Felix the Cat (TV series)

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Felix the Cat
Felix the Cat TV series title.jpg
GenreCartoon series, Adventure, Comedy
Created byJoe Oriolo
Voices ofJack Mercer[1]
Theme music composerWinston Sharples
Composer(s)Winston Sharples
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes260[2]
Production
Producer(s)Joe Oriolo
Running time30 min.
Production company(s)Felix the Cat Productions
Paramount Cartoon Studios
Trans-Lux
DistributorTrans-Lux Television
NBCUniversal Television Distribution (on behalf of DreamWorks Classics)
Release
Original networkSyndication
Original releaseOctober 2, 1959 –
May 16, 1962
Chronology
Related showsThe Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat (1995–1997)

Felix the Cat is a television series featuring the cartoon character Felix the Cat.[3][4]

In 1954, Otto Messmer retired from the Felix daily newspaper strips, and his assistant Joe Oriolo (the co-creator of Casper the Friendly Ghost) took over. Oriolo struck a deal with Felix's new owner to begin a new series of Felix cartoons for television. Oriolo starred Felix in 260 television cartoons produced by Paramount Cartoon Studios, and distributed by Trans-Lux.

Like the Van Beuren studio before, Oriolo gave Felix a more domesticated and pedestrian personality, geared more toward children, and introduced now-known-around-the-whole-world elements such as Felix's "Magic Bag of Tricks", a satchel that could assume the shape and characteristics of anything Felix wanted. Those cartoons were divided into two parts, because when Felix was in distress, or in a jam, the announcer would intone before the concluding episode: "What will happen to Felix, in the next exciting episode, in the Adventures of Felix the Cat?"

Background[edit]

The show did away with Felix's previous supporting cast and introduced many new characters. These characters were performed by voice actor Jack Mercer. Oriolo's plots revolve around the unsuccessful attempts of the antagonists to steal Felix's Magic Bag, though in an unusual twist, these antagonists are occasionally depicted as Felix's friends as well. While the cartoons were a ratings success, critics have dismissed them as paling in comparison to the earlier Sullivan-Messmer works. Oriolo aimed the cartoons at children. The series used limited animation (owing to a limited budget) and simplistic storylines.[5]

This TV series also helped introduce the character of Felix the Cat to audiences in Japan. A Japanese language dub of the series aired on NHK in 1960 and was rerun three years later on Fuji TV. Four decades later, Felix would be the star of his own anime series.

Characters[edit]

Felix the Cat 
The main character and star of the show. He has many adventures with his secret bag of tricks that often helps in dangerous situations. Two different patterns were used for the magic bag, one is the earlier version pattern that is a dot and cross pattern. The latter series bag was a houndstooth pattern that replaced the dot and cross. All the episodes having the houndstooth pattern are missing from the market place.
No matter what the situation, he almost always ends up laughing. A few of the episodes end with Felix on the losing end without the laughter, or his other signature line, "Righty-o!"
The Professor 
He is Felix's archenemy or foil and, in most appearances, is trying to seize the Magic Bag of Tricks. He has a very amusing speech impediment and is quite eccentric. He is depicted as a mad scientist, very intelligent, yet very obsessed. He attempts many tricks such as the use of his inventions and many disguises to get Felix's magic bag, but always winds up failing in the end. In some episodes where his nephew Poindexter is involved, the Professor becomes a reluctant ally of Felix, particularly when they battle the Master Cylinder. In some of the episodes, when the professor gives up on his episodic schemes, he intones with the words: "Oh, what's the use!!!!!"
Poindexter 
He is the nerdy young nephew of the Professor. He is depicted as a stereotypical scientist; he is very intelligent and always wears thick Coke-bottle glasses, a lab coat, and a mortarboard. A button on the chest of his lab coat acts as a control for whatever device the plot calls for. Despite the Professor being his uncle, he is also one of Felix's best friends. Whenever he talks to Felix, he refers to him as "Mr. Felix".
Rock Bottom 
The Professor's bumbling sidekick (a bulldog who walks and dresses like a human being) who tries to help the Professor steal Felix's Magic Bag. Rock Bottom's full name is Rock Bottom Age. He occasionally works for Master Cylinder. Like the Professor, in some of the episodes, when Rock Bottom's schemes fail, he intones with the words: "Oh, what's the use!!!!!"
Master Cylinder 
An evil, cylindrical robot who first appeared in the 1960 cartoon "Master Cylinder-King of the Moon". He is always trying to kidnap Poindexter so that he can use his intellect to build weapons and equipment. It is revealed that he was once a pupil of the Professor at an academy until an explosion destroyed his original body.
Martin the Martian 
The good Martian who always helps Felix and his friends whenever they are in a space jam.
General Clang 
The evil general in space who also wants the rocket formula in order to destroy the Earth,
Vavoom 
A small, unassuming and friendly Inuit whose only vocalization is a (literally) Earth-shattering shout of his own name "VAVOOM!" (but who is powerless if his mouth was taped shut). He first appeared in "Felix and Vavoom".

Theme song[edit]

The program is also remembered for its distinctive theme song. It was written by Winston Sharples and performed by 1950s big band singer Ann Bennett.[6]

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
131October 2, 1959 (1959-10-02)November 13, 1959 (1959-11-13)
2TBAJanuary 4, 1960 (1960-01-04)April 1, 1960 (1960-04-01)
3TBAApril 4, 1960 (1960-04-04)May 13, 1960 (1960-05-13)
4TBA1961 (1961)1961 (1961)
5TBA1961 (1961)May 16, 1962 (1962-05-16)

Season 1 (1959)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
11"The Magic Bag"October 2, 1959 (1959-10-02)
22"Into Outer Space"October 5, 1959 (1959-10-05)
33"Abominable Snowman"October 6, 1959 (1959-10-06)
44"Felix Out West"October 7, 1959 (1959-10-07)
55"Felix the Cat Suit"October 8, 1959 (1959-10-08)
66"Electronic Brainwasher"October 9, 1959 (1959-10-09)
77"Do-It-Yourself Monster Book"October 12, 1959 (1959-10-12)
88"Blubberino the Whale"October 13, 1959 (1959-10-13)
99"Ghostly Concert"October 14, 1959 (1959-10-14)
1010"Captain No-Kiddin'"October 15, 1959 (1959-10-15)
1111"Felix in Egypt"October 16, 1959 (1959-10-16)
1212"Detective Thinking Hat"October 19, 1959 (1959-10-19)
1313"Balloon Blower Machine"October 20, 1959 (1959-10-20)
1414"Friday the 13th"October 21, 1959 (1959-10-21)
1515"Stone Making Machine"October 22, 1959 (1959-10-22)
1616"Penelope the Elephant"October 23, 1959 (1959-10-23)
1717"The Money Tree"October 26, 1959 (1959-10-26)
1818"Oil and Indians Don't Mix"October 27, 1959 (1959-10-27)
1919"The Glittering Jewels"October 28, 1959 (1959-10-28)
2020"The Gold Car and County Fair"October 29, 1959 (1959-10-29)
2121"Sheriff Felix vs. the Gas Cloud"October 30, 1959 (1959-10-30)
2222"Felix's Gold Mine"November 2, 1959 (1959-11-02)
2323"How to Steal a Gold Mine?"November 3, 1959 (1959-11-03)
2424"Private Eye Felix and Pierre Mustache"November 4, 1959 (1959-11-04)
2525"The Gold Fruit Tree"November 5, 1959 (1959-11-05)
2626"The Flying Saucer"November 6, 1959 (1959-11-06)
2727"Felix Baby-Sits"November 9, 1959 (1959-11-09)
2828"Instant Money"November 10, 1959 (1959-11-10)
2929"Master Cylinder – King of the Moon"November 11, 1959 (1959-11-11)
3030"The Invisible Professor"November 12, 1959 (1959-11-12)
3131"Venus and the Master Cylinder"November 13, 1959 (1959-11-13)

Season 2 (1960)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
321"The Termites of 1960"January 4, 1960 (1960-01-04)
332"Moo Moo Island Oysters"January 5, 1960 (1960-01-05)
343"The Mouse and Felix"January 6, 1960 (1960-01-06)
354"King Neptune's S.O.S."January 7, 1960 (1960-01-07)
365"Relax-a-Lawn Chair"January 8, 1960 (1960-01-08)
376"The African Diamond Affair"January 11, 1960 (1960-01-11)
387"Felix's Prize Garden"January 12, 1960 (1960-01-12)
398"Finally, the Magic Bag Is Mine!"January 13, 1960 (1960-01-13)
409"Felix and the Rhinoceros"January 14, 1960 (1960-01-14)
4110"Felix-Finder and the Ghost Town"January 15, 1960 (1960-01-15)
4211"Snoopascope, a Magic Bag of Tricks"January 18, 1960 (1960-01-18)
4312"Stone Age Felix"January 19, 1960 (1960-01-19)
4413"Stone Age Felix"January 19, 1960 (1960-01-19)
4514"The Gold Silkworms"January 20, 1960 (1960-01-20)
4615"Felix and Vavoom"January 21, 1960 (1960-01-21)
46 "The Jubilee Dime" January 22, 1960 (1960-01-22)
47 "Movie Star Felix" January 25, 1960 (1960-01-25)
48 "Youth Water" January 26, 1960 (1960-01-26)
49 "Game Warden Felix" January 27, 1960 (1960-01-27)
50 "Master Cylinder Captures Poindexter" January 28, 1960 (1960-01-28)
51 "Atomic Drive Explosion of Master Cylinder" January 29, 1960 (1960-01-29)
52 "Supertoy" February 1, 1960 (1960-02-01)
53 "The Jewel Bird" February 2, 1960 (1960-02-02)
54 "The Atomic Rocket Fuel" February 3, 1960 (1960-02-03)
55 "The Hairy Berry Bush" February 4, 1960 (1960-02-04)
56 "General Clang and the Secret Rocket Fuel" February 5, 1960 (1960-02-05)
57 "The Rajah's Elephants" February 8, 1960 (1960-02-08)
58 "The Exchanging Machine" February 9, 1960 (1960-02-09)
59 "The Leprechaun" February 10, 1960 (1960-02-10)
60 "The Master Cylinder's Spacegram" February 11, 1960 (1960-02-11)
61 "The Leprechaun's Gold" February 12, 1960 (1960-02-12)
62 "Felix and the Mid-Evil Ages" February 15, 1960 (1960-02-15)
63 "The Capturing of the Leprechaun King" February 16, 1960 (1960-02-16)
64 "Martin the Martian Meets Felix the Cat" February 17, 1960 (1960-02-17)
65 "The Professor's Committed No Crime!" February 18, 1960 (1960-02-18)
66 "The Martian Rescue" February 19, 1960 (1960-02-19)
67 "The Portable Closet" February 22, 1960 (1960-02-22)
68 "Redbeard the Pirate" February 23, 1960 (1960-02-23)
69 "A Museum, The Professor, and Rock Bottom" February 24, 1960 (1960-02-24)
70 "The Professor's Instant Changer" February 25, 1960 (1960-02-25)
71 "The Vacation Mirage" February 26, 1960 (1960-02-26)
72 "Cat-Napped" February 29, 1960 (1960-02-29)
73 "The Sea Monster and Felix" March 1, 1960 (1960-03-01)
74 "The Diamond Tree" March 2, 1960 (1960-03-02)
75 "King of the Leprechauns" March 3, 1960 (1960-03-03)
76 "The Magic Apples" March 4, 1960 (1960-03-04)
77 "Oysters and Starfishes" March 7, 1960 (1960-03-07)
78 "The Haunted House" March 8, 1960 (1960-03-08)
79 "Gold Digger Vavoom" March 9, 1960 (1960-03-09)
80 "The Wizard and Sir Rock" March 10, 1960 (1960-03-10)
81 "The Coal Diamonds" March 11, 1960 (1960-03-11)
82 "Out West with Big Brownie" March 14, 1960 (1960-03-14)
83 "Love-Sick Squirt Gun" March 15, 1960 (1960-03-15)
84 "Mechanical Felix" March 16, 1960 (1960-03-16)
85 "The Ski Jump" March 17, 1960 (1960-03-17)
86 "Felix and the Beanstalk" March 18, 1960 (1960-03-18)
87 "The Milky Way" March 21, 1960 (1960-03-21)
88 "The Super Rocket Formula" March 22, 1960 (1960-03-22)
89 "The Weather Maker" March 23, 1960 (1960-03-23)
90 "The Giant Magnet" March 24, 1960 (1960-03-24)
91 "The Instant Truck Melter" March 25, 1960 (1960-03-25)
92 "The Pep Pill" March 28, 1960 (1960-03-28)
93 "Leprechaun Gold from Rainbows" March 29, 1960 (1960-03-29)
94 "The Magnetic Ray" March 30, 1960 (1960-03-30)
95 "The Instant Grower" March 31, 1960 (1960-03-31)
96 "The Professor's Ancestor? The Wizard" April 1, 1960 (1960-04-01)
97 "Luring the Magic Bag of Tricks" April 4, 1960 (1960-04-04)
98 "The Uranium Discovery" April 5, 1960 (1960-04-05)
99 "Chief Standing Bull" April 6, 1960 (1960-04-06)
100 "The Strongest Robot in the World" April 7, 1960 (1960-04-07)
101 "Stairway to the Stars" April 8, 1960 (1960-04-08)
102 "Cleaning House" April 11, 1960 (1960-04-11)
103 "Vavoom Learns How to Fish" April 12, 1960 (1960-04-12)
104 "The Golden Nugget" April 13, 1960 (1960-04-13)
105 "The Genie" April 14, 1960 (1960-04-14)
106 "Felix and Poindexter Out West" April 15, 1960 (1960-04-15)
107 "The Bad Genie" April 18, 1960 (1960-04-18)
108 "The Rajah's Zoo" April 19, 1960 (1960-04-19)
109 "The Loan Business" April 20, 1960 (1960-04-20)
110 "A Treasure Chest" April 21, 1960 (1960-04-21)
111 "The Essence of Money" April 22, 1960 (1960-04-22)
112 "Mercury's Winged Sandals" April 25, 1960 (1960-04-25)
113 "The $10,000 Vacation" April 26, 1960 (1960-04-26)
114 "Brother Pebble Bottom" April 27, 1960 (1960-04-27)
115 "The North Pole and a Walrus Hunt" April 28, 1960 (1960-04-28)
116 "Cleopatra's Beauty Secrets" April 29, 1960 (1960-04-29)
117 "The Trip Back from the North Pole" May 2, 1960 (1960-05-02)
118 "The Golden Whale Baby-Sitter" May 3, 1960 (1960-05-03)
119 "North Pole Jail Hole" May 4, 1960 (1960-05-04)
120 "Felix the Handyman" May 5, 1960 (1960-05-05)
121 "Public Enemies Number One and Two" May 6, 1960 (1960-05-06)
122 "Horse Thieves" May 9, 1960 (1960-05-09)
123 "Adventures of Felix" May 10, 1960 (1960-05-10)
124 "Felix the Cat Bottles the Genie" May 11, 1960 (1960-05-11)
125 "Felix the Cat Finds the Golden Bug" May 12, 1960 (1960-05-12)
126 "Felix the Cat Finds a Genie" May 13, 1960 (1960-05-13)

Home media[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Jack Mercer, Provided Voice Of Popeye in Film Cartoons". The New York Times. December 9, 1984. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  2. ^ "Radio Daily-television Daily". Radio Daily Corporation. January 1961. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  3. ^ Cart, Michael (March 31, 1991). "The Cat With the Killer Personality". The New York Times. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  4. ^ Mendoza, N.F. (August 27, 1995). "For fall, a classically restyled puddy tat and Felix the Cat". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
  5. ^ Solomon 37.
  6. ^ Sanders, Rebekah (April 8, 2009). "Glendale singer marks 'Felix the Cat' theme's 50th year". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 28, 2016.

External links[edit]