Felix The Cat

Felix the Cat is one of my favorite cartoon cats of all time. I still remember when I was a little girl (back in Central America), and I would come from school and watch Felix the Cat episodes. This version was named Felix El Gato. I loved everything about this wonderful character: his personality, his antics, the theme song, everything.

I realized later, that many people shared my feelings about Felix. Indeed, Felix is one of the best-known and most-beloved cartoons around the world.

As I grew older, I enjoyed learning everything I could about this wonderful cat, and of course I also started collecting Felix-related memorabilia.

If you are looking for one-of-a-kind gifts, Felix-related items make a wonderful gift for cat lovers, particularly for the fans of this cartoon.

Below you will find information about Felix and a few gift suggestions.

Early Origins

Felix made his first appearance in 1919. Actually, it was Master Tom - a cartoon cat that looked very much like Felix - who debuted on November 9, 1919. He appeared in the movie Feline Follies, a short film released by Paramount Pictures.

Later, Paramount Pictures producer John King would rename the cat Felix, and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

Later on, Felix popularity grew, making him one of the greatest silent-era film stars. Felix was not only hugely popular in America but also abroad. Many believe that Felix’s popularity was due, in part, to the originality and complexity of his personality.

Creators of Felix

Both Otto Messmer and Pat Sullivan claimed to have been Felix the Cat’s creators.

Otto Messmer was an American animator and cartoonist who directed the earliest Felix films. Pat Sullivan, an Australian native, was a film producer. Felix-the-Cat was produced in Pat Sullivan’s animation studio.

Pat Sullivan claimed that his Thomas Kat cartoon, a short that appeared on March 18, 1917, was an early version of Felix. In this story, Thomas the Kat loses his tale. By contrast, Felix has the ability to change his tail into a wide variety of objects.

There was always controversy surrounding Felix’s creation. During his lifetime, Messmer was never acknowledged as Felix’s creator. Many years after Sullivan’s death, his employees acknowledged Otto Messmer as the creator of Felix.

The Comic Strip

Otto Messmer created the Felix the Cat comic strip in 1923. The strip first appeared in Britain’s Daily Sketch on August 1, 1923.

Later that year, the comic strip would begin syndication in the United States. Even though the creator of the strip was Otto Messmer, it bears Pat Sullivan’s name.

Felix's Movies

Before the advent of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, Felix was the best-known cartoon in the world. Indeed, this unique feline was a hugely popular film star. Even today, he has a following of devoted fans. Here’s a partial list of Felix’s movies:

  • Feline Follies (1919)

  • Felix Out of Luck (1921)

  • Felix Saves the Day (1922)

  • Felix at the Fair (1922)

  • Felix in Hollywood (1923)

  • Felix Woos Whoopee (1930)

  • April Maze (1930)

  • Felix the Cat: The Movie (1991)

Felix, The TV Star

Interestingly. Felix was the very first image to be broadcast on TV (1928). In fact, a doll of Felix was used during the transmission.

Many years later, in 1953, early Felix films appeared on TV. Around this time, Otto Messmer retired from drawing the Felix strip. His assistant Joe Oriolo was now in charge of it.

Oriolo and Pat Sullivan’s nephew (the new owner of Felix) made a deal to create Felix cartoons for television.

During this time, Felix’s personality underwent a make over. Felix was now more appealing to children. Felix’s magic bag of tricks was introduced and Winston Sharples created the well-known theme song Felix the Wonderful Cat! The song describes Felix's ability to fix everything by reaching into his bag of tricks.

Gift Ideas

Not sure what to give to that devoted Felix the Cat fan? Here's a list of a few Felix-the-Cat-inspired gift ideas:

  • DVD collections of his movies and TV shows

  • Posters

  • Art Prints

  • Figurines

  • Collectibles

  • Keychains

  • Home Decor items

Here's an article about Felix the Cat.

Books on Felix

To learn more about Felix, here are some books you might be interested in:

Nine Lives to Live: A Classic Felix Celebration by Otto Messmer, David Gerstein (Editor), David Gerstein (Editor)

Felix the Cat's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 by Various, Jenn Henning, Pete Fitzgerald

Felix: The Twisted Tale of the World's Most Famous Cat by John Canemaker (Author)

Note: All the copyrighted characters mentioned here are trademarks of their owners.

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