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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Schaack|
|Produced by||Hanno Huth|
|Screenplay by||Akif Pirinçci
|Story by||Akif Pirinçci|
Klaus Maria Brandauer
|Music by||Anne Dudley|
|Edited by||Klaus Basler|
|Distributed by||Senator Film Distribution|
Felidae is a 1994 German adult animated neo-noir horror-thriller film directed by Michael Schaack, written by Martin Kluger, Stefaan Schieder and Akif Pirinçci based on the 1989 novel Felidae, produced by Trickompany, and starring Ulrich Tukur, Mario Adorf and Klaus Maria Brandauer. The story centers on domestic house cat Francis and the grisly feline murders taking place in his new neighborhood.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (November 2015)|
A green-eyed black and white tomcat named Francis moves in with his owner to an abandoned house in a new neighborhood, and no sooner has he set paw into his new home than he is greeted by Sascha's slain body. Local street cat Bluebeard is convinced that this, and the other three recent killings, must have been committed by a "can-opener" (cat slang for a human).
Francis disagrees, and as he finds out more about the victims, he is sure that not only is the murderer a cat, but that the killings are all connected by one common factor - each of the victims was sexually aroused at the time of death. He is aided in his investigations by fierce, gluttonous Bluebeard, blind but wise Felicity, and the elderly, technology-savvy cat Pascal (who had been recently diagnosed with stomach cancer) secretly known as Claudandus. His sleep is haunted by terrifying and vivid nightmares, which offer insight into the mind of the murderer.
Francis starts to run afoul of the local bully Kong and his posse, consisting of two neuetered cats whose names are both Hermann. Even more disturbingly, Francis learns of the suicidal Claudandus Sect, led by a cat named Joker, and he discovers that his new home was once the site of a laboratory owned by Dr. Preterius. Preterius, in his search to create a bonding glue that would heal any flesh wound, performed painful and deadly experiments on countless cats, including the legendary Claudandus (the namesake cat of the Claudandus Sect). This particular cat was originally a stray (later Preterius's mascot), the first upon which the bonding glue worked, something Preterius attributed to superior genetics. He continued said routine vivisection on Claudandus, and as his experiments continued failing, the doctor descended into a state of alcoholic craziness. One day, Claudandus attacked Preterius by challenging him to combat. Preterius's fate was then left unknown.
After Preterius's death, the abandoned lab became a meeting site for the Claudandus Sect, who believe that Claudandus was imbued with powers that could help the cat species evolve into something greater. Some members believe that Claudandus has ascended to another life, and that by sacrificing themselves through ritual suicide, they may attain perfection. It is also implied that some of the cats (such as Felicity or Bluebeard) were victims of Preterius's experiments.
After a comical climb up a tree to a house where Bluebeard searched for Joker, Joker is discovered dead, and it is eventually revealed that Claudandus lives on. Joker allowed Claudandus to kill him in order to protect the secrecy of the sect. Old and embittered, Claudandus now seeks revenge against humanity, citing them as the only truly evil animal. Through selective breeding, he aims to give rise to a 'new breed' of feline - one perfect enough to overtake the humans. Using his owner's computer to keep a listing of every cat in the city, Pascal theorizes with Francis that Claudandus is systematically killing the cats he deems unworthy of breeding. At the same time, Pascal names his computer database simply after the biological family of the cats, "Felidae."
Francis meets up with an enigmatic female Egyptian cat (whose name was never mentioned on screen), and has sexual intercourse with her most of the day, after which she is implied to be a femme fatale who is somehow connected to Felidae. One evening, after learning Mendel's genetics theory, Francis and Bluebeard sneak into Pascal's home. Bluebeard is attacked by an unseen force. While deleting the Felidae project, Francis encounters Pascal, who is revealed to be Claudandus.
When Francis confronts him, Claudandus reveals that he spoke to Preterius and then killed him. He reveals that he is attempting to breed cats back to their Egyptian roots using Mendel's theory, and has been killing mixed breed cats who attempted to mate with the "pure" specimens; from there, Claudandus plans to embark on a genocidal crusade against man and other "lesser" animals. Due to his fatal disease, and having been impressed by Francis' intelligence, he hopes that the younger cat will continue the Felidae project after he dies, seeing Francis's intelligence as a sign of superior genes despite his mixed breeding. Appalled and disgusted, Francis deletes Felidae and destroys the computer, sparking an electrical fire. The two cats fight, and Francis manages to reopen Claudandus's scar from the experiments performed on him, disemboweling him and revealing that he is indeed a mutant (as previously assumed by Preterius). The mutilated Claudandus remarks as he dies that he, too, was once as pure as Francis.
Francis escapes the burning building with the badly-injured Bluebeard, and all remaining traces of Claudandus and the Felidae project are destroyed. Looking over the remains of Claudandus's home, he muses that there must be optimism for a brighter future for humans and Felidae alike.
- Ulrich Tukur as Francis
- Mario Adorf as Bluebeard
- Klaus Maria Brandauer as Pascal / Claudandus
- Wolfgang Hess as Kong
- Helge Schneider as Jesaja
- Gerhard Garbers as Preterius
- Mona Seefried as Felicity
- Ulrich Wildgruber as Joker
- Manfred Steffen as Gustav
- Uwe Ochsenknecht as Archie
- Michaela Amler as Nhozemphtekh
- Christian Schneller as Mendel
- Tobias Lelle as Hermann 1
- Frank Röth as Hermann 2
- Alexandra Mink as Pepeline
Felidae was the most expensive animated film produced in Germany to date, reportedly costing 10 million marks. The film was mainly animated by TFC Trickompany in Hamburg, from which Hayo Freitag notably animated the Mendel sequence. Some of the animation was farmed out to other studios, including Animationstudio Ludewig in Hamburg, Uli Meyer Animation in London, Natterjack Animation in Vancouver (from which Steven Evangelatos was the head animator), Azadart in Toronto (from which Armen Melkonian was the head animator), Mediasoft in Hamburg, Premier Films in London (from which John Cousen was the head animator), A-Flim APS in Kopenhagen (from which Michael Hegner was the head animator), Dagda Film Limited in Dublin (from which Paul Bolger was the head animator), Hahn Shin Corporation in Seoul (from which Shin-Mok Choi was the head animator) and an uncredited Wang Film Productions in Taiwan.
It was released on PAL DVD region 2 with Dolby 5.1 and 2.0 surround sound for the original German audio and Dolby 2.0 for the English audio dub in Dolby 2.0. Extras (in German only) include DVD commentary, trailer in German, and a "making of" documentary. There are currently no plans for a Blu-ray release or a Region 1 DVD release of the movie.
|Soundtrack album by Anne Dudley|
- "Felidae" — 04:44 (Boy George/John Themis)
- "Main Theme From Felidae" — 02:06
- "Bluebeard - And Archie" — 01:26
- "Kong And His Cronies" — 02:11
- "Celebrating The Black Mass" — 05:55
- "Felicity" — 01:50
- "Pascal - The Enigma" — 01:37
- "Mendel's Waltz" — 02:39
- "Blood Sport" — 02:17
- "A Gruesome Encounter" — 04:03
- "Catacombs Of Doom" — 01:01
- "The Egyptian Dream" — 01:18
- "Seduction NHOZEMPHTEKH" 01:29
- "In The Snow" — 01:14
- "The Riddle Falls Into Place" — 05:04
- "I Am Claudandus" — 05:01