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Felix the Cat: The Movie is a feature-length film from The Renaissance Age of Animation, starring Felix the Cat (specifically, the Joe Oriolo incarnation of the character) a Funny Animal who walks the earth and happens to own a Magic Bag of Tricks, who travels into another dimension after being summoned by a sentient teardrop to save the Kingdom of Oriana and its Princess from her Evil Uncle, the Duke of Zill, and his army of robotic cylinders.

No, really.

The film was produced by Joe Oriolo's son, Don Oriolo, who was largely working in the music business at the time, in an attempt to rejuvenate interest in the Felix the Cat series; in the mid to late 80's, the series had become all but forgotten in the mainstream, to where the series had exactly one license to its name. He wrote the story and intended his father to direct it, but Joe's poor health forced Don to enter the animation business to see the film finished himself. It was animated by Pannonia Film Studio in Hungary, and directed by Tibor Hernádi. The film is estimated to have been completed in 1986 or 1987, but it only received limited release in 1988 and 1989, finally getting a proper U.S. release in August 1991. The film was a Box Office Bomb, but it aired frequently on the Disney Channel for a few years afterward; along with subsequent VHS re-releases, this allowed the film to gain a small following. For better or worse, the film did succeed in its goal of getting Felix back into the public consciousness, as tie-ins like video games, comic books and even a brand new Felix show would follow in its wake.

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Felix the Cat: The Movie provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All That Glitters: Played razor straight in the ending. The professor tries to sneak gold back into his world through the dimensporter, only for Oriana to tell him that the device can't transport gold, and then tells Felix that she's pretty sure his gold can be transported. He says he doesn't have any gold, but she insists that he does: a heart of gold.
  • Another Dimension: Oriana is in another dimension.
  • Anti-Climax: The Final Battle ends abruptly by way of Felix throwing the Book of Ultimate Power at the Duke's Master Cylinder.
  • As You Know:
    • The Professor says to Poindexter, "Yes! That bag! I've always wanted that bag!" But, he says it in a manner that sounds like it's more for the audience's benefit.
    • Earlier in the film, Grumper reminded Oriana that because she disbanded weapons and their army from the kingdom, they're now vulnerable and defenseless. Oriana explicitly told him she didn't need to be reminded, presumably out of annoyance.
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  • Awesome Backpack: Felix's bag of tricks can turn into just about anything the plot calls for.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The movie is never brought up outside of maybe a historical handwave from the creators, and none of the movie's characters appear in merchandising. Animator John Canemaker's comprehensive history book on the series, Felix: The Twisted Tale of the World's Most Famous Cat, doesn't even acknowledge the existence of this movie.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: When Felix journeys through the swamp, a reptilian creature rises out of the water and watches him go by ominously, but never attacks him. Guess what the Professor and Poindexter run into and have to defeat when they come through later?
  • Company Cross References: The "Sly Like a Fox" musical number. Pannonia Film Studio actually did make a movie about foxes.
  • Conspicuous CG: Felix's disembodied, badly lip-synched head in the opening. Also a source of terror for some young viewers.
  • Cool Ship: The Professor and Pointdexter's transforming ship.
  • Covers Always Lie: Just look at how colorful and upbeat that poster is. Outside of the brief glimpses of Felix's world, the entire film is NOTHING like that.
  • Crapsack World: Oriana is reduced to an apocalyptic wasteland when the Duke takes over. The Land of Zill is a hell hole that the Duke made worse. From what we can see, Oriana gets covered in large crystals.
  • Creator Cameo: Don Oriolo voices the monster who appears out of nowhere and quotes "A Streetcar Named Desire" late in the film.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: Averted with the family of foxes Felix encounters early in the film who can't find him hiding under the bag. Mocked with the accompanying "Sly as a Fox" song.
  • Darth Vader Clone: The Duke of Zill wears black armor, a cape, and a helmet to hide a disfigurement, and speaks in a deep voice.
  • Death World: Zill is inhabited by Always Chaotic Evil sentient reptiles, sadistic cannibal giants that can detach their heads, dragons and the entire landscape of Oriana is constantly covered in a downpour of rapidly-growing crystals.
  • Deranged Animation: Especially the part early in the film where Felix is underwater. If one of the film's goals was to capture the surreal nature of the original shorts, it did its job a bit too well.
  • Disney Villain Death: Wack Lizardi, who falls from a great height and onto his circus, taking it with him.
  • Eye Beams: When Felix transforms his bag by looking at it, and beams of light shoot out of his eyes.
  • The Faceless: The Duke of Zill. Oddly, one trailer for the film shows that the Duke's eyes were supposed to be originally visible, but this was cut from the movie. His original human form is shown in flashback, though.
  • Karmic Death: The Duke of Zill, who dies when the Master Cylinder malfunctions and falls over on him.
  • Keystone Army: Throwing the book at the Master Cylinder somehow causes the entire cylinder and cube army to go down with it. Poindexter believes that the reason for this was because the book's binding had an adverse affect on the Master Cylinder, and that the rest of the army was destroyed because they derived their power from it. Felix figures there's more to it than that.
  • Large Ham:
    • The Duke of Zill speaks very loudly and dramatically.
    • As well as Oriana's oracle, Ms. Pearl. "A black duck on a green planet!", anyone?
    • Wack Lizardi also comes off as quite hammy, especially when he overemphasizes his lisp.
  • Lizard Folk: Lizardi and most of the inhabitants of Progress City.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: This happens twice to Princess Oriana's theme song "Face to the Wind". Neither the original version nor the one that contains Felix's saxophone solo is heard in its entirety, and both times large chunks of the song are covered up by background noise and talking. Fortunately, the full song was released on iTunes (though without Felix's sax) with the rest of the original soundtrack.
  • Lull Destruction: The movie's audio never has any breaks in it.
  • Meaningful Name: Both subverted and played straight with Progress City. Subverted because, despite the name, it's a rundown hellhole of a city in the middle of a polluted swampland. But then if you consider that The Duke wants Oriana to be under his complete control with the subjects idolizing him like a god, Progress City ends up fitting his idea of progress.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Cylinders are robotic goons.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Pim joins Felix and Oriana after being fed up with Wack bossing him around like "a puppet on a string".
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: The Mizzards are fusions of lizard and mouse.
  • Mood Dissonance: All Felix can do to a skull he finds in the mineshaft is say this:
    Felix: Boy, could you use a Big Mac! Uwahahahahaha!
  • Mood Whiplash: The upbeat Villain Song "Who is the Boss" almost makes us forget that Oriana and her kingdom is in danger. That is until they showed a dissolve effect of her crying near the end of the show.
  • The Movie: The first feature-length film to feature Felix the Cat.
  • Mythology Gag: When the Duke of Zill is describing the Master Cylinder he is about to sic on the heroes, he compares the new design to a drawing of the original Master Cylinder from the '60s Felix cartoon (which is drawn in a completely different art style than the new model). The Duke's backstory is also a callback to that of the original Master Cylinder's origin—he was a scientific pupil of Professor, and Cylinder's original body was completely destroyed in a chemistry lab accident, forcing his brain to be put into a robotic body. In the Movie, the Duke is severely injured when his prototype Cylinder explodes in his face, forcing him to wear a robotic life support suit.
  • No Fourth Wall: The opening CGI head of Felix talks directly to the audience and introduces the movie.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: The Duke is supposedly disfigured when his prototype Cylinder explodes in his face. However, we clearly see him lying unconscious on the floor, now covered in cartoon dust. His assistant, Grumper, is none the worse for wear, either. Perhaps the Duke suffered severe internal injuries.
    "Was it supposed to do that?"
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: The mutant seahorse things from the underwater scene. And they shake them for the camera too.
  • Off-Model:
    • The animation ranges from passable to mediocre in the first few parts of the film, and it goes even further after the "Who is the Boss" song?
    • Oriana and the Duke on the poster look off from their appearance in the film itself.
  • One-Way Visor: The Duke's helmet covers his face completely, though this somehow doesn't give him visual problems.
  • Opening Narration: That CGI head again. And he patronizes you too.
  • The Prophecy: About a "dark stranger" from another dimension.
  • Ptero Soarer: There's a brief appearance of a Pterodactylus hanging upside-down from a tree and looking ominous.
  • The Quisling: The Duke's old lab assistant, Grumper, who had since been promoted to Chancellor instantly joins with the Duke once he invades.
  • Random Events Plot: The film really has no sense of direction as far as plot is concerned. The "saving the world" bit doesn't even get started till well more than halfway through the picture — 20 minutes and half an hour from the end, to be precise.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Poindexter is the Professor's nephew in this movie. In the earlier cartoons they weren't related and didn't even have much to do with each other, for one thing, Poindexter was Felix's friend in the early cartoons, rather than an antagonist!
  • Right-Hand Cat: Wack Lizardi has a nameless squeaking lizard head mounted to a stick that he uses as a whip for a pet and is never seen without it. It reacts to events that happen onscreen and it's not uncommon for a scene with Wack Lizardi to shift focus from him to the pet.
  • Rotoscoping: Princess Oriana's animation.
  • Scenery Gorn: The Land of Zill. Progress City in particular has quite a few establishing shots that show just what a decadent ruined hellhole it is, from the rickety buildings that are meant to keep pollution in to the piles of rotting garbage and trashed vehicles.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: The portal to Oriana is hidden in the Anairo Mines.
  • Self-Deprecation: Felix's comment about Progress City appearing to be New Jersey is a LOT funnier when you realize that Felix the Cat Productions Inc. just happens to be located in New Jersey!
  • Sequel Hook: The Duke's "I'll be back" line, which is said in a different voice. However, the movie didn't get a sequel, and the Duke predictably didn't return in any later Felix productions.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The movie has a very upbeat 1980s pop soundtrack, which at times is very at odds with the dark tones we see on screen in Oriana.
  • Spell Book: A movie's MacGuffin is a mix between this and a Great Big Book of Everything. It's exact powers are unclear, but it is able to defeat the Duke's ultimate weapon.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The Land of Zill, a polluted swampland inhabited by a hostile reptilian race loyal to the Duke of Zill, various dragons, and carnivorous bubble monsters.
  • Swiss Army Tears: When the princess of Oriana can't finish summoning Felix, one of her teardrops finishes the job for her... activating the machine, punching in codes, pulling levers, entering the voice command, finding Felix in his world, and leading him back to the portal and into Oriana.
  • Throw the Book at Them: Done by Felix with the "Book of Ultimate Power" to defeat the Master Cylinder.
  • Took a Level in Badass
  • Tuckerization: Oriana is obviously named for Felix the Cat's creator Joe Oriolo.
  • The Unintelligible: Wack Lizardi's unnamed lizard pet, which makes different squeaks depending on what kind of mood it's in.
  • Urine Trouble: Early in the film, Felix uses his magic bag to hide from some foxes, only for the foxes to mark their territory on his bag. No urine is visible, but there's no mistaking when the foxes hike their legs.
  • Villain Song: "Who is the Boss?" Rather catchy tune and shows the extent of the Duke's ego.
  • Voodoo Shark: The Duke of Zill based his giant Master Cylinder off of the one in Felix's dimension to serve as his ultimate weapon and the source of power for his mass produced cylinder army. The movies tries to hand wave it by showing the Duke's blueprints, which have a comparison chart between the main universe Master Cylinder and Zill's take on him, but this opens up a big plot hole—the Duke didn't have access to the Dimensporter technology that allowed Felix to travel into the dimension, so how could he have possibly known about or seen the Master Cylinder in Felix's universe?
  • Was Once a Man: The Duke of Zill was an ordinary human before a prototype of his cylindrical soldier robots went haywire, severely disfiguring him and forcing him to rebuild himself.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Felix's bag during a shapeshift will change back to its original form if someone other than Felix touches it.
  • We Will Meet Again: It's not clear if the Duke perished with his army, but he was distinctly heard saying "I'll be back".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: So, what happened to all the other imprisoned circus performers? It's possible to assume they escaped after Wack Lizardi was defeated (even though an entire circus dropped on top of them), but that still means they're stuck in a polluted wasteland.


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