11. November 2019 Johannes Wolters

Evolution of FELIX THE CAT, The First Ever Cartoon Character, Over 100 Years (1919-2019) Explained

CARTOON EVOLUTION #6

To celebrate his centenary, I take a look at the 100 year history and evolution of FELIX THE CAT, the world’s first cartoon superstar and the first licensed and mass-merchandised character in history. Created by Australian cartoonist Pat Sullivan and artist Otto Messmer, Felix debuted in 1919 and quickly won world-wide acclaim, breaking ground as the first licensed and mass-merchandised character – thus becoming the debut cartoon superstar. With almost 200 shorts to his name by the end of the 1920s, Felix fell out of audience favor with the arrival of a slew of revolutionary sound-and-colour characters, including Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, and found himself struggling to reclaim his title.

With numerous ‘reboots’ launching over the decades to varying degrees of success, it’s a struggle he still faces today. I take a look at how Felix has evolved over hundreds of shorts and numerous television series and films, discussing the most important changes in his design and personality and in the stylistic and narrative structures of his productions prevalent across a century of media. Here’s my look at Felix the Cat through the years!

Felix Media discussed and featured:

CLASSIC FELIX SHORTS Feline Follies Felix Frolics at the Circus Felix Saves the Day Felix Turns the Tide Felix Comes Back Felix Gets Revenge Felix Finds Out Felix in Fairyland Felix Tries For TreasureFelix Monkeys With Magic Felix Lends a Hand Felix Dopes It Out Felix Gets Broadcasted Felix Goes A-Hunting Felix Out Of Luck The Oily Bird Japanicky Futurizity Felix Pinches the Pole Felix Finds ‘Em Fickle Felix Follows the Swallows Felix In Hollywood Felix Doubles For Darwin Two-Lip Time Flim Flam Films One Good Turn Eskimotive Arabiantics False Vases Romeeow April Maze Tee Time Forty Winks The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs Neptune Nonsense Bold King Cole

OTHER FELIX MEDIA Felix the Cat: The Series (1959 – 1962) Felix the Cat: The Movie The Twisted Tales of Felix Baby Felix (ベイビーフィリックス Beibī Firikkusu) Felix Saves Christmas

OTHER ANIMATED SHORTS Gertie the Dinosaur Little Nemo Colonel Heeza Liar st the Bat Mutt and Jeff – Domestic Difficulties Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse at the Circus Out of the Inkwell – The Tantalizing Fly Dud Leaves HomeHow Animated Cartoons Are Made Raoul Barre’s Cartoons on Tour Charlie Chaplin – Charley on the FarmCharlie Chaplin – Charlie in Turkey Krazy Kat – Scents and Nonsense Laugh-O-Grams – Puss In Boots Mickey Mouse – Plane Crazy Looney Tunes – Porky in Wackyland Looney Tunes – Porky’s Duck Hunt Fleischer’s Sound Car-Toon – My Old Kentucky Home Mickey Mouse – Steamboat Willie Silly Symphony – Flowers and Trees Silly Symphony – The Three Little Pigs Mickey / Donald / Goofy – Moving DayFILMS D.W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms The Jazz Singer

DOCOS John Canemaker’s Otto Messmer and Felix the Cat #FelixTheCat #Felix #Cartoons #Cartoon #CartoonEvolution

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