Pat Sullivan, Otto
Messmer and John King as a way to enhance the Paramount Screen Magazine
newsreels with bursts of cartoon relief. His films would
eventually be released by Paramount Pictures (1919-21), M. J.
Winkler (1922-25), Educational Pictures (1925-28), First
National (1928-29), and Copley Pictures (1929-31).
first appearance, with his expressive mannerisms and
detachable, multi-functional tail, Felix was a hit. He
remained arguably the world's most popular cartoon character
until 1928, when sound was introduced into film. Creator
Sullivan refused to convert to the new technology, and the
popularity of Felix was quickly eclipsed by Disney's Mickey
Mouse, who made an early and successful transition to sound.
The Sullivan Studio, which never did embrace sound in its
films, went into decline. When Sullivan died in 1933, it
closed its doors. Messmer then left animation to concentrate
on comic strips about Felix, which he had started in 1923, and
which lasted until 1966.
But cats do indeed have nine lives, and it was not long
before Felix adapted to the world of sound. In 1936, the
rights to the character were sold to Van Beuren studios, and
Felix was featured in several Rainbow Parade cartoons. He was
talking, singing and in Technicolor for the first time, but
was ultimately used in only three shorts: "The Goose That Laid
The Golden Egg," "Neptune Nonsense" and "Bold King Cole."
In 1959, the resourceful feline was brought back for a new
Felix the Cat series, this time made for television. The
series was produced by Casper the Friendly Ghost creator Joe
Oriolo and introduced the magical bag of tricks that Felix
would best become known for. The show lasted for two seasons,
but was responsible for worldwide Felix licensing and
merchandising that would remain strong for years to come.
Felix returned in 1994 on CBS, in a series of five-second
commercial bumpers. The spots sparked an interest for a new
generation of viewers, with the result that one year later the
cat came back in the all-new
The Twisted Tales Of Felix The