When I think of Felix the Cat, I totally think of crossing dimensions via a magical animate teardrop and some “ancient” transportation device. Cynical as that sounds, that’s really what happens.
A talking cat and his magic bag try to save a kindgom from some evil duke.
I’ve seen some Felix the Cat cartoons from when he was first around. Needless to say, I can see where one instance of scary Santa comes from. In one cartoon, Felix has a stomachache and has a nightmare. One instance involves Santa transforming into a monster, making that idea Older Than We Think.
The transition from silence to talking doesn’t exactly work with Felix. Taking a previously known character who didn’t speak and giving them a voice is quite jarring. It’s not like they did that with another feline pantomime and his rodent sidekick that were in cartoons a long time ago. Oh wait, they did.
Sure, it’s surrealistic in style like Yellow Submarine but there are sloppy areas. The sound mixing is poor to the point where the volume of certain sounds take precedence over what actually needs to be heard. There are some missing frames in sequences and points where the dialogue does not sync with the animation. Are there moments where what we see on screen fails to carry the story forward? Yup.
Take for instance the dancing bubble scene almost forty minutes into the thing. The princess dances in a bubble for some reason and afterwards we cut to a wide shot of the kingdom with a card saying “Meanwhile Back In Oriana’s Kingdom” in the middle of the dance. Some prisoners see her dance on television. Couldn’t that be better handled by eliminating that card? Sure, but that didn’t happen.
Or the scientist subplot. Honestly, they could have been removed from the entire thing and it would not have made a difference. In fact, was Felix really the character in mind to be in this kind of film? Sure Felix had some interesting things in his cartoons from his time but was he the right character to be involved with this sort of work? If there was time to heavily revamp the movie before the release, I would have removed Felix and had a new character instead that would fit with the strangeness,
At only an hour and nineteen minutes, it’s a slow burn for a children’s film. That’s right, it’s a slow burn. Don’t sit through this alone; grab some willing friends to keep watch and get some sustenance, maybe an aspirin or three when it’s over. Surprise references to A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront as well as John Wayne and Big Macs. Yup, just because.