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Western Animation / Albert the Fifth Musketeer

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"He's sharp, he's cool, he's nobody's fool, he's Albert the Fifth Musketeer!"

Albert the Fifth Musketeer (Albert le cinquième Mousquetaire) is a 1990s French-Canadian animated series. It's essentially The Three Musketeers meets MacGyver.

It takes place in a cartoonish early 17th century France during the reign of King Louis XIII, and centers on the adventures of Albert de Parmagnan, a new member of the Royal Musketeers. While the four other musketeers (Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan) are all bumbling and incompetent, Albert is short but quick-witted and clever, creating many inventions to get the others out of trouble and save the day by thwarting the Cardinal's Evil Plans to take over the Kingdom of France.


Albert the Fifth Musketeer provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accordion Man: A variant. When D'Artagnan orders the other musketeers to stop while they're on a ride, they usually run into each other with their horses. Porthos usually runs the last, and since he's the heaviest, pushes the others forward like an accordion, with an actual accordion sound.
  • The Ace: Albert is the newest and the smallest of the musketeers, but he still is the most competent one, not to mention the smartest one, out of the bunch.
  • Adaptational Comic Relief:
    • Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan, from swashbuckling badasses in the novels of Alexandre Dumas to Bumbling Sidekicks, Idiot Heroes and The Fools.
    • King Louis XIII is turned into a Manchild and Royal Brat.
    • The Cardinal wears slippers that look like white rabbits, and he's always embarrassed when someone finds out. And they're alive, somehow.
    • Advertisement:
    • As, by the way, is Milady's Fleur de Lis tattoo, which morphs into a duck, which is animated and shouts like Donald Duck.
  • Adapted Out: The focus not being on D'Artagnan, some characters of his supporting cast gallery from the Dumas novels don't seem to exist in this setting.
    • The Count of Rochefort is nowhere to be seen.
    • The Musketeers have no servants, and Planchet is missing especially.
    • And D'Artagnan's lover Constance Bonacieux, while we're at it.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Golden Pheasant inn.
  • All There in the Manual: Although not stated in the series proper, promotional material for the series wishes for viewers to know that Albert is 20 years old and stands at 3'6"/105cm, including the feather in his hat.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • Bolognese sauce, modern frying pans and modern umbrellas were unheard of until the late 19th century.
    • English people wearing bowler hats and drinking tea in early 17th century England. Tea was introduced circa 1660, at least two decades after the end of Louis XIII's reign (he died in 1643), and the custom of afternoon tea appeared in the 1840s. Bowler hats appeared circa 1850.
    • An Eiffel Tower made of wood tends to make appearances here and there, probably to remind viewers the series takes place in Paris. The real Eiffel Tower was built about 250 years later, in 1889.
  • Beard of Evil: The Cardinal sports a grey goatee.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Milady uses such a disguise to scare the hell out of the king in the episode "Ghost, You Said?".
    • All of the Musketeers and the Captain also don this disguise.
  • Berserk Button: Each time D'Artagnan sees a guard of the Cardinal, his face turns red and exhales steam.
  • Big Bad: The Cardinal de Richelieu, who always plots to overthrow King Louis XIII.
  • The Big Guy: Porthos, and his Evil Counterpart in the guards of the Cardinal.
  • Bowdlerise: Canadian broadcasts replaced words like 'idiot' with something else.
  • Brains and Brawn: Albert's plans usually work this way, with Porthos as the main muscle to help him.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: A few characters address the audience, with Albert doing so mostly to wrap-up episodes.
  • Brick Joke: The Duke of Buckingham states he can play the harpsichord about as well as a corgi can play the mandolin. When he demonstrates his lack of talent in playing the harpsichord, Milady asks the Cardinal to guess who is playing; he responds "a corgi?".
  • Butt-Monkey: Captain de Tréville always ends up with spaghetti in his face as he requires Albert's help.
  • Catchphrase:
    • The Cardinal shouting "MILADY!" whenever he calls for her.
    • The musketeers' legendary motto "All for one and one for all!".
    • "CHAAAARGEEEEE!" (D'Artagnan)
    • "Oh, golly!" is Albert's preferred exclamation.
  • Clock Punk: Some of Albert's inventions fall into this. By the way, he has always admired Leonardo da Vinci, and most of his inventions look accordingly.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Athos' eyes are never seen and he seems to be the most "head in the clouds" musketeer. He rides his horse backwards, often stands facing the opposite direction of everyone else, was once seen fishing in the land when everyone else was fishing in the sea, etc.
  • Courtly Love: The Duke of Buckingham has a very deep crush on the Queen and always sends her letters and gifts.
  • Da Chief: Monsieur de Tréville, the captain of the musketeers. He berates the musketeers sometimes.
  • Damsel in Distress: Queen Anne ends up kidnapped sometimes.
  • Dark Chick: Milady de Winter. She is the Evil Counterpart to the Queen in size and role, and the trope applies even better when she's seen with the four guards of the Cardinal who have about the same size and haircuts as the musketeers.
  • The Ditz: All four musketeers (Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan) are incurably clumsy and ditzy.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Porthos is so strong he can break stuff unintentionally.
  • The Dragon: Milady de Winter is this to the Cardinal. She's the one to answer directly to him and his most trusted agent.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: When the Count of Quicostro gave Milady a hideous appearance as retribution for her actions, Albert was horrified. Thankfully, it was just very well-done make-up.
  • Dumb Muscle: Porthos is the strongest musketeer but he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
  • Evil Chancellor: The Cardinal de Richelieu is the king's advisor and the show's Big Bad.
  • Evil Counterpart: Each one of the five musketeers has a guard of the Cardinal looking like him. And Milady is this for the Queen.
  • Evil Laugh: The Cardinal and Milady laugh evilly at least once per episode. The Cardinal also often rubs his hands when laughing.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The show's opening describes Albert.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The Cardinal's plans are naturally thwarted once per episode.
  • Fat Idiot: Let's say Porthos is not the brightest of the musketeers...
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: The usual result of ingesting some of Albert's bolognese with hot sauce.
  • Flynning: The swashbuckling fights pretty much always turn out like this.
  • The Fool: D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis sometimes don't seem to know what they're doing.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Albert has made friends with a few animals. There's Gertrude the mouse who willingly tested his model of a flying machine and her partner who lives in the walls of the workshop, Little John's cow and of course, Albert's mule who seems to be more of a partner.
    • He's also quite fond of nature. One of his favourite things to do following missions is relax in a field and smell the flowers.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Albert builds various sorts of gadgets, his bread-and-butter being his blunderbuss (he can load it with various things from grappling hooks to Bolognese sauce bombs).
  • Geodesic Cast: Each one of the five musketeers has a guard of the Cardinal with the exact same size and haircut, and Milady and the Queen have a roughly similar build.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: The musketeers and the king's guards dress in blue, the Cardinal's guards dress in red.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold:
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: D'Artagnan is very easy to taunt.
  • Hammerspace: Where did the small cannon and those blunderbusses that Albert uses come from? He appears to pull them out from behind his back!
  • Hand Rubbing: The Cardinal, when gloating about his evil plans or when things seem to go his way. Often accompanied with an Evil Laugh.
  • Historical Domain Character: The characters already appeared in Alexandre Dumas' work, and they are based on historical figures, In Name Only most of the time.
    • King Louis XIII of France.
    • Queen Anne of Austria.
    • Armand Jean du Plessis (Cardinal de Richelieu).
    • George Villiers (1st Duke of Buckingham).
    • Armand de Sillègue d'Athos d'Autevielle (Athos), Isaac de Portau (Porthos), Henri d'Aramitz (Aramis) and Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: The Cardinal is always plotting against Louis XIII in the show. In Real Life, he was one of the French Crown's most loyal servants, albeit quite a ruthless minister, especially if you were a Protestant.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: What usually happens to Milady de Winter, and sometimes to the Cardinal.
  • Honor Before Reason: D'Artagnan can't stand provocations and always makes a point of answering to it in a direct, vengeful way.
  • Hopeless Suitor: The Duke of Buckingham will never manage to seduce Queen Anne, who remains faithful to the king.
  • Idiot Hero: Arthos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan can never succeed without Albert's help.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Albert is pronounced "Al-bear" in English.
  • Kidnapped Scientist: When the musketeers are tasked to find someone who is able to device something for the King or the Queen, Milady kidnaps him.
  • "King Kong" Climb: A gorilla named Ting Tong carries the Queen up Notre Dame. Albert comes to the rescue with his new flying machine.
  • Lean and Mean: The Cardinal and Milady are tall and lean.
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: Queen Anne is the sweet-natured and amiable Light Feminine, Milady De Winter is the seductive villainous Dark Feminine.
  • MacGyvering: Albert can device things in a hurry to save the day, such as a makeshift elevator with ropes, a basket and Porthos' help, or even a gadgetized coach out of scratch.
  • Manchild: King Louis XIII. He's always throwing childish tantrums, is very capricious and sucks his thumb at times.
  • Mona Lisa Smile: When the Cardinal calls for Milady, he sometimes finds her camouflaged as a painting, imitating Mona Lisa's pose.
  • Mr. Exposition: The Queen or Monsieur de Tréville usually explain the situation to the musketeers. Albert gets more informations or understands the situation better than the others.
  • Mr. Fixit: De Tréville often requires Albert's services to fix things. And Albert always comes up with a plan B to save the day.
  • The Napoleon: King Louis XIII is short and prone to temper tantrums.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: D'Artagnan is easy to taunt, and he reacts accordingly.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: One of Milady's camouflage techniques. She actually disguised herself as a statue at one point, using some sort of solidifying clay on herself in order to infiltrate the king's bedroom and spray his pillow with a sneezing powder.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Albert packs a punch with his blunderbuss.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: To many young viewers who saw this show this was the first (and sometimes only taste) of The Three Musketeers.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the German dub, Porthos says 'bastard' in English in the episode 'The King's Complex'.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The brash, impulsive D'Artagnan is the Red Oni to the calm, logical Albert's Blue Oni. Bonus points in that Albert's uniform is blue.
  • Royal Brat: Louis XIII is a Manchild king and behaves like a capricious brat.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Queen always involves herself whenever the king is in danger, or when whatever the king asked for is at stake.
  • Running Gag: Most episodes have their own running gags. There are quite a few series-wise:
    • Captain de Treville always getting splatted by Albert's ammunition, even sometimes by his own fault.
    • Blackcross, the tortoise farmer who is always travelling to Paris with his tortoises.
    • The town crier always getting splashed by a bucket of water whenever he calls out the time in the middle of the night, no matter if he's in the city or out in the countryside!
  • Save the Day, Turn Away: Albert is type 2. He doesn't like medals, he rather likes to enjoy his victories alone in a green and flowery meadow.
  • Sinister Schnoz: The Cardinal has a big pointy nose.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: The only main character to not experience any form of slapstick is the Queen. Everyone else, however, is fair game.
  • The Smart Guy: Albert is the most intelligent of the musketeers by far.
  • Smug Snake: The Cardinal's ego doesn't help him the slightest.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Porthos' sneezes are powerful enough to send multiple guards flying.
    • When Captain de Tréville has a cold, he can sneeze hard enough to put his own head through a door and blow away all of his musketeers, including Porthos.
  • Spy Catsuit: Milady dons a Spy Mousesuit (with Mickey Mouse-like ears) sometimes.
  • Steampunk Gadgeteers: Albert's gadgets sometimes fall in this category.
  • Stout Strength: Porthos is both fat and strong.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When asked by Milady, D'Artagnan tries to fool her into thinking the Musketeers were off to retrieve anything she could think of except perfume from anywhere in France except Nice. It goes as well as you'd expect.
  • Swashbuckler: It's the 17th century so swashbuckling fights happen regularly. Albert doesn't fight much with his sword, resorting to his wits and gadgets instead.
  • Tickle Torture: The Cardinal has this used on Count Anatole to get him to reveal where his grandfather's treasure is hidden.
  • Too Important to Walk: The Queen uses a sedan chair whenever she has to move in the streets of Paris.
  • Trap Door: When the Cardinal calls for Milady, she often falls from the ceiling through a trap door in front of him. And he disposes of her once his orders are given through yet another trap door, on the floor this time. It's a wonder how nobody ever notices so much trap doors in the Louvre palace.
  • Totem Pole Trench: Albert and Little John use this to get past one of the Cardinal's Guards in 'The King's Complex'.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Cardinal is subject to these, often with his head turning red and exhaling steam.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Albert is not a physical threat at all due to his size, but he compensates with his brains and Gadgeteer Genius talents.
  • Weapon of Choice: Albert's musket. He loads it with various sorts of projectiles, the most famous being spaghetti with Bolognese sauce. He can also use it as a Grappling-Hook Pistol.
  • Wheel o' Feet: Happens regularly when the characters run.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Milady is afraid of spiders.


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