Bringing You All The Important Animation Related News
Established 15,000 B.C.

Volume , November 1913.

Felix The Cat Makes
His Screen Debut

Felix the Cat first hit the screen on November 9, 1919, in 'Feline Follies'. Felix was created in America by Australian born, newspaper cartoonist Pat Sullivan, although actually drawn and animated on film by Otto Messmer, a young artist Sullivan had met at the Universal Studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The mischievous feline 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). While most other cartoon characters contained little sense of individuality, Messmer imbued Felix with several key traits, mannerisms, and facial movements. Most important of all, when he was stumped for an answer, Felix paced back and forth pensively, his head hanging low and his hands interlocked behind his back, while he brainstormed for an answer. And he usually found an answer, for Felix was one of the fastest-thinking cartoon characters ever created. But Felix's wits couldn't overcome the narrow vision of Pat Sullivan who refused to upgrade his studio for producing sound cartoons. As a result, Felix's pantomimed adventures (complete with speech balloons as in today's newspaper comics) soon became obsolete.

Also in 1913, J.R. Bray devised 'Colonel Heeza Liar,' John Randolph Bray began his career as an artist for a newspaper. He soon began selling cartoons to magazines. His first animated film was "The Artist's Dream," released in 1913. After signing a contract with Pathe to make cartoons, Bray set up his own studio with other artists. He patented many of his improvements on the animation process, realizing early on the business potential of these developments. One of these innovations was the use of translucent paper to make it easier to position objects in successive drawings.
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