody of it on TV early in the film. Reportedly, most of the staff who worked on Twisted Tales openly despised the TV Felix cartoons and only begrudgingly added elements of it at the insistence of Don Oriolo, and wrote the episode in retaliation for the season 2 retool putting more emphasis on the style of the Joe Oriolo Felix. And as mentioned above, "Phoney Felix" is a Stealth Parody that sums up the staffs thoughts on the retool.
    Poindexter: (to Mr. Gleep, the Spock expy) Uh, yeah, hi. Are you from a planet where they have no emotions?
    Mr. Gleep: No, I'm just a bad actor.
    • "Phony Phelix" also makes a jab at modern day animation industry.
    Company executive: (to Oscar after kicking him out of the studio) You don't get a cartoon show these days, unless you have a hit movie or a successful toylike!
    • In "The Golden Whatsist", Felix encounters a TV executive who claimed that the previous scene was violent and kids wouldn’t get the joke. As she said, “We want the show to be edgy, we just need to take the fun out of it.” At the end of the episode, she berates Felix for putting Poindexter in the video game and getting revenge.
  • Thirty Minutes or It's Free: One episode had Felix charged with delivering a meatball in 5 minutes or it was free, complete with a continually running timer in the corner of the screen. When he just barely makes it in time, the customer's wife expresses her desire for a meatball of her own, and the countdown clock gives a nasty chuckle as it starts without even letting Felix get back to retrieve the meatball.
  • Tomboy: Sheba is the poster girl of this trope within the show.