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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 due to the show getting cut from Uncle Croc when the latter was reduced to a half-hour. 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 (seven of which are voiced by Lennie Weinrib. Jasper Catdaver was voiced by Lou Scheimer), but they cause trouble for him rather than help him out of situations. The main joke of the series is that when Fraidy says a number one through eight, it summons one of his previous lives. Saying "nine" causes a storm cloud in the shape of a nine to chase Fraidy.

It almost caused Filmation to close down their studio and ABC ditched them in favor of Hanna-Barbera.


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 a guess who it is. 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.
  • Cupid's Arrow: This applies to Fraidy, Ant, and Chuck in “Cupid and the Cat”. Cupid shoots his arrow on Fraidy at the beginning, and later has Fraidy falling in love for Lulu. Then, Cupid misfires and shoots Ant and Chuck, causing them to fall in love.
  • Impostor Exposing Test: In “A Small Star is Born”, Lawrence the lop-sided lion catches both Boris and Fraidy and has Cling-Clong test and see which one is real and fake. Both Boris and Fraidy are given food, and Boris, being the picky eater he is, puts his nose up to the food. Fraidy, however gorges upon the dish, and he is literally kicked back to the city.
  • 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.
  • One-Shot Character: Every single character except for Fraidy and his lives, and Ant the dinosaur.
    • In fact, some one-shot characters get little to no dialogue all for the purpose of filler, such as a poetic crow, a parody of Lassie named “Laffy”, and a pirate pelican which has only one line, that is unintelligible.
  • Running Gag: Fraidy Cat sometimes gets chased by dogs every now and then in an episode. In fact, one of them became a plot point in “Love is a Many Feathered Thing”.
  • Shout-Out: “Love is a Many Feathered Thing” is a reference to the movie “Love is a Many Splendored Thing”.
    • In the final episode, “A Semi-Star is Born”, some of the animal actors are based off real-life animal icons. Mister Fred is based off of Mr. Ed, and Laffy is based off of Lassie (ironically enough Lassie had a series made by Filmation).
      • “Choo Choo Fraidy” has a direct reference to Looney Tunes, with Smile E. Coyote, with him directly saying “I prefer roadrunners”, with a fat roadrunner jogging right beside him.
      • “A Scaredy Fraidy” has Edgar Allen Crow, a poetic crow-based pun of Edgar Allen Poe.
  • 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.