Who remembers the amazing — Felix!?
Felix the Cat first hit the screen on November 9, 1919, in Feline Follies. The mischievous feline—created by Otto Messmer for the Pat Sullivan studio—rocketed to fame, holding a spot as the world’s most popular cartoon character until the advent of Mickey Mouse. The wild, witty cartoons made during this period included such classics as Felix in Hollywood (1923), Felix Switches Witches (1927), and Comicalamities (1928). They were released by Paramount Pictures (1919-21), M. J. Winkler (1922-25), Educational Pictures (1925-28), First National (1928-29), and Copley Pictures (1929-31).
When Felix’s screen career faded in the 1930s, the cat spent a few decades in a memorable series of comic books and strips. This was the era when Messmer’s assistant Joe Oriolo rose to the forefront, later to produce the 1958 TV series about Felix’s Magic Bag of Tricks. Another TV series, Film Roman’s Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, came about in the mid-1990s. Since that time, Oriolo’s son Don has produced Baby Felix for the Japanese market and Felix the Cat Saves Christmas, a direct-to-video special.