Felix Pechman XIII also known as Skipper Felix is a character from the Jungle Cruise.
Felix Pechman XIII is a man born in a hospital in the town of Silver Springs, Florida on August 13 of 1897. For most if not all of his life, he was plagued by a seemingly paranormal degree of bad luck. This luck followed him throughout various jobs, resulting in disasters that cost him his occcupations. From 1934 to 1937, Pechman worked as a riverboat skipper for the glass-bottom boat attractions of Silver Springs Nature Theme Park. Felix lost his job when he is implied to have wrecked one of the attraction's boat along the rocks.
After the loss of this job, Felix found his way to the island of New Switzerland near New Guinea where he lived in a large treehouse. In 1938, Felix became a skipper for the colonial Jungle Navigation Company under the leadership of one Alberta Falls. As New Switzerland was part of the mystical realm, "Adventureland" which linked jungles across the world, Felix left New Switzerland seemed to have primarily worked out of the company's colonial outpost in the Amazon rainforest. At the company, Felix became known as, "Skipper Felix" or, "The New Guy".
In 1938, Alberta arranged for Felix to be the skipper of a V.I.P. Jungle Cruise tour aboard his vessel, The Kwango Kate. The members of this tour included Alberta's cousin the ornithologist Siobhan Murphy, Canadian botanist Dr. Leonard Moss, Alberta's friend the painter Rosa Soto Dominguez, and entomologist Dr. Kon Chunosuke of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. However, bad luck struck when the eccentric Siobhan caused an accident by interrupting Pechman's piloting when she saw a rare bird along the Nile river. This resulted in Felix being distracted and wrecking the Kwango Kate along the river.
The crew was forced to abandon ship and found themselves on the African veldt of Northern Africa. Here, the marooned individuals (with the exception of Alberta) were chased up a tree by a charging rhinoceros. Felix found himself at the bottom of the pole being prodded by the rhino's horn until another skipper's party arrived.
Felix was integrated into the Jungle Cruise during a 2021 refurbishment primarily aimed at removing racial stereotyping from the Jungle Cruise attraction. The original incarnations of the, "Trapped Safari" scene in particular had inappropriate depictions of indentured African men working for a white safari leader with the joke being that said African men were being tortured and tormented by the rhino. As a result, a new cast of characters were created to represent the trapped safari with Pechman as their skipper.
Felix was also developed to be a sort of protagonist in the Jungle Cruise's new narrative, being an audio-animatronic counterpart to the live-performed skippers which the attraction is known for. Furthermore, his character was affiliated with the Kwango Kate which as one of the real (faux) boats used at the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise until it was retired in the year 2000. A new backstory for the Kate's absence was created tying into this new narrative and partially inspired by a 2020 incident where one of the Magic Kingdom's boats (namely the Bomokandi Bertha) had actually partially sank.
Felix is a sort of protagonist character in the Jungle Cruise, being represented by audio-animatronics. He notably appears at the bottom of the pole in the trapped safari scene. In Walt Disney World's Jungle Cruise, Felix's application form for working as a skipper can be found in Alberta Falls' office.
- Pechman's character has a bad-luck motif. The surname, "Pechman" translates to, "Bad luck" and 13 is often considered to be an unlucky number.
- Pechman originates from the real-world community of Silver Springs, Florida. Silver Springs holds Florida's oldest theme-park and was also where notably Hollywood jungle adventure/lost-world subgenera films like Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) were filmed.
- Pechman's application form mentioned having previously lived in, "The treehouse next door". This is an allusion to the Swiss Family Treehouse attraction that is, "Next door" of the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise. It is one of several instances of the 2021 Jungle Cruise refurbishment using self-referential meta-humour and taking a literalist approach to Adventureland as a diegetic location.