Felix the Cat (TV series)
|Felix the Cat|
|Genre||Cartoon series, Adventure, Comedy|
|Created by||Joe Oriolo|
|Voices of||Jack Mercer|
|Theme music composer||Winston Sharples|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||126|
|Running time||30 min.|
Felix the Cat Productions|
Paramount Cartoon Studios
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
|Original release||October 2, 1958 – May 16, 1962|
|Related shows||The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat (1995–1997)|
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 Famous Studios which was renamed to 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-familiar 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?"
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.
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.
- 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!!!!!"
- 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,
- 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".
|Episodes and Title|
|(Note: each episode was originally presented in two parts)
- "Jack Mercer, Provided Voice Of Popeye in Film Cartoons". The New York Times. December 9, 1984. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
- Cart, Michael (March 31, 1991). "The Cat With the Killer Personality". The New York Times. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
- 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.
- Solomon 37.
- Sanders, Rebekah (8 April 2009). "Glendale singer marks 'Felix the Cat' theme's 50th year". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 28 April 2016.