Henri, le Chat Noir

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Henri
Henri the Cat.jpg
Henry, seen ca. 2012, portrayed Henri, le Chat Noir.
Other name(s)Henry
SpeciesFelis catus
SexMale
Born2003
Died2020, aged 17
Years active2007–2018
Known forInternet celebrity

Henri, le Chat Noir (French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃ʁi lə ʃa nwaʁ]; French for "Henry, the Black Cat") is a web series of short films on the existential musings of the cat Henri, written and directed by William Braden. Henri was portrayed by Henry[1] (2003–2020), a male longhair tuxedo cat. Videos featuring Henri have been viewed millions of times, and have been featured by news outlets such as The Huffington Post and ABC News.[2][3]

Production[edit]

The first short film, Henri, was a project by William Braden, who was studying at the Seattle Film Institute.[1] Braden was inspired by the American perception of French films as "very pretentious and self-involved. [...] And what could be more self-absorbed and pampered than a house cat?"[1]

Braden wrote the scripts while his mother, who is fluent in French, helped with pronunciation and proper usage.[1] Henri was written, filmed and edited in eleven days.[4]

Short films[edit]

Henri (2007)[edit]

A screenshot of Henry as Henri, le Chat Noir, in "Henri" (2007)

Henri was released on May 27, 2007.[5] It was written and directed by Braden[1] and produced by the Seattle Film Institute.[1]

Henri 2, Paw De Deux (2012)[edit]

The second short film, Henri 2, Paw de Deux, was released on YouTube on April 6, 2012.[6] Henri 2, Paw de Deux won the "Golden Kitty Award" for "Best Cat Video On The Internet" at the Walker Art Center's Internet Cat Video Festival.[7][8][9] On September 8, 2012, Henri 2, Paw de Deux was shown on television during the season finale of Animal Planet's reality television show My Cat from Hell.[10][11]

In receiving the award, director Braden told Mashable "This is a great honor. I don't think I've ever purred this loudly."[8]

Henri 3, Le Vet (2012)[edit]

The third short film, Henri 3, Le Vet, was released on YouTube on June 20, 2012.[12]

Henri - Politique (2012)[edit]

The fourth short film, Henri - Politique, was released on YouTube on September 27, 2012.[13] Henri - Politique was produced as an example entry for The Seattle Times's political video contest.[14]

Henri 4, L'Haunting (2012)[edit]

The fifth short film, Henri 4, L'Haunting, was released on YouTube on October 30, 2012.[15]

Henri 5, "The Worst Noël" (2012)[edit]

The sixth short film, Henri 5, "The Worst Noël", was released on YouTube on December 21, 2012.[16]

Henri - "On Cat Food Boredom" (2013)[edit]

Friskies commissioned a series of four short films on the subject of "cat food boredom".[17][18][19][20]

The first part of this series, Henri - "On Cat Food Boredom", was released on YouTube on February 28, 2013.[21]

The second part was released on March 13, 2013.[22]

The third part was released on March 27, 2013.[23]

The fourth and final part was released on April 15, 2013.[24]

Henri 6, "Cat Littérature" (2013)[edit]

The eleventh short film, Henri 6, "Cat Littérature", was released on YouTube on April 30, 2013.[25]

Henri 7 - "The Cat is Sat" (2013)[edit]

The twelfth short film, Henri 7 - "The Cat is Sat", was released on YouTube on August 28, 2013.[26]

Henri 8 - "Artiste" (2014)[edit]

The thirteenth short film, Henri 8 - "Artiste", was released on YouTube on January 7, 2014.[27]

Henri 9 - "Blight of Spring" (2014)[edit]

The fourteenth short film, Henri 9 - "Blight of Spring", was released on YouTube on May 6, 2014.[28]

Henri 10 - "Reigning Cat and Dog" (2014)[edit]

The fifteenth short film, Henri 10 - "Reigning Cat and Dog", was released on YouTube on December 30, 2014.[29]

Henri - "Bacon" (2015)[edit]

The sixteenth short film Henri - "Bacon" was released on YouTube on March 18, 2015 and was sponsored by Friskies.[30]

Henri 11 - "Oh, revoir" (2018)[edit]

The seventeenth and final short film, Henri 11 - "Oh, revoir", was released on YouTube on May 18, 2018. It announced Henri's retirement from the film series. The ending card reads, "Henri thanks all of his fans/worshippers for all their support. He looks forward to a healthy and productive retirement. He might even sit on a lap."[31]

In print[edit]

Ten Speed Press, a subsidiary of Random House, released the book Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat, written by Braden, on April 30, 2013.[32] A subsequent book, entitled Reflections on Human Folly, was published in paperback in 2016 thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $12,038.[33]

Other media appearances[edit]

On November 13, 2014, Henry and Braden made an appearance as clients on Animal Planet's Tanked in which Braden consults with Brett Raymer and Wayde King on building an aquarium for Henri.[34]

Reception[edit]

Film critic Roger Ebert called Henri 2, Paw De Deux "The best internet cat video ever made."[35][36] Boing Boing's science editor Maggie Koerth-Baker also called Henri 2, Paw De Deux "The best cat video on the Internet".[37] The Atlantic reviewed the short film as "a little bit arty, a little bit cheeky, decisively feline in focus ... it's perfect. Or, er, purrfect."[38]

The Huffington Post, in reviewing Henri 3, Le Vet, called Henri "almost like a feline Serge Gainsbourg, just without the singing, or the alcoholism, or the public scandal. Or maybe he's not like that at all. Maybe Henri, is, as he so eloquently states in his latest film, his 'own cat.'"[39]

Henry[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Henry was adopted from the Seattle Animal Shelter in Seattle, Washington.[1] Braden told the The Seattle Times in 2012 that Henry's actual ownership was a "private matter,"[1] but later revealed that Henry lived with Braden's mother.[40] Braden described Henry as "a good[-]natured and happy cat" who "never suffered a single existential crisis during his life," enjoyed chin scratches, and had nothing in common with the brooding character Henri he portrayed on film.[40]

Death[edit]

On December 10, 2020, Braden announced that Henry had been euthanized at the age of 17 because of a debilitating deterioration of his spine.[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Erik Lacitis (September 1, 2012). "Garfield High grad wins Internet Cat Video Film Festival". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  2. ^ Morissette, Melissa (October 27, 2012). Henri the Cat Goes Viral, Turns Profit in the Name of Art. ABC News. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  3. ^ Henri The Depressed French Cat Is Haunted By Halloween. Huffington Post. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  4. ^ Melissa Morrissette (October 27, 2012). "Henri the Cat Goes Viral, Turns Profit in the Name of Art". ABC News. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  5. ^ "Henri (2007) - Release dates". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  6. ^ "Henri, Paw De Deux - YouTube". YouTube. April 6, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  7. ^ "IMDB - French Cat Video Wins Award". Internet Movie Database. August 31, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Amanda Wills (August 31, 2012). "Sad French Kitty Wins 'Best Cat Video on the Internet'". Mashable. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  9. ^ "'French Cat' Video 'Henri, Paw De Deux' Wins Golden Kitty At Internet Cat Film Festival". The Huffington Post. August 31, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  10. ^ Rachel Joyce (August 30, 2012). "AUDIENCE OVER 10,000 GATHERED ON OPEN FIELD FOR THE CAT VIDEO FESTIVAL AT WALKER ART CENTER" (PDF). Walker Art Media. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  11. ^ Jane Kellogg (September 1, 2012). "First Internet Cat Video Film Festival Draws 10,000 People (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  12. ^ "Henri 3, Le Vet - YouTube". YouTube. June 20, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  13. ^ "Henri - Politique - YouTube". YouTube. September 27, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  14. ^ Sona Patel (September 27, 2012). "Political video contest: Make and share your own". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  15. ^ "Henri 4, L'Haunting - YouTube". YouTube. October 30, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  16. ^ "Henri 5, "The Worst Noël" - YouTube". YouTube. December 21, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  17. ^ Tim Nudd (March 1, 2013). "Henri the Existential Cat Sells His Bleak and Blackened Soul to Friskies". Adweek. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  18. ^ Laura Stampler (March 1, 2013). "AD OF THE DAY: Henri The Existential Cat Sells Out To Peddle Friskies". Business Insider. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  19. ^ "Henri the cat sells out to Friskies, fills us with existential despair". msnNOW. March 1, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  20. ^ Elena Gorgan (March 1, 2013). "Viral of the Day: Henri le Chat Noir Is Now Selling Cat Food". Softpedia. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  21. ^ "Henri - "On Cat Food Boredom", Part 1 of 4 - YouTube". YouTube. February 28, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  22. ^ "Henri - "On Cat Food Boredom", Part 2 of 4 - YouTube". YouTube. March 13, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  23. ^ "Henri - "On Cat Food Boredom", Part 3 of 4 - YouTube". YouTube. March 27, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  24. ^ "Henri - "On Cat Food Boredom", Part 4 of 4 - YouTube". YouTube. April 15, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  25. ^ "Henri 6, "Cat Littérature" - YouTube". YouTube. April 30, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  26. ^ "Henri 7 - "The Cat is Sat" - YouTube". YouTube. August 28, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  27. ^ "Henri 8 - "Artiste" - YouTube". YouTube. January 7, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  28. ^ "Henri 9 - "Blight of Spring" - YouTube". YouTube. May 6, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  29. ^ "Henri 10 - "Reigning Cat and Dog" - YouTube". YouTube. December 30, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  30. ^ "Henri - "Bacon" - YouTube". YouTube. March 18, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  31. ^ "Henri 11 - "Oh, revoir" - YouTube". YouTube. May 18, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  32. ^ William Braden. Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat. Ten Speed Press. ISBN 9781607745105.
  33. ^ "Henri, le Chat Noir's New Book - Reflections on Human Folly by Will Braden". Kickstarter. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  34. ^ Reveal: Henri the Cat's TV Tank | Tanked - YouTube (uploaded November 14, 2014)
  35. ^ Roger Ebert (August 31, 2012). "The best internet cat video ever made". The Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  36. ^ Roger Ebert (August 31, 2012). "Twitter / ebertchicago". Twitter. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  37. ^ Maggie Koerth-Baker (September 4, 2012). "The best cat video on the Internet". Boing Boing. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  38. ^ Megan Garber (August 31, 2012). "It's Official: This Is the Best Cat Video on the Internet". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  39. ^ "Henri Le Chat Noir, French Speaking Existential Cat, Goes To The Vet (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. June 27, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  40. ^ a b c Facebook Henri le Chat Noir December 10, 2020 Accessed May 17, 2021

External links[edit]