Western Animation: The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat
The Cat Returned.
A modern day take
on the classic Felix the Cat
series, albeit an attempt to return the series back to its roots after decades of using the 1950s flanderized
portrayal of Felix.
The series is very kooky, surreal and fast paced-as a whole, the series owes 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 36 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
. Originally aired from 1995-1997.
Tropes This Series Provides Examples Of:
- Airplane Arms: Felix goofing off at the end of "Felix in Nightdrop Land".
- All Deserts Have Cacti: And since Everything Talks, they might end up hitting on you.
- Ambiguously Gay: The sphinx in "Petrified Cheese".
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Parodied at the end of "Black Magic Bag".
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The jail in "The Punderground".
"I robbed twenty-seven banks and thirty-two gas stations."
"I stole seventy-three cars and ninety-one million dollars in gold and jewels."
"Uh, I made a pun."
- Awesome Backpack / Bag of Holding: The "bag of tricks".
- A Boy and His X: A boylike cat and his empathic Bag of Holding.
- Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: In "Star Trash", Felix's talking mailbox does this for him.
- Born Lucky: Bet-A-Billion Bill, whose entire life is fixated on gambling because he never loses. And then this all turns upside down once Felix crosses his path...
- Breaking the Fourth Wall
- 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: The Professor and Rock Bottom, two major characters from the original Tv Felix cartoons, return for the episode "Attack of the Robot Rat".
- By the Lights of Their Eyes
- 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.
- (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!
- Chaotic Stupid: The Bermuda Triangle.
- 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.
- The Ditz: Roscoe.
- The Bermuda Triangle in "Manhattan Triangle".
- 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.
- 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":
- Fantastically Indifferent: How Felix answers the phone in "Nightmare on Oak Street".
Felix: (bored monotone) "Felix the cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat..."
- Felix Impersonator: Oscar from the episode, "Phony Phelix".
- 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!
- 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!"
- 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".
- 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.
- Living Shadow
- 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.
- Morally Ambiguous Ducktorate: Peking Duck and his goons.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prehensile Tail
- Pie-Eyed: Pretty much everyone. Lampshaded via dialogue in "The Sludge King":
Felix: What a woman! Eyes like pies...
- The Prima Donna: Natasha Slinky.
- Private Eye Monologue: A trademark of Shamus Crow, also used by Felix in "The Maltese Milkshake".
- Random Events Plot
- 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.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors
- 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!
- Surreal Humor
- 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" features a rather mean spirited parody of the original made for tv Felix cartoons. 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).
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.
- 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.
- Toon Physics
- Totally Radical: The surfer movie in "Felix in Nightdrop Land".
- Trapped in TV Land: "Now Playing Felix" and "Felix in Nightdrop Land".
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Weirdness is so common in this world that no one bats an eye.
- Villain Song: Jeepers Creepers gets one in "Nightmare on Oak Street".
- Visual Pun: In "Black Magic Bag", we see the designer of the knockoff bags literally laughing all the way to the bank.
- Waxing Lyrical: In "The Maltese Milkshake" Felix answers the phone by (unenthusiastically) saying, "Felix the cat, the wonderful wonderful cat..." Five minutes later, a dame struts into his office and the Private Eye Monologue states "My heart went pit-a-pat!"
- Weirdness Magnet: Felix. Not that he finds any of it really weird.
- Widget Series
- Word Schmord: A hotel called the "Hotel Shmotel".
- World of Chaos: Hard to describe where Felix lives any other way.
- Worst News Judgement Ever: In "News Blues", Felix reads a paper with the front page headline "MAN FINDS LOST SHOE!"