Felix: The Twisted Tale of the World's Most Famous Cat
Handsomely illustrated with over 150 photos and with full-color inserts, Felix is a stylish account of the intrigue behind the creation and marketing of the most popular, well-executed, and lucrative cartoon of the silent era. Based on a combination of "Sammy Johnsin" (a Sambo caricature) and Charlie Chaplin, Felix the Cat was the first cartoon character to exhibit an individual "personality" in moving pictures, preceding Mickey Mouse by a decade. From 1919 to 1933 Felix was internationally celebrated, as popular as Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Felix's producer, Pat Sullivan, a journeyman artist, chronic alcoholic, and convicted rapist, claimed credit for creating and developing Felix. But, as John Canemaker discovered, in truth it was Otto Messmer, Sullivan's brilliant, self-effacing production manager, who conceived, animated, and directed the more than two hundred Felix films during the period of his greatest popularity. And by focusing on Messmer's amazing achievement, Canemaker illuminates the entire world of film animation in the years before Walt Disney.
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action advertisement animated cartoons animated film animation drawings April artist audiences August Barre's Beuren blacken Burt Gillett camera Canemaker cartoonist Cat's cels Chaplin character Charles Mintz contract Courtesy Doris Messmer December Disney's distributor Donald Crafton Eugster Famous Players-Lasky February Feline Follies Felix cartoons Felix comic strip Felix dolls Felix films Felix series Felix the Cat film frames film series Fleischer funny gags Gillett Hal Walker Harry Kopp Hollywood January Joe Oriolo John Canemaker July June King Features Krazy Kat laugh live-action London March Margaret Winkler Marjorie Mark Newgarden Marriner Marriner's McCay's Mickey Mouse Motion Picture movie Moving Picture World newspaper Nolan November October Opposite Otto Messmer pantomime personality photographed popular produced Raoul Barre released Sambo Sammy Johnsin scene screen September sound staff star Steamboat Willie Street Sullivan studio Syndicate tail Theatre toys walking Walt Disney Winsor McCay York