Felix the Cat was created by Pat Sullivan, but was largely the work of Otto Messmer, the man who animated the films and drew the newspaper comic strips. According to the introduction to this Bosko Video program, Messmer directed and animated more than 175 Felix cartoons in the years 1919 through 1929. During that time, Felix the Cat was one of the world’s most-popular animated characters, with several short films in circulation at any one time throughout the 1920s and a profitable line of Felix the Cat merchandise.
Despite Felix’s high popularity, he died a quick death as a movie star when Sullivan refused to enthusiastically transition his meal ticket character to sound films. Some of the silent cartoons were rereleased with new product featuring poorly recorded and poorly synchronized sound effects by Copley Pictures in 1930, but it was too late. Disney’s Mickey Mouse was the new reigning king of the cartoon short. Pat Sullivan’s wife may have committed suicide or accidently fallen from a hotel window in February 1932; Sullivan’s own death came a year later from alcoholic complications — two tragic deaths brought about by the end of Felix’s motion picture career. However, it was animator Otto Messmer, the man who knew Felix best, who benefitted in the long run, for he continued drawing Felix for the Sunday papers until 1943 and continued the daily strip until 1967. Messmer died at the age of 91 in October 1983. — Carl Bennett
2004 DVD edition
Felix the Cat(1923-1936), black & white and color, 79 minutes total, not rated,
including Felix in Hollywood (1923), black & white, ? minutes, not rated, Felix Doubles for Darwin (1924), black & white, ? minutes, not rated, Felix Finds Out (1924), black & white, ? minutes, not rated, Felix Goes West (1924), black & white, ? minutes, not rated, Felix All Puzzled (1925), black & white, ? minutes, not rated, Felix Gets the Can (1925), black & white, ? minutes, not rated, Felix Monkeys with Magic (1925), black & white, ? minutes, not rated, A Felix Comic (19??), black & white, ? minutes, not rated, The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg (1936), black & white, ? minutes, not rated, and Neptune Nonsense (1936), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.
Delta Entertainment, 82 753, UPC 0-18111-27539-2.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $6.99.
Release date: 30 March 2004.
Country of origin: USA
This budget edition of predominately silent era cartoons is compromised by a persistent freezing of frames approximately every second-and-a-half. The chief attraction will be six silent era Felix cartoons that have not been collected on DVD before.
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.