Wednesday 23 December 2020

Felix is Here

You know who that is, don’t you? Yes, it’s Felix the Cat. Not that “Bag of Tricks” TV Felix with the Popeye music in the background, but the silent era Felix, where he could morph into anything. He was a real actor displaying all kinds of emotions and, I propose, the first real silent film cartoon star (of those characters made expressly for the screen).

There are a few Felixs in various states of wear and tear on the internet, but now’s your chance to have some almost 100-year-old cartoons starring the cat that sparked blatant imitations at the Fables and Disney studios. Tommy Stathes is finally able to release, through his Cartoon Roots series, a two-disc set with 15 cartoons, including several made by Otto Messmer before he turned to Felix.

The Felix cartoons are from the early ‘20s, before Bill Nolan showed up to make Felix a rounder, easier-to-animate figure.

The Motion Picture News of April 8, 1922 reported:
Miss M. J. Winkler, distributor of the new “ Felix ” cartoon comics the series of which are animated by the Pat Sullivan studios, announces this week the completion of “ Felix Makes Good ” third of the series of twelve subjects, the rights to which she controls for world-wide distribution.
Pat Sullivan completed last week the work of editing, titling and assembling his latest subject, and a sample print of “Felix Makes Good” was rushed to the offices of Miss Winkler for private review.
The picture it is announced, is now available for release on the independent market.
Felix Makes Good sees our hero lose his tail, then battle mice who frame him as he tries to settle into a new home owned by a kind, cat-loving lady. Felix Lends a Hand involves a magic carpet ride to Egypt. Felix Tries for Treasure features fish-puns aplenty, including a real loan shark, as he goes underwater in search of valuable pearls. Those are just some of the shorts on the set.

Cartoon Roots sets are exceptionally well done and this one has the benefit of graceful piano accompaniment by Charlie Judkins. I’m afraid, for me, the Mighty Wurlitzer with umpteen stops and bell and sound generators is a bit much. These cartoons have nice, simple arrangements.

Oh, order you say. Try this link.

NOTE!! This set includes a DVD. REPEAT! It is a DVD set. Don’t mutter “Oh, I don’t have a Blu-Ray player.” There is a DVD, as well as a Blu-Ray.

DVD. Okay, I hope that’s clear.


P.S. I have nothing to do with Cartoon Roots and have not been asked to plug this. I do this only as a public service to all Felix fans.

1 comment:

  1. This is fantastic news and I'm super excited to see a copy... Thanks for sharing the good news!