HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boys from County Hell
All Hands On Deck
Teddy
Beasts Clawing at Straws
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Windom's Way
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Freddie as F.R.O.7 Croak And Dagger
Year: 1992
Director: Jon Acevski
Stars: Ben Kingsley, Jenny Agutter, David Ashton, Brian Blessed, Jenny Funnell, Nigel Hawthorne, Michael Hordern, Edmund Kingsley, Phyllis Logan, Victor Maddern, Jonathan Pryce, Bruce Purchase, Prunella Scales, John Sessions, Adrian Della Touche, Billie Whitelaw
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Animated, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: When Freddie (voiced by Ben Kingsley) was a boy, he was a prince in a French magical kingdom, and his father the king was a sorceror, the good kind, though his aunt Messina (Billie Whitelaw) was unbeknownst to the child an evil schemer. As his mother had died at sea, Freddie had but one parent left alive, though that changed when Messina cast a spell which saw the king fall from his horse and be killed, leaving her as Freddie's guardian and ruler of the land. But not for long, as she turned him into a frog and tried to capture him; he escaped into the sea where he was rescued by Nessie (Phyllis Logan) - and the world would hear from him again...

Movie history is littered with tales of film projects that were intended to kick off a franchise, but ended up with only one instalment, and while Freddie as F.R.O.7 could not claim to have the same level of following as, say, Buckaroo Banzai, it did become a childhood favourite for a few souls who caught it on television or had the video. It did not have much luck overall, as when it flopped in its native Britain, it was recut for foreign audiences and the Americans saw it with a new narration by James Earl Jones. The proliferation of this version led many to believe that the film was a poorly thrown together effort, and as a result it has been dismissed ever since.

But was it really that bad? If you watched the original version then you might have liked it a little better, as it was still no classic, but did offer an example of pleasingly nutty British cartooning, as there were very few animated feature length films to emerge from the country so the novelty value of a production team actually getting one off the ground was not to be sneezed at. There were a few starry names secured for voice talent, with Sir Ben doing his best "'ow do you say?" French accent in the title role, and at least the adults would recognise a few of the others, but for some reason a spoof of that most British of heroes, James Bond focusing on a French secret agent instead did not click with audiences.

That title couldn't have helped, as it told you precisely nothing about the film if you did not know what it was about already, but as for the adventure contained within, it was not much different to a ninety minute episode of Superted with its clearly defined good guys and bad guys, wacky humour and the odd song. The now grown up, man-sized frog Freddie and Messina are set up to clash because she has teamed up with the devious El Supremo (Brian Blessed shouting and laughing his head off) who is successfully pulling off a plan to remove all the landmarks of the United Kingdom and demoralise the nation. And also put the population to sleep, although precisely what these two things have to do with each other is not apparent.

Freddie is recruited by the British secret service, again why there were no native secret agents up to the job is glossed over, and recruits two sidekicks, gadget-inventing Scotsman Scotty (John Sessions) and limber martial arts expert Daffers (Jenny Agutter), who sneak aboard the Big Ben belltower as it is being lifted up by El Supremo's building stealing device. As a hero, Freddie is presumably supposed to encapsulate a certain Gallic je ne sais quoi, but too often his nonchalant reaction to the proceedings looks like he's not too bothered, and the fact that he's happy to break off from the adventure for a lengthy dance number suggests a lack of urgency. But the film is imaginative if unfussy about what it includes in the name of colourful plotting, and at worst is an innocuous attempt at starting an animation studio that sadly never came to fruition - writer and director Jon Acevski never made another film. Music by David Dundas and Rick Wentworth.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6164 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: