Felix the Cat was one of the great actors of silent film. Otto Messmer and his crew at the Sullivan studio developed an attractive, imaginative character rich in emotion. And toward the end of the ‘20s, Messmer put him in increasingly unusual settings.
One cartoon I like is ‘Astronomeous’ (1928). Felix, for reasons that aren’t all that clear, fires a harpoon which lands on a cyclist going around the rings of Saturn. Our hero then finds himself punted to Mars.
The New York animation studios were known for their morphing animation into the early ‘30s. Felix turned things (including body parts) into other things. Here’s a cute little scene where curiosity creates a question mark, which hangs in the air, and Felix uses it, a Martian mushroom and his tail to create a bell that he rings.
The crescent moons in the atmosphere is a nice touch.
There’s a lot of cycle animation. Some of it is pretty obvious but some is used to good effect, like when the letters of the word “DONG” change shape.
Felix took a rest for awhile when the sound era came in, with the exception of a couple of ho-hum cartoons for Van Beuren, and then returned with a revised format, a cute little theme song, and even less elaborate animation in the late ‘50s in some made-for-TV cartoons that are liked by many today who grew up with them.