Felidae

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It's Film Noir....with cats!


Felidae is the 1994 German animated film based upon a book of the same name by Akif Pirinçci, a German-Turkish author. Thanks to the internet, the film has gained something of a cult status.

The story of Felidae centers on a male cat named Francis as he and his owner, Gustav (nicknamed "Gus" by Francis), move into a new home of unknown location. Upon investigating his new home, Francis not only meets the sarcastic Manx stray named Bluebeard, but he also encounters the body of a murdered cat (as Bluebeard points out, it's the fourth murder that occurred in the past few days). It's not long until Francis begins to unravel the mystery surrounding the murdered cats, a strange cult known as the "Claudandus Sect", and the meaning behind the enigma known as "Felidae."

Despite being an animated film, it is definitely not for kids. The film contains graphic violence, disturbing images, adult language, and cat sex. Yes, cat sex.

Now available on YouTube here (for now). Subtitled version here.


Tropes used in Felidae include:
  • Adults Are Useless: Francis' owner doesn't do anything to help solve the mystery, nor do any other humans.
    • Considering that it's cats killing other cats, this really doesn't seem all that surprising.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: These are some smart cats, able to perfectly understand humans, read, and work a computer. It's mentioned, however, that all of these things take some time and practice to learn, and some cats don't bother learning anything past human speech. This intelligence is kind of required for a murder mystery, anyway.
    • Actually, Francis is able to figure out how to log into the data at the end without having ever seen it being done, as shown by the fact that he did not know a password was necessary, so it is a case of the time required varying according to the situation.
  • Anti-Hero: Bluebeard. Type II.
  • Arc Words: The title.
  • A Worldwide Punomenon: Catacombs.
    • Lampshaded by Bluebeard in the film. "If that's a joke..."
  • Batman Gambit: Claudandus deliberately stops hiding his victims in order to lead Francis to discovering his scheme and eventually becoming his successor. The first part of the plan succeeds, the second fails. Might also contain elements of Xanatos Speed Chess.
    • Since the whole plan completely relies on the completely contingent element of Francis deciding to take over Claudandus' position (which he refuses), it might even qualify as Out-Gambitted.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The final confrontation between Francis and Pascal AKA Claudandus has this due to Pascal knocking over a computer monitor)
  • Becoming the Mask: Subverted. Claudandus was the real personality the whole time, he only used his Pascal persona to follow through with his plans, which he drops during his fight with Francis once he's been found out.
  • Big Bad: Claudandus, AKA Pascal.
  • Big Eater: Again, Bluebeard.
    • Even moreso in the film, especially after the catacomb scene. "All I want is a hot meal beside a warm fire. What I want is codfiissssshhh..."
  • Bittersweet Ending: The movie falls under this. The book's ending is slightly darker, but still manages to avoid Downer Ending status.
  • Burning Building Rescue: Francis saving Bluebeard from Ziebold's burning house.
  • Cat Fight: Played literally, Gender Flipped, and without the fanservice (possibly). Unless you're into graphic disembowelment.
  • Characters As Device: The kitten Pepeline, whose purpose is to reveal that Claudandus is still alive.
    • However, her character is more fleshed out in the book. She doesn't even share her name in the movie at all!
  • Children Are Innocent: Pepeline, who Can Not Tell a Lie. Provides the clue that Claudandus is in fact alive, and that if Joker is not Claudandus, he at least knows his real/fake identity.
  • Cats Are Mean: Both subverted and played straight. Francis is a nice cat. Kong, on the other hand, is a huge, hulking, dim-witted bully.
    • Even then, Kong shows himself to be at least a little sympathetic upon discovering Solitaire's body (see Jerk with a Heart of Gold below). A more interesting case would be Claudandus/Pascal, who is friendly and amicable right up until he's found out. Then he shows his True Colors...
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Ziebold. Not only he's Dr. Preterius' former assistant but also the person that saved Pascal Claudandus from the lab as well as his current owner. He is also obsessed with Gregor Mendel, which is where Claudandus got his idea in the first place -- and the final clue to for Francis to tie in that Claudandus IS Pascal, and yet he's The Faceless.
  • The Chessmaster: Pascal/Claudandus.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Jesaja, the guardian of the dead. his information provides several hints to solving the mystery, including a connection between Joker and Claudandus.
    • You have to feel bad for him. He's spent his whole life believing that he was destined to guard the dead. When Francis come, Jesaja thinks Francis is going to kill him because Jesaja believes that he has sinned for going outside. Also, there's this line when Francis is asking Jesaja questions about the dead bodies he received-

Francis: Were there any that were pregnant?
Jesaja: Many... oh yes, many...

  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Felicity, with her neck bitten and her head torn off. Solitaire, with her neck bitten and her womb opened, spilling out the amniotic fluid, sack and fetuses of the pregnant cat, and Pascal AKA Claudandus, with his body opened, eviscerating him.
  • Cult: The Claudandus Sect.
  • Dark Messiah: Pascal/Claudandus.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Francis.
    • Bluebeard as well.
  • A Degree in Useless: In the book, Gustav is an egyptologist, can't find a job, and noone wants to buy his books, so he has to write pornography for cheap magazines to make a living. In later books, he became more successful.
  • Deranged Animation: Francis's psychedelic dream of Gregor Mendel using thousands of cat corpses as marionettes pretty much takes the cake.
    • Speaking of which, there's that dream he has in the beginning which honestly shows why the film is not for kids.
  • Detective Animal: Francis.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Felicty (If you're shipping her with Francis)
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Francis and Pascal's final battle is very similar to Simba and Scar's battle from The Lion King, except much bloodier.
    • Claudandus's plans to create a race of "genetically perfect" cats while murdering those he considers to be inferior. Sound familiar?
      • In one dream, after seeing a film about a scientist creating a race of "super-cats" Francis sees God/The Ubermensch, who calls himself "Felidae," meaning all of catkind, as gold/blonde-haired and lapis/blue eyes. Does This Remind You of Anything??
    • In this movie, Egyptian cats are essentially a stand-in for "Aryans".
  • Dubbing: The film was dubbed in English as well, on the spot, which was obviously done to help it reach a wider audience.
  • Electric Torture: Used on the cats by the Claudandus cult.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Preterius, and his subject, Claudandus.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Claudandus seems to think he's helping to create a "superior" breed of cats.
  • Fallen Hero: Claudandus is a debatable case.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: There's a lot of these in the film, including Felicity being beheaded, a female cat having her own young ripped from her womb, several cats with their throats torn out, and Claudandus getting disemboweled at the end.
    • In the book, Claudandus also gets his throat torn out instead.
    • Felicity's death is a bit more tragic in the book, because we see Felicity's owner crying over her dead body.
    • How about Preterius' death? While not shown, both the book and movie versions were rather disturbing. The movie simply gave us a torn throat, while in the book, Claudandus leaped into his mouth, tore his way down his throat and ripped his way out through Preterius' intestines!
  • Fantastic Racism: Bluebeard often refers to humans as "Can-Openers", and thinks the only thing mankind is good at is opening cans of food for cats.
    • Also, Claudandus wants to create a master race of cats to overthrow the humans.
    • Bluebeard complains at one point about a new breed of cats moving in and taking over the neighbourhood.
  • Fat and Skinny: Francis' owner Gustav, and his (only) friend Archie.
  • Final Speech: Claudandus: So much darkness in the world, so much darkness, Francis. No light. Only darkness. And there is always someone who will take it upon himself. Always. Always. Always. I have become evil, but once I, too, was good...
  • Freudian Excuse: The reason Claudandus, AKA Pascal commits murders is because of experimentation by Dr. Preterius.
  • Gonk: Kong is approximately three times larger than any other cat in the film, has a lower jaw that juts out extremely far, and looks more like a cross between a bear and a buffalo than a cat. His henchmen, Herman and Herman, also qualify to some degree.
    • One of the Hermans has crossed eyes. The book explains that both Hermans are Oriental Shorthairs, and crossed eyes used to be fairly common among many Oriental breeds, justifying Herman's appearance. (For the curious, Kong in the book was an enormous Himalayan, or Colorpoint Persion. No clue how he got to looking the way he does in the movies.)
  • Gorn: Some scenes tend to venture into this.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Deep Purple. He ends up being the fifth victim, and an essential clue to the link of the murders.
  • Heaven: Francis gets a look at the feline heaven after being shot at the end of the second book. He's saved from the brink of death before the stay becomes permanent.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Subverted. Claudandus is a misotheist.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Both subverted and played straight. It's one of the main themes of the film.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted to hell and back. Dams and their kittens die all over the place.
    • In the original novel, Francis has a nightmare where Deep Purple pulls a kitten out of his torn, bleeding throat, throws it against the wall, pulls out another kitten which bursts like a red paint balloon, and proceeds to splatter more kittens from his throat. Try going to sleep after reading that fun scene.
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: When Francis uses the term "fornication" to note the similarities between Sascha and Deep Purple's deaths, Bluebeard replies, "Back in my day, we use to call it screwing."
  • Insufferable Genius: Francis. Justified since he is a cat, and he does have redeeming qualities.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Bluebeard.
  • Just Between You and Me: Claudandus to Francis when he finally discovers who the killer is.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Joker
  • Knights Templar: Claudandus presents himself like this, especially in the book.
  • Mad Scientist: Preterius. Though, he's more of a rambling drunken scientist.
    • Claudandus might also qualify.
  • Made of Plasticine: The cats get ripped apart rather easily, it seems. This is most obvious in the climax when the Big Bad gets his entire guts and ribs ripped open from a single claw across the stomach.
  • Madness Mantra: "HYBRID PLANT EXPERIMENTS!" Dream Gregor raves out this while controlling undead marionette cats. *Shudders*
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Ziebold, Pascal's owner and former assistant to Preterius is described as such.
  • Mature Animal Story
  • The Mengele: Preterius (see Mad Scientist). Let's just say his experiments on cats are definitely not allowed by any sane person's idea of scientific ethics.
  • Moral Dissonance: Felicity says that "humans are the kindest creature there is" in the same space as "Claudandus was viciously tortured by humans." The break between these two realities is at the center of the book's plot.
    • It also points out the irony of Felicity's views on humans considering it's heavily implied that she is blind due to humans experimenting on her in the past.
  • Motive Rant: Quite a lengthy one, in which Claudandus details how Humans Are the Real Monsters, and why he created Felidae in order to overthrown humans. This is more prevalent in the book.
  • Narm: In the English dub, most of the characters sound cartoony (yes, it's an animated movie, but... it's a murder mystery with cats! And sex!)
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Claudandus, since he tries to create a master race of cats and is willing to kill for it.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Claudandus. Just read his rant about how Humans Are the Real Monsters.
  • Nightmare Dreams: Francis has several of them, ranging from heavily symbolic to heavily disturbing.
  • No Export for You: Apart from the first 2 books, the final 5 books in the Felidae series have not been translated and released in the U.S. and despite the fact that both books can be bought from the Kindle Store, there is little hope for the next 5 books to be translated.
    • Actually, the fifth book is going to be released in English on the Kindle due to the series growing popularity.
  • Not So Different: Claudandus in regards to the humans he hated.
  • Passing the Torch: Pascal's original intention towards Francis.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: Francis guesses the password on Pascal's computer fairly easily - it's Preterius, the name of the scientist whose experiments set Pascal/Claudandus down the path of evil.
  • Pet The Cat: Interestingly (see Humans Are the Real Monsters above), just about every human character is shown to have (or have had) good qualities. Even Preterius was somewhat kind to his test subjects (at least in the book - it's not really shown in the movie) before his project started falling apart around him. About the only exception would be Saffron's owner, from book two, who took delight in starving and torturing his cats - Saffron's brother died of dehydration thanks to him.
    • Francesca also fails to get any such moments, but she's not evil per se - just really domineering, pushy, and a hypocrite.
  • Philosophical Serial Killer. It's a rather nihilistic philosophy though. Especially at the end.
  • Pop Star Composer: The score was done by Art of Noise member (and Academy Award winning composer) Anne Dudley.
  • Posthumous Character : Dr. Preterius, especially in the book.
    • Claudandus, until you find out not only he's alive, but also the Big Bad.
    • Crazy Hugo (aka the Black Knight) and his mastiff from the second book. Thanks to Ambrosius, many characters believe they might still be alive.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni - Francis (blue) and Bluebeard (red). They argue several times in the movie but are otherwise good friends with one another.
  • Redundancy Department of Redundancy: The first book does this often, probably due to translation.
  • Secret Keeper : Joker. Who is well aware about the truth behind Preterius and his experiments, that Claudandus is alive, responsible for the murders, the reasons behind 'em and his other identity. He even accepts dying at the hands of Claudandus to keep the secret safe when Francis starts closing in on him.
    • In book two, this role is filled by Ambrosius, who is fully aware that the Wild Ones are the murderers. He even aids them by pretending to be the Black Knight and drawing suspicion away from them.
  • Sexophone: Used during Nhozemptekh's introduction (otherwise known as the "cat sex scene").
  • Shallow Love Interest: Alcina from book two. She meets Francis only once, during which they mate, but Francis apparently loved her very much and is heartbroken when he finds she's been murdered. Felicity might count as well, as her part is extremely similar (sans the mating), but between the two Felicity was much friendlier.
  • She Knows Too Much: The reason why Felicity was killed.
  • Shout-Out: When Francis decides to relieve his stress by hunting some rats, he casually mentions their plot to take over the world.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: In the first book, Francis delivers one to Pascal/Claudandus, during the latter's Motive Rant.

Francis: You're the one who's really a human being! You think just like they do! You act just like they do! You only want to repeat all the misery they have brought to the world. You're dreaming not of real change but of establishing a new dictatorship paid for with hundreds and thousands of dead from your own ranks. and tell me what kind of a role you've thought up for the other animals species in your oh-so-very-wonderful never-never land? Come on, answer me!


"Blaubart was here."