Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The First Cartoon Super Star!

Before Mickey there was Felix! Felix the Cat made his debut on this date (Nov. 9) back in 1919 in the Pat Sullivan Cartoon "Feline Follies".
Felix was the Silent Era's animation star famous for his imaginative adventures using his tail as anything from a gun to a bicycle and more. His famous walk was imitated by kids all over the world and in England a popular song was written about it.
Sullivan came up with the idea for the little black cat but the man who really breathed life into him was animator/director Otto Messmer. Messmer redesigned Felix to be more attractive and easier to animated using circles and "pipes", something other animations studios would soon adopt. Messmer also drew the Felix the Cat Comic Strip and later Comic Books long after the Felix cartoons were being made.
Felix didn't make it into the sound era of shorts but had a very successful career comeback in the early days of television. Felix's show centered on his adventures with his bag of magic tricks that he had to protect from The Professor, an evil scientist.
Felix the Cat is an animation icon and even though he was over shadowed by the introduction of Mickey Mouse, Felix was there first to pave the way!

1 comment:

rogue evolent said...

Great post Marc, very informative yet "to the point." I love Felix. He's probably in my top 5 All Time favorite animated characters.