Felidae is a controversial mystery animated movie that was released in Germany in 1994 by Michael Schaack and the animation studio Trickompany. The screenplay is based on the novel Felidae and was co-written by the novel's author, Akif Pirinçci.
This animated movie contains graphic scenes depicting animal abuse, violence, gore, and sexual intercourse between animals. In addition there are adult themes, strong language, brief use of alcohol and concepts such as cults, vivisection laboratories, ancient Egyptian history, evolutionary theories and a resemblance to the events of The Holocaust of World War II
Felidae was released theatrically in Germany (October 3rd, 1994), Switzerland (January 20th, 1995), Spain (August 29th, 1996), France (June 3rd, 2009).  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. There are no subtitles. Extras (in German only) include DVD commentary, trailers and a "Making Of"..
The film was released in its English version in Australia only for a short time by RocVale Film. The film was to be released in UK/Ireland (English Europe) & USA/Canada (North America), but distribution was suspended for some reason that is particularly unknown.
The film was also released in Russia on VHS in the late '90s. Released by the company "EA", this version had Russian voices dubbed over English.
English voice cast
The film had an unreleased English dub, which can only found on the original German DVD.
In January 2019, one Behind the Voice Actors user (Millicent) pinpointed the English cast to London.
- Francis: Jeff Harding
- Gustav, Gregor Mendel: Marc Smith
- Bluebeard: Graham Parker
- Kong: Bob Sessions
- Joker: William Roberts
- Felicity: Tamsin Hollo
- Pascal: Peter Marinker
- Preterius: Don Fellows
- Isaiah: Ian Tyler
- Nhozemphtekh: Liza Ross
Differences from the novel
The film follows the story of the original novel very closely. The following is a list of major differences between the film and novel:
- Longer scenes and monologues are shortened in the film.
- In the book, Francis asks the Guardian of the Dead to the meeting, but in the film he doesn't.
- In the film, Francis and Blaubart (Bluebeard in the English release) read the book of the ancient Felidae, but in the book Only Francis reads the book.
- In the novel, Francis discovers the journal of Doctor Julius Preterius. In the film, this becomes a video diary.
- In the film, Blaubart assists Francis in the final battle scene where he rescues Blaubart when he is attacked by Claudandus, but in the novel just Francis faces Claudandus in the final battle.
- The character of Blaubart is present far more often in the film than he is in the novel. This allows Francis to voice his thoughts aloud as he examines crime scenes and figures out the mystery.
- In the book, Francis sees Felicitas' (Felicity in he English release) 'can-opener'; but in the film, Felicitas' 'can-opener' is no where to be seen.
- The diary from which Francis learns of Professor Preterius's machinations is in written form in the book, but was updated to a video diary for the film.
- In the film, Blaubart is with Francis when they meet the 'Guardian of the Dead' (Jesaja); but in the novel, Francis is the only one who talks to the Guardian of the Dead.
- Blaubart is given extra lines and moments in the film, many of which are often a display of black comedy. It also justifies his increased screen time.
- In the book Claudandus spoke to Preterius with his mouth and claims it caused him great agony to do so; whereas in the film it is implied he spoke telepathically as his mouth does not move even though Preterius claims he is talking.
- The climatic fight between Francis and Claudandus ends with Francis slitting Claudandus's throat in the book; while in the film, Francis disembowels Claudandus's with his claws.
- The novel has an epilogue which ties up all of the loose ends of the plot. The film meanwhile doesn’t tie up all the loose ends and simply ends on a note of optimism.
- The one nightmare about Deep Purple slaughtering kittens from the novel is missing in the film.
The feline’s ability to speak to one another is the major anthropomorphic aspect of the cats in both the film and the original novel on which the film is based. Some of the cats also engage in human activities such as participating in cults, operating computers and reading books. The novel has a deep sense of black humour and irony, as many of the cats have a negative view on the human race. Bluebeard for instance, refers to them as ‘can-openers,’ as that is all human are good for doing. The irony lies in how those human-hating cats behave so much like people. Indeed, the novel is symbolic of particular the acts committed by the Nazis during The Holocaust. Or to put it more generally, man’s cruelty against man.
Production costed 15 million marks, setting a new record for the most expensive German animation project.
- Felidae (1994) on IMDB
- Release dates for Felidae (1994) on IMDB
- Felidae DVD on amazon.com
- Felidae (1994) on BCDB