Henri, le Chat Noir

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A screenshot of Henri in "Henri" (2007)
Henri the Cat.jpg
Other name(s) Henry
Species Felis domesticus
Sex Male
Born 2004 (2004) (age 14)[1]
Years active 2007–present
Known for Internet celebrity

Henri, le Chat Noir (French pronunciation: ​[lə ʃa nwaʁ] ; French for "The Black Cat") is a web series of short films on the existential musings of the tuxedo cat Henri, written and directed by William Braden. Henri (originally Henry;[2] born 2004[1] is a male longhair tuxedo cat. He was adopted from the Seattle Animal Shelter in Seattle, Washington.[2] Videos featuring Henri have been viewed millions of times, and have been featured by news outlets such as The Huffington Post and ABC News.[3][4]


The first short film Henri was a film project by William Braden who was studying at the Seattle Film Institute.[2] 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?"[2]

Braden wrote the scripts while his mother, who is fluent in French, helped with pronunciations and proper usage.[2] Henri was written, filmed and edited in eleven days.[5]

Short films[edit]

Henri (2007)[edit]

Henri was released on May 27, 2007.[6] Henri was written and directed by Will Braden[2] and produced by the Seattle Film Institute.[2]

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

The second short film Henri 2, Paw de Deux was released on YouTube in April 6, 2012.[7] 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.[8][9][10] 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.[11][12]

In receiving the award, director Will Braden told Mashable "This is a great honor. I don't think I've ever purred this loudly."[9]

Henri 3, Le Vet (2012)[edit]

The third short film Henri 3, Le Vet was released on YouTube in June 20, 2012.[13]

Henri - Politique (2012)[edit]

The fourth short film Henri - Politique was released on YouTube in September 27, 2012.[14] Henri - Politique was produced as an example entry for The Seattle Times's political video contest.[15]

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

The fifth short film Henri 4, L'Haunting was released on YouTube in October 30, 2012.[16]

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

The sixth short film Henri 5, "The Worst Noël" was released on YouTube in December 21, 2012.[17]

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

Friskies commissioned a series of four short films on the subject of "cat food boredom".[18][19][20][21]

The first part of this series Henri - "On Cat Food Boredom" was released on YouTube in February 28, 2013.[22]

The second part was released in March 13, 2013.[23]

The third part was released in March 27, 2013.[24]

The fourth and final part was released in April 15, 2013.[25]

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

The eleventh short film Henri 6, "Cat Littérature" was released on YouTube in April 30, 2013.[26]

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

The twelfth short film Henri 7 - "The Cat is Sat" was released on YouTube in Aug 28, 2013.[27]

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

The thirteenth short film Henri 8 - "Artiste" was released on YouTube in January 7, 2014.[28]

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 Will Braden on April 30, 2013.[29] A subsequent book, entitled "Reflections on Human Folly" was published in paperback in 2016 thanks to a successful kickstarter campaign that raised $12,038 [30]


Film critic Roger Ebert called Henri 2, Paw De Deux "The best internet cat video ever made."[31][32] Boing Boing's science editor Maggie Koerth-Baker also called Henri 2, Paw De Deux "The best cat video on the Internet".[33] 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."[34]

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.'"[35]

Personal life[edit]

According to The Seattle Times, Henri does not live with Henri, le Chat Noir creator William Braden, who says that Henri's actual ownership is a "private matter".[2]


  1. ^ a b "Henri, le Chat Noir". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Erik Lacitis (1 September 2012). "Garfield High grad wins Internet Cat Video Film Festival". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  3. ^ Morissette, Melissa (27 October 2012). Henri the Cat Goes Viral, Turns Profit in the Name of Art. ABC News. Retrieved 12-27-2012.
  4. ^ Henri The Depressed French Cat Is Haunted By Halloween. Huffington Post. Retrieved 12-27-2012.
  5. ^ Melissa Morrissette (27 October 2012). "Henri the Cat Goes Viral, Turns Profit in the Name of Art". ABC News. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  6. ^ "Henri (2007) - Release dates". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  7. ^ "Henri, Paw De Deux - YouTube". YouTube. 6 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  8. ^ "IMDB - French Cat Video Wins Award". Internet Movie Database. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  9. ^ a b Amanda Wills (31 August 2012). "Sad French Kitty Wins 'Best Cat Video on the Internet'". Mashable. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  10. ^ "'French Cat' Video 'Henri, Paw De Deux' Wins Golden Kitty At Internet Cat Film Festival". The Huffington Post. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  11. ^ Rachel Joyce (30 August 2012). "AUDIENCE OVER 10,000 GATHERED ON OPEN FIELD FOR THE CAT VIDEO FESTIVAL AT WALKER ART CENTER" (PDF). Walker Art Media. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  12. ^ Jane Kellogg (1 September 2012). "First Internet Cat Video Film Festival Draws 10,000 People (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  13. ^ "Henri 3, Le Vet - YouTube". YouTube. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  14. ^ "Henri - Politique - YouTube". YouTube. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  15. ^ Sona Patel (27 September 2012). "Political video contest: Make and share your own". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  16. ^ "Henri 4, L'Haunting - YouTube". YouTube. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  17. ^ "Henri 5, "The Worst Noël" - YouTube". YouTube. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  18. ^ Tim Nudd (1 March 2013). "Henri the Existential Cat Sells His Bleak and Blackened Soul to Friskies". Adweek. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  19. ^ Laura Stampler (1 March 2013). "AD OF THE DAY: Henri The Existential Cat Sells Out To Peddle Friskies". Business Insider. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  20. ^ "Henri the cat sells out to Friskies, fills us with existential despair". msnNOW. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  21. ^ Elena Gorgan (1 March 2013). "Viral of the Day: Henri le Chat Noir Is Now Selling Cat Food". Softpedia. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  22. ^ "Henri - "On Cat Food Boredom", Part 1 of 4 - YouTube". YouTube. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  23. ^ "Henri - "On Cat Food Boredom", Part 2 of 4 - YouTube". YouTube. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  24. ^ "Henri - "On Cat Food Boredom", Part 3 of 4 - YouTube". YouTube. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  25. ^ "Henri - "On Cat Food Boredom", Part 4 of 4 - YouTube". YouTube. 15 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  26. ^ "Henri 6, "Cat Littérature" - YouTube". YouTube. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  27. ^ "Henri 7 - "The Cat is Sat" - YouTube". YouTube. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  28. ^ "Henri 8 - "Artiste" - YouTube". YouTube. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  29. ^ William Braden. Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat. Ten Speed Press. ISBN 9781607745105. 
  30. ^ "Henri, le Chat Noir's New Book - Reflections on Human Folly by Will Braden". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  31. ^ Roger Ebert (31 August 2012). "The best internet cat video ever made". The Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  32. ^ Roger Ebert (31 August 2012). "Twitter / ebertchicago". Twitter. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  33. ^ Maggie Koerth-Baker (4 September 2012). "The best cat video on the Internet". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  34. ^ Megan Garber (31 August 2012). "It's Official: This Is the Best Cat Video on the Internet". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  35. ^ "Henri Le Chat Noir, French Speaking Existential Cat, Goes To The Vet (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 

External links[edit]