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Western Animation / Fantomcat

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"The year was 1699. High in Castle Fantom, two sworn enemies engaged in mortal combat. But for one valiant hero, the fight would end in a cruel twist of fate - trapped within an evil spell, powerful enough to endure the passing of centuries. Until the dawn of a new millennium heralds the return...of Fantomcat!"
— Opening narration

Fantomcat is a 1995 animated series made by Cosgrove Hall and Anglia Television for CITV, lasting for two seasons and made as an Affectionate Parody of cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series and Gargoyles.

The series centres on the character Phillipe L'Entrique Elan de Chanel, Count Givenchy and the Duke de Fantom, a masked swashbuckling hero who thrived in 1699, in mortal combat with his nemesis Baron Von Skelter within his home, Castle Fantom. Phillipe was treacherously cast into a painting by the Crystal of Malevolence, a stone so powerful that it can change worlds, and became trapped for 3 centuries. As the years passed, the area around Castle Fantom became a bustling metropolis called Metrocity, a city submerged in crime rings led by the fiendish arachnid Marmagora. It's at midnight on December 31 1999 that Fantomcat is freed from his prison and joins up with Tabitha "Tabs" Wildcat, a stern feline detective who had grown up idolising Fantomcat, MacDuff, a timid Scouse mouse who hates holes, and Lindberg, an indecipherable, acrophobic pigeon, to fight the evil that has grown in modern times.

On December 13th, 2021, British streaming service BritBox announced they would have the show for streaming in January, every episode, bar "The Manhattan Incident" due to it featuring the Twin Towers as a plot point.

Not to be confused with Fantadroms, though incidentally both star cat-themed protagonists.


  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Marmagora owns half the sewers in Metrocity, and they are surprisingly large.
  • Acrophobic Bird: Lindberg is terrified of heights so tries his best to never fly.
  • Action Girl: Tabs. She's not afraid to get involved with Fantomcat's sword battles.
  • Alliterative Name: Vinnie the Vole.
  • And I Must Scream: Baron Von Skelter specifically allows Fantomcat to think when trapped in the portrait, claiming that he's being "a considerate man".
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Fantomcat obviously averts this while his nemesis, Baron Von Skelter, plays it straight.
  • Animal Superheroes: Fantomcat definitely counts as this.
  • Back from the Dead: Fantomcat dies twice in the series, once in Episode 6, "The Mind Leech", and the other time in Episode 18, "Tomb of the Fantoms", and is brought back to life by his father in "The Mind Leech" and his ancestors in "Tomb of the Fantoms", who each have the power to grant him life again. However, they can use this power only once.
  • Bad Boss: Marmagora to both Vile and Vinnie. See Cool and Unusual Punishment below.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Some of the background characters.
  • Catchphrase: Fantomcat has "To me, Touché!", while Marmagora has several.
  • The Casanova: Fantomcat is one of these.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: Unsurprisingly, the Chameleon Brothers have this power.
  • Christmas Episode: Episode 12, "Where the Heart Is".
  • Clothes Make the Superman: In Episode 17, "Warrior of the Skies", MacDuff's brother Bunty invents MacDuff an indestructible bionic suit of armour so that he can be the hero of Metrocity instead of Fantomcat.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: When Vile screws up in both Episode 3, "The Swords of the Scorpion" and Episode 6, "The Mind Leech", Marmagora feeds him to her giant Fly Trap, Gloria.
  • Cool Sword: Fantomcat has an enchanted rapier called "Touché" which can respond to his beck and call.
  • Cowardly Lion: MacDuff is timid by nature but always comes through when the other members of the Detective Team need him.
  • Curse: The Fantom lineage suffers a curse where, every 400 years, when Comet Caractacus orbits the planet, a monster called the Mina Tiger comes to life and tries to kill a member of the Fantom family.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Fantomcat looks like he should be the show's villain, with his elaborate black cape and facial mask, but is unquestionably heroic.
  • Darker and Edgier: The show isn't just your average cartoon set in a World of Funny Animals. It's surprisingly dark, with on screen assassinations, guns, even the odd "Hell" and "damn" remark.
  • Dice: Marmagora enjoys playing craps with two creatures that look like a cross between an armadillo and a dice, one of which is on the Youth Training Scheme.
  • Expy: Fantomcat has been called a cross between Zorro and Errol Flynn, with a dash of the French Anti-Hero Fantômas for flavor, and a backstory that owes something to Adam Adamant Lives!.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: We've got magic, ghosts, cyborgs, aliens, evil computers, mutant fly-eating plants...all living in a World of Funny Animals.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Fantomcat came from the seventeenth century so his (understandable) ignorance about the modern day world often causes problems.
  • Giant Spider: Marmagora is a black widow spider "many, many times over".
  • Hopeless Suitor: MacDuff. He is hopeless at getting a girlfriend, until Episode 21, "The Lonely Hearts Club", where he starts going out with a lady mouse called Leandra, who responded to his Lonely Hearts advert in the Metro News.
  • Huge Girl, Tiny Guy: Tabs is at least three times MacDuff's height.
  • Hypno Pendulum: In Episode 7, "Lady Gobbling's Gems", Hedouni the Hypnotist uses one of these on his audience to hand over their jewels.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: In Episode 3, "The Swords of the Scorpion", Tabs sticks a bug on The Scorpion's shoulder. It's spotted effortlessly by Marmagora's second-in-command, Vile the Blutebottle... through a videophone.
  • Interrupted Bath: In Episode 4, "The Aeroship", Vile the Bluebottle accidentally uses the aeroship's claw to grab a German cat who is having a bath.
  • Invisibility: Fantomcat's distinctive cape is enchanted to let him become invisible when he wishes.
  • "Kick Me" Prank: In Episode 9, "The Chameleons of Death", MacDuff paints a "Swat Me!" sign on the back of Vile the Bluebottle's head while he's unconscious. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Last of His Family: Fantomcat. He proclaims himself to be the "Last of the Fantoms".
  • Literally Shattered Lives: At the end of Episode 8, "Great Balls of Fire", Tabitha tests to see if the petrified Mina Tiger is invulnerable. He isn't.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Gloria, Marmagora's pet fly trap, is one of these.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Vile the Bluebottle is pretty useless without Marmagora telling him exactly what to do.
  • Mundane Solution: In Episode 8, "Great Balls of Fire", after Fantomcat manages to narrowly defeat the Mina Tiger in, and the rest of the Detective Team heads inside Castle Fantom to warm themselves by the fire, Tabs decides to try something that no Duke of Fantom has tried before: she throws a hammer in the air, which smashes the now-petrified Mina Tiger to pieces, speculating whether that will end the curse. It does.
  • Mythology Gag: The Comet that awakens the Mina Tiger is called Caractacus, the same name as the Big Bad of earlier Cosgrove Hall show Avenger Penguins.
  • The Night That Never Ends: Marmagora's plan in Episode 9, "The Chameleons of Death", is to suck all the light out of Metrocity with a machine called the SpectroVac.
  • Off with His Head!: This happens to the demon warrior Nemesis on Fantomcat's great grandfather's encounter with him in Episode 10, "The Crystal of Nemesis". But being immortal, he survives.
  • Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List: In Episode 6, "The Mind Leech", Vile the Bluebottle attempts to get a secret formula from Professor Oliphant with the titular object, but he ends up getting his shopping list instead. Needless to say, Marmagora is not happy.
  • Planet Destroyer: The Monitor, an intergalactic space villain, is one of these.
  • Police Are Useless: The Metrocity Police Department are absolutely dreadful at their job. Justified, since they are owned by Marmagora, the main antagonist.
  • Power Floats: Fantomcat's cape can also make him levitate to high places.
  • Ring of Power: Fantomcat's ring, The Ring of the Fantoms, a thousand-year-old ring which gives him the power to overcome his enemies whenever he's in sunlight.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Don Ratso and his gang are these.
  • Shout-Out: Being a Cosgrove Hall cartoon, there are plenty of these. Here are just some of them.
    • MacDuff's name is a reference to a character in William Shakespeare's Macbeth - and that's just one of a number of Shakespeare references in the show.
    • Episode 14, "Once Upon a Time Machine", has an entire sequence based on Jurassic Park, complete with MacDuff's soda shaking as a T-rex approaches.
  • Shrink Ray: Bunty unknowingly invents one of these in Episode 25, "The Incredible Shrinking Fantomcat", and shrinks Fantomcat to the size of an ant while demonstrating it.
  • Solar Sail: Fantomcat's ring needs sunlight to make it work.
  • Space Station: The Monitor's asteroid base is one of these.
  • Species Surname: Most of the characters have one.
  • Spell My Name With An S: "Fantom" as opposed to "Phantom".
  • Sword Fight: Nearly every episode has one of these, usually with Fantomcat and his rapier, Touché, against the Villain of the Week and their weapon. Sometimes, Tabs gets involved.
  • Taken for Granite: When Comet Caractacus is not in the night sky, the Mina Tiger slumbers as a stone statue. If defeated, he reverts to this stony form for the next 400 years.
  • This Cannot Be!: Said word-for-word by The Monitor in Episode 19, "Revenge of the Monitor", upon his defeat.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: This happens in Episode 9, "The Chameleons of Death", when Marmagora invents a machine called the SpectroVac to suck all the light out of Metrocity so that she can commit crimes unnoticed, but only for a short while before the SpectroVac explodes.
  • The Unintelligible: Lindbergh, who speaks in an incomprehensible gobbledygook like that of Clunk in Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines. However, unlike Clunk, some of his words can actually be made out.
  • Vicious Vac: In Episode 7, "Lady Gobbling's Gems", Vinnie the Vole uses one of these, called The Cat Seeking Super Suction Swivel Hose.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: In Episode 22, "The Mirror Monster", Marmagora creates the Mirror Monster, who can change himself into anything and everything.
  • Walking Techbane: Fantomcat is one of these. Justified as he is from the 17th century, and they didn't have technology like microwaves and televisions back then.
  • We Will Meet Again: Either Fantomcat or Marmagora will say this at the end of some episodes.
  • When Trees Attack: Aside from Marmagora's pet fly trap Gloria, also invoked by the Monk, a preying mantis assassin from Episode 2, "The Preying Mantis", who disguises himself as a plant in order to ambush his victims.
  • Why Did It Have to Be The Dark?: MacDuff. He hates the darkness, and so becomes very nervous when he has to enter the Metrocity sewers.
  • World of Funny Animals