Friday, 22 August 2008

Feline Follies: the First Felix the Cat Cartoon

It was on November 9, 1919 that Felix the Cat made his debut in the animated short "Feline Follies." Produced by Pat Sullivan's studio and distributed by Paramount Pictures, in his initial outing Felix did not bear the name by which he would become famous. Instead, he would was named "Master Tom." Regardless, "Feline Follies" proved successful enough that another cartoon featuring "Master Tom" was produced. "The Musical Mews" was released hot on the heels of "Feline Follies," on November 16, 1919. "Musical Mews" also proved to be a hit. It was in Felix's third animated short, "The Adventures of Felix," that he finally received the name that would make him famous. Felix would go on to become the most popular animated character of the Twenties. Among other things, the figure of Felix the Cat provided the first giant balloon to ever appear in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And a Felix the Cat doll was one of the first images ever broadcast on television, in an experiment by W2XBS New York. Felix was also the subject of several songs written in the Twenties, including "Felix! Felix! Felix the Cat!" by Paul Whiteman and "Felix Kept on Walking" by Ed E. Bryant and Hubert W. David.

Here, courtesy of YouTube, for your viewing pleasure is that first Felix the Cat cartoon, "Feline Follies."

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