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Western Animation / Fraidy Cat

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Fraidy Cat is a 1975 animated segment made for Uncle Croc's Block. The series was produced by Filmation and lasted for only 12 episodes. 6 other episodes were planned, but were scrapped. The series follows an anxiety-prone cat named Fraidy (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer) meeting up with his previous eight lives that are from different time periods (all of which are voiced by Lennie Weinribnote ), but they cause trouble for him rather than help him out of situations.

Despite being one of the more original shows of the 1970s, it suffered from poor animation and formulaic storylines. It almost caused Filmation to close down their studio and ABC ditched them in favor of Hanna-Barbera.

Not to be confused with the Tom and Jerry episode with the same name.

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This series provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: "Love is a Many Feathered Thing" has Fraidy hiding from a dog in an exotic pet shop, where he's being romanced by a comically overweight cockatoo who won't stop hugging him. Fortunately for Fraidy, as soon as the dog makes its way in, the cockatoo finds a new object for her affections.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Seven of the nine lives of Fraidy Cat have costumes that apply to this trope: #2 Kitty Wizard; #3 Captain Kitt, a pirate; #4 Sir Walter Cat, a noble cat; #5 Billy the Kit, a cowboy; #6 Jasper Catdaver, an undertaker; #7 Captain Eddie Cattenbakker, a pilot; #8 Hep Cat, a cat in a zoot suit. The only one who doesn’t is #1, Tinker Elephunt Cat, a caveman who isn’t dressed enough to count.
  • Butt-Monkey: Take an guess. Not only does Fraidy have to be wary of the ghosts of his past lives, but he also has to deal with being frequently chased by dogs, along with encountering other animals who always put him in life-threatening situations.
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  • Cats Have Nine Lives: The premise of the show. Fraidy is already nervous because he's on his final life, and it doesn't help that the ghosts of his eight previous incarnations keep appearing to him if he (even accidentally) intones their number or says a word that sounds like or rhymes with the numbers, even in another language. At least one of these ghosts, who was an undertaker in life, hopes to bring Fraidy over to the afterlife. The worst one is Cloud Nine, a psychotic storm cloud who tries to electrocute poor Fraidy.
  • Cumulonemesis: Whenever the titular cat says a number from 1 to 8, a ghost of one of his previous lives would appear, and saying the number 9 (his current life) summons a small cloud that chases him and tries to kill him with lighting. While the ghosts can be helpful from time to time, the cloud is always evil towards Fraidy.
  • Limited Animation: The characters would move their mouths a lot with little to no character acting. None of them bob their heads like in the Hanna-Barbera cartoons, due to Filmation having a shoestring budget.
    • Lulu the cat is the worst offender, as her model’s pose never changes.
  • Nervous Wreck: Reasonably with the titular character. He's always having the expression of anxiety (this is better shown on the page's image above) and for how much everything always goes wrong for him.
  • Off-Model: Some coloring errors occur in a few episodes, but the characters hardly had any off-model moments due to how much attention the animators paid to the models.
  • Running Gag: Fraidy Cat accidentally saying the numbers of his previous eight lives in nearly every episode. Other times when he says "nine", a thunder cloud known as Cloud Nine appears to strike Fraidy for a while and disappears afterwards.
  • Shrinking Violet: The titular character's name is a cat based pun based on this trope purely because of his sheer timidity.
  • Train Escape: When Fraidy stows away on a train, it slowly picks up speed and heads into a desert. Fraidy wakes up and then finds a tunnel and calls it a "low bridge", and tries to run from getting his head chopped off. He falls into a “green-ink” car, and a chicken coop car before jumping off the caboose.

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