Felix the Cat
Felix the Cat is a cartoon character created in the silent film era. The anthropomorphic black cat with his black body, white eyes, and giant grin, coupled with the surrealism of the situations in which his cartoons place him, combine to make Felix one of the most recognized cartoon characters in film history. Felix was the first character from animation to attain a level of popularity sufficient to draw movie audiences.
Why He Rocks
- He is an amazing cat and one of the most memorable cartoon cats in history, and along with many cartoon characters or cats, he is very iconic.
- Since 1959, Felix gained a Magic Bag of Tricks. While the origin of the magic bag and how it got to be Felix's prized possession remains a mystery until further notice (and even when that story is told, some things will always stay hidden), it is no mystery that Felix uses it well, especially to help others, and those who steal it to use its powers for evil have better think twice, for one clue to its secret is the bag's loyalty to the cat who owns it...in fact, sometimes it has even demonstrated what amounts to a mind of its own! Showing how powerfully surreal his iconic bag of tricks actually is.
- While Felix's personality varies by adaption, where he is generally always portrayed as mischievous but good-hearted, and willing to help others in need. To being somewhere in between the two.
- To quote Otto Messmer: "Felix was, first and foremost, a thinking character, a being with a wit as fast and sharp as a razor, who could improvise to any situation at the wink of an eye, with a wide range of emotions or thoughts represented by his large, expressive eyes, as well as his detachable, shapeshifting tail. Going in hand with this was his cat-like curiosity, which was frequently what got him into his misadventures".
- Speaking of which, Otto Messmer had once described the boylike curiosity being a major trait of Felix's personality, which often ends up getting him into one adventure after another.
- He serves as a perfect foil to The Professor. While the Professor is grouchy and antagonistic, Felix is kindhearted and jovial.
- He's very good-natured and fun-loving.
- Personality-wise, in the Silent era; Felix can be described as a boy like an anti-hero, and a survivor. In many of his early films, Felix was portrayed as an anthropomorphic housecat, who could talk and engage with humans as well as he could with any other animal, but was usually just seen as a pest or a convenience for them, so Felix was often forced to be a nomad, scraping around and traveling anywhere and going any length to get a bite to eat, and often (sometimes literally) getting the boot for his troubles.
- In the Silent era, Felix is implied to be aware he's in a cartoon, considering he can manipulate the symbols and words he thinks up to his advantage, such as in "Felix Saves The Day", where he climbs up four questions marks he created to reach a jail cell. Twisted Tales makes it absolutely clear that Felix knows he's a cartoon character "The Underwater Kingdom" even has him remembering one of his past cartoon adventures, specifically the Van Beuren era short "Neptune Nonsense".
- In the Joe Oriolo cartoons, he's a very easygoing guy and isn't one to hold grudges. He never holds grudges and is friends with virtually everyone, including his foe the Professor. The only person he openly hates is Master Cylinder, and for a very good reason.
- In The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, he was given a somewhat different take to his character by having a wittier and a more clever enhancement to his mischievous personality, and yet still retains to be the heroic cat he's known to be. Often serving as the sarcastic, wacky, expressive, and has the personality of a rascally teenager, yet a good-hearted hero who partakes in the countlessly insane and nonsensical adventures that he'd have to solve using his quick-thinking resourcefulness and common sense in order to help anyone he knows.
- Especially when his 1958–1960 depiction can have moments of being a silly and sometimes quirky character for comedic purposes. Mainly because of the show's lighthearted tone, although not as silly as The Professor, Felix's arch-nemesis.
- The Trans-Lux Felix really likes to make puns and lighthearted wisecracks. This element was present in the early newspaper comics too, but nowhere to the extent of the TV-era cartoons.
- His voice was badly done in Felix the Cat (1959), Felix the Cat The Movie, Baby Felix(his adult self/counterpart), and Felix the Cat Saves Christmas.
- He was somewhat flanderized in Felix The Cat The Movie, where he was a kind of unlikeable and generic hero who tends to be an awfully unfunny jokester (e.g. this one infamous moment), but he later redeemed himself in The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat.
- He had a rough start when it comes to his characterization since November 9th of 1919, a full nine years before Mickey Mouse's debut in Disney's Steamboat Willie (1928).
- While he sometimes has altruistic qualities, being perfectly willing to help out anyone he comes across, he had just as many vices in turn and could be crafty—he was not above stealing to get a bite to eat, and he was perfectly willing to pull strings to get what he wanted on occasion.
- He is unquestionably the protagonist, but he's not above doing something shady to get what he needs to survive, especially since he's often homeless and has to scavenge for food.
- In his newspaper comic debut, he tries to get a job as a mouse catcher but is given the boot by a homeowner. Felix is so indignant, that he figures out a plan—he steals a wheel of cheese from a truck nearby, and bribes some local mice with it to terrorize the owner of the house. The fearful owner offers Felix a job and food on the spot.
- In the Van Beuren era, he wasn't a downright unlikeable character in the slightest, but he's probably the least interesting or developed of all the Felix incarnations in personality, owing in part to the fact that he only starred in three shorts. He's a nice guy, but he has none of Felix's wilder qualities from the older (or newer) shorts, and he's much meeker than Joe Oriolo's interpretation of Felix.
- He debuted in 1919's Feline Follies (As Master Tom), he was animation's very first major superstar.
- He was originally going to appear in 1 cartoon, but he got many more cartoons since Feline Follies was so overpraised upon release.
- He was the First Cartoon character to reach 100 years old.
- For his first 11 years, he was the only cartoon character to star in several silent cartoons.
- In 1936, he starred in Burt Gillett's very own trilogy of Felix the Cat cartoons, but this time in color.
- He appeared in the music video, My Favorite Game by The Cardagans.
- He rips his face off in an bootleg game featuring him, utterly horrifying children (adults as well in some cases)
- Felix had a balloon in the 1931 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.
- He was going to have a CGI animated show in 2010 named The Felix The Cat Show, but it was scrapped.
- Back then in the 1920s, he was a size of a normal cat, but in the 1930s, his look changed and he is the size of a small child.
- He has 2 Nephews in April Maze named Inky and Winky.
- Because of his popularity, he became the birthplace of the world's most groundbreaking future cartoon stars. Those include:
- Mickey Mouse (Disney)
- Betty Boop & Popeye (Fleischer Studios)
- Porky Pig, Daffy Duck & Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)
- Tom & Jerry (MGM)
- Woody Woodpecker (Universal)
- The Fox and the Crow (Columbia)
- Heckle and Jeckle (Terrytoons)
- Little Audrey (Paramount)
- Mr. Magoo (UPA)
- Yogi Bear (Hanna-Barbera)
- The Pink Panther (MGM)
- Wallace and Gromit (Aardman Animations)
- Shrek (DreamWorks)
- Scrat (Blue Sky Studios)
- SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon)