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Western Animation / Freddie as F.R.O.7

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Freddie as F.R.O.7 (Known in the United States as Freddie the Frog) was a... strange children's film produced in the UK in 1992.

The basic plot: Frederick, a young medieval French prince with magical powers, is turned into a frog by his evil sorceress aunt, who kills his (likewise magically-trained) father in a bid to seize the throne. After being pursued by his aunt (assuming the form of a snake), the prince is saved by the Loch Ness Monster, who indebts herself to him, and hides out with a colony of anthropomorphic frogs for an unspecified time. After ultimately deciding to accept his fate and fight evil using his powers, Freddie grows to the size of an adult human, travels to the future and becomes a French secret agent with a sentient car.

And that's just the prologue.

Two English cuts of the film exist, these being the original version of the film released to cinemas in the UK (as Freddie as F.R.O.7) and a noticeably-shorter cut released on VHS in the United States under the alternate title Freddie the Frog. The original and unedited UK version is now available on YouTube, here. The American cut is reviewed here.

The chief differences between the UK and the US version is that in the US version, there was an attempt to make the plot more streamlined (complete with introductory narration by James Earl Jones), although they also removed numerous lines that makes the film a least a little easier to follow. It also removes much of the original UK cut's bizarre attempts at sexual innuendo, several shots of Klansmen within the Villain Song and a brief, oblique shot in which Daffers flashes Freddie.


  • Adipose Rex: El Supremo is rather rotund.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of James Bond via Word of God. The movie is based on stories director Jon Acevski would tell his son about how his favorite toy frog was a secret agent.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The magic crystal which absorbs the national energy of the monuments.
  • Artistic License Biology: Frogs certainly like water... freshwater. Saltwater is very dangerous to most species of frog because it causes them potentially lethal dehydration. Yet Freddie has few, if any, problems taking a dip in the sea.
  • A-Team Firing: El Supremo's henchmen form a dozen man wide firing line, and open on full automatic fire on Freddie, Scotty, and Daffers. They somehow don't hit anything.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Freddie's final confrontation with El Supremo's mooks is scored to "Lay Down Your Arms" by Asia.
  • Award-Bait Song: "I'll Keep Your Dreams Alive" by George Benson & Patti Austin. It has nothing to do with the rest of the movie.
  • Bad Boss: Messina kills quite a few of her own henchmen during "Evilmania" for apparently no reason whatsoever.
  • Bald of Evil: Most of El Supremo and Messina's Mooks have shaved heads or at least bald/balding. Even "The Leader" at the horse races, when his top hat is knocked off, is revealed to be be balding. Inverted with the British Secret Service. Most of them, including The Brigadier, are going bald (with the butler having an entirely bald head). Trilby is the only one with a full head of hair and he turns out to be a turncoat.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Messina and El Supremo.
  • Bowdlerise: The cuts and edits to the "American version".
  • Brainwashed: Daffers at the command of El Supremo. She's faking the entire time.
  • The Brigadier: The head of the British Secret Service. He's even called "The Brigadier" (with the codename "Brigadier G," specifically), and, when in uniform, this appears to be his actually rank, too.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Messina proudly calls herself the "Queen of Evilmania".
  • Chekhov's Gun: Earlier in the film, Freddie's father (A wizard) shows off his powers by turning his sword into a flock of butterflies. During the battle against El Supremo and his kooks, Freddie uses this spell to transform their guns.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Nicole, who is a car.
    • It's implied Messina may be this to El Supremo.
  • Deranged Animation: The British spirit thingies inside the crystal.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Young Frederick's father, the King of France, was not only skilled with magic, but believed in using these powers for good.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: El Supremo, of course, since he's basically a pastiche of Bond villains.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?? Freddie gives Scotty the "French Kiss of Life" but assures him "This will be our little secret".
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole:
    • Trilby's status as The Mole was superfluous to begin with (he doesn't do anything but act smug and snicker evilly) but the American Cut's removal of him getting exposed and arrested makes it even more nonsensical, as he's now acting suspicious for seemingly no reason at all.
    • Overlapping with Voodoo Shark, the American cut tries to explain how Freddie is still alive in the 1990s by saying he used his magic powers to Time Travel to the future. All well and good, but if he could travel through time, why didn't he go back and save his parents from Messina? Speaking of Messina, neither English cut explains why she's still around hundreds of years later.
  • Everyone Knew Already: An unintentional example. It's reported in newspapers that Freddie is now the world's greatest secret agent. How great can he be if it's not a secret?
  • Evil Aunt: Messina is Freddie's aunt, and one of the two main villains.
  • Evil Laugh: Courtesy of El Supremo.
  • Evil Plan: El Supremo's is to steal all the great British landmarks so the UK's people will be too lazy and demoralized to defend their country when his forces invade.
  • Fat Bastard: El Supremo is a chubby man and very lacking in morals.
  • Fed to the Beast: El Supremo tries to do this Freddie and Scotty in his lair by lowering them into a pool of water under the floor filled with all manner of aquatic monsters.
  • Forced Transformation: Messina turned her nephew into a frog so that he would be easier to kill (or at least get away with killing).
  • Forgot About His Powers: Despite displaying powerful telekinesis in the prologue, and making a big deal about his preference for his thoughts over violence, Freddie is quick to just use martial arts on his enemies and doesn't bother with his magic until the climax. And even then, he promptly forgets it when it would be useful.
  • For the Evulz: In her introductory scene, Messina turns a cat into a baby chick... just because.
  • French Jerk: Messina is a complete bitch, and Freddie comes off as kind of a dick sometimes.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Many of (but not all) El Supremo's henchmen wear balaclavas with goggles and what looks like a gas mask.
  • Genre Shift: The first fifteen minutes of runtime are a fairly mundane fairy tale movie that seems to be based on The Frog Prince. Then it suddenly shifts into a bizarre comedy-adventure James Bond parody about a quipping human-sized frog agent thwarting a megalomaniacal cult leader purloining London landmarks in The '90s.
  • Ghost City: An unintentional example in the opening credits, as Freddie drives through a completely empty city. He's the only car on the road, with no pedestrians in sight.
  • Gonk: Most of the human characters are this.
  • Gratuitous Nazis: "Evilmania" shows that there are Nazis in El Supremo's organization... for some reason.
  • Hartman Hips: Messina. Even when she's a snake. Somehow.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: El Supremo is shrunk by his own shrinking ray at the film's climax.
    • Happens literally before that. Daffers enlarges the shrunken Big Ben while it's behind/partially behind El Supremo, and, when it grows, the clock hands grab him by the seat of his pants. He's left dangling from the clock face.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: El Supremo's interactions with Daffers make it very clear that he desires her.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face:
    • Scotty pulls his gun out at one point, and Freddie tells him to put it away. So, Scotty throws it away over his shoulder, and it goes off and blows a hole in his hat.
    • He does it again later with an assault rifle, although it doesn't go off. He even puts his hands up to protect himself from the bullet, as if he was expecting it to go off.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In the fight scene in the room with the gem and the monuments, the soldiers practically just stand there and take the beating. In the uncut version, they actually try, and still can't hit slow-moving targets. In contrast, the only three fighters defeat them hand to hand.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Heavily implied between Duffers and Freddy. It gets awkward.
    • There's even some of this implied between the villains El Supremo and Messina, "ARE YOU TIRED, MY BEAUTY?"
    • There are hints that Nicole has a crush on Freddie as well. Nicole is a sentient car, by the way.
  • Jerkass: The villains, obviously, but Freddie is also one at a lesser extent.
  • Karma Houdini: In the unedited cut, Messina turns into a vulture and Freddie lets her fly away, possibly starting another evil organization, in spite of not only trying to Take Over the World once, but killing his parents which he seems not very angry about.
  • The Klan: There are some Klansmen (or at least people dressed like them for some reason) in El Supremo's organization, as shown in "Evilmania".
  • Large Ham: El Supremo, who is voiced by BRIAN BLESSED.
  • Liquid Assets: Apparently, a nation's heritage is stored inside historical landmarks and makes everyone in the country fall asleep when stolen.
    • The way it's explained, it's the country's national pride/patriotism which is stored inside the monuments. Stealing them doesn't do much but demoralize the people. The Snake group's actual plan is to take the patriotic energy, turn it from positive to negative, and then send it back, leaving the British weak and apathetic and easy targets for a large-scale naval invasion.
  • Madness Mantra: "The Snake shall rule the world!"
  • Mind over Matter: Freddie, plotwise, tends to emphasize using his mind instead of guns. When he turns rifles into butterflies, one can see why.
  • Mistaken for Racist: When an aide tries to warn the Brigadier that Freddy, who is from France "is a frog", the Brigadier assumes that the aide is making a racist/xenophobic slur and tells the lad off. He's rather stunned when he sees that FRO7 is a literal frog.
  • The Mole: Trilby.
  • Monumental Theft: El Supremo's plan is to steal national monuments with a shrinking ray so that the British won't have the morale to fight his invasion.
  • National Stereotypes:
    • Guess where Scotty's from....Obviously, it's Oireland
    • Nessie as well. "Ah hahve ta get hoome ta bonnie Scotland!"
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Freddie and his aunt both have vaguely defined magical powers which are used solely to advance the plot.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A magic, telekinetic fairytale prince who was transformed into a giant frog and became a secret agent.
  • No Indoor Voice: El Supremo. When chewing out his henchmen for blowing their cover, the walkie-talkie is vibrating so much from the power of his voice that it jumps out of the henchman's hands. Might have something to do with being voiced by BRIAN BLESSED.
  • No Name Given: El Supremo is only ever referred to by his title. Likewise, the Evil Redhead leader of his men at the racetrack is just called "The Leader."
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Nessie has an obvious bust despite being a reptile.
  • Obviously Evil:
    • Freddie's aunt, Messina. Having pale skin, an overall snake-ish appearance and a narrator who tells the audience you're evil helps.
    • Likewise, Trilby, the black-haired, constantly giggling agent among the Brigadier's staff. Even before we see his Snake tattoo, he's clearly a villain.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Messina. Her accent, in human form, is a completely over the top French accent, whereas in Snake form, it's a little more subtle. When she's singing, the French accent drops altogether, because Grace Jones sings it in place of her speaking voice actress.
  • Plague Doctor: One appears during Evilmania
  • Pretend to Be Brainwashed: El Supremo's mind control doesn't work on Daffers for reasons that are never explained. But she successfully pretends it did by repeatedly intoning "the Snake shall rule the world" in a monotone voice.
  • Psychic Powers: Freddie's powers are repeatedly referred to as mental, implying that the "magic" is at least partly psychic in nature.
  • Putting on the Reich: The uniforms of the members of the Snake. Black with high-peaked Commissar Caps and red armbands depicting the group's symbol, knee-high jackboots and jodhpurs.
  • Random Events Plot: Every new plot element comes completely out of the blue.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Freddie's evil aunt can turn into a snake. It doesn't... Wait, it actually does help once or twice! Huh.
    • Averted with Nessie, who is quite pleasant.
  • Running Gag: The Brigadier getting wrapped up in phone cords.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: For some reason, once Messina turns into a snake she doesn't turn back into a human until the very climax.
  • Shout-Out: "We've just lost some of our best men! 003 in China, 005 in Russia, 007 in Hollywood"
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The final showdown between Freddie and Messina's mooks is scored to Asia's "Lay Down Your Arms"... an anti-war song.
  • Stock Footage: When you use the same thirty seconds or so of animation of the King talking to Freddy over and over through the whole US version of the movie, the audience is eventually going to notice.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Freddie meets one, and eventually a family of them, through the course of the film.
  • Stripperific: Daffers' outfit, if not just Daffers herself.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills:
  • Take Over the World: The ultimate goal of Messina and El Supremo.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: "Lay Down Your Arms" by Asia plays when Freddie, Daffers and Scotty fight a horde of Mooks, and starts up again for Freddie's Heroic Second Wind.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Implied with Messina and El Supremo. Supremo calls Messina such things as "my lovely", "my darling" and "my beauty" and Messina appears to get jealous when Supremo gets distracted by Daffers. El Supremo's...oddly conspicuous obsession with serpents may likewise explain why Messina consistently remains in her snake form in his presence.
  • The Unreveal: Freddie calling Messina out by name (and identifying her as his aunt) in such a dramatic fashion suggests that it was supposed to be a secret as to who she was, and she never actually speaks to the protagonists before this point. While unconfirmed, this may indicate that the prologue sequence detailing Freddie's backstory may have been added relatively late into production to clarify the film's already-convoluted plot for kids. Given that the prologue likewise adds the detail that Freddie and Messina hail from high medieval France (which is never implied in any other scene) and thus have inexplicably lasted centuries without ageing significantly, your mileage will vary on how much more bewildering the prologue's addition made the rest of the narrative.
  • Verbal Tic: Freddie has a tendency to, eh, what do you call it?... say "what do you call it" in every other sentence.
  • Villain Ball: Messina could have killed Freddie any way she wanted, but she chose to turn him into frog so she could eat him in snake form, giving him an opportunity to escape.
  • Villain Song: "Evilmania" by Grace Jones, like the rest of the soundtrack, is surprisingly awesome, despite being set to visuals of rollerskating Nazi officers and new jack swing-dancing Klansmen.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Messina has the power to transform herself into animals, but she seems to prefer a snake form.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Trilby, a member of the British Secret Service who is constantly seen grinning and laughing evilly to himself, who is later viewed to be a spy for El Supremo. The American version removes this revelation, and he just seems to be an asshole.
    • In the US cut, instead of turning into a bird and flying away, Messina gets wrapped around a pole (again) and... that's it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When Freddie discovers the latest targeted monument is Big Ben, he tells the Brigadier that the target is Windsor Castle so Big Ben would get taken, and he could infiltrate the enemy base. To prevent them from informing the Brigadier, he disabled their walkie-talkies. Scotty and Daffers are not pleased.
  • You Have Failed Me: Said by El Supremo to "The Leader" at the racetrack, although instead of punishing him (that we see, anyway), he just orders him and the other Mooks to return to base.
  • Your Size May Vary: Messina's snake form doesn't seem to have any kind of consistent size. Of course, since she's a witch, it's possible she can alter her own size.

Alternative Title(s): Freddie The Frog