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Characters: Felix the Cat

Felix the Cat

The world's most famous cat, and the longest lasting cartoon character in history. In the hands of Otto Messmer, Felix was, first and foremost, a thinking character, a being with a wit as fast and sharp as a razor, who could improvise to any situation at the wink of an eye, with a wide range of emotions or thoughts represented by his large, expressive eyes, as well as his detachable, shapeshifting tail.

In 1936, years after Mickey Mouse had taken the throne of cartoon king from him and, combined with inept management, caused his theatrical cartoons to fall out of popularity, Van Beuren Studios took a shot at reviving Felix's animation career (as he was still very popular in the comic pages). Unfortunately, Instead of taking advantage of the possibilities layed down by the earlier cartoons, director Burt Gillett wrote off the surreal nature of Otto's Felix as "outdated" and proceeded to turn Felix into a cookie cutter Mickey Mouse clone with no distinguishable characteristics, and overshadowed Felix's role with his own large cast of characters in a lush, Disney-like setting. While there was the occasional bit of the original surrealism, it felt forced and tossed on, as if they were only done to remind the audience of what Felix is supposed to be like. While the shorts were fairly successful in spite of changing what Felix was about, the subsequent shutdown of Van Beuren Studios abruptly ended the series, once again putting Felix's animation career on ice.

In the late 50's, Joe Oriolo, a former assistant of Otto Messmer, took control of the Felix franchise and rebooted the series with the Trans-Lux Felix the Cat TV cartoons. For character, he went back to the original Felix template of him being a thinking character, but added some changes of his own, such as Felix's slicker, more streamlined design, as well as the series trademark "Magic Bag of Tricks", made to largely replace Felix's improvisational tail from the original cartoons. However, this magic bag helped establish the formula of these cartoons, of giving the villain of the pictures, the Professor, a reason to hunt down Felix.

  • Anti-Hero: In some of the original cartoons, and occasionally in Twisted Tales.
  • Art Evolution: Felix started as a four legged cat with corners that could poke out the eye of a tiger, and was originally known in the first few productions as "Master Tom". In 1924, Bill Nolan redesigned Felix into the curvier, softer design we're more familiar with, and Joe Oriolo completed the evolution by slickening up Felix's design to read more clearly on TVs.
  • Awesome Bag of Tricks
  • Badass Adorable: Felix isn't necessarily a fighter, but he can definitely kick butt when he needs to.
  • Bag of Holding: The Bag of Tricks, natch. Anything can pop out of it, including an escalator, food and even a boxing kangaroo in the first episode of the TV series!
  • Cartoony Tail: His tail can even detach and shapeshift! While he could still do this in the Trans-Lux cartoons, it was played down considerably in favor of the Magic Bag.
  • Catch Phrase: "Righty-o!"
  • Cute Little Fangs
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the movie, at least. "Where are we, New Jersey?"
  • The Determinator: Felix is a very ambitious critter.
  • Cute Kitten
  • The Everyman: In the Trans-Lux cartoons.
  • Flat Character: The Van Beuren Felix.
  • Friend to All Living Things: One of the most enduring traits of Felix through the series is his kind hearted, altruistic nature; if someone is in need of aid, be it standing in for a baseball player who got wrongfully thrown in jail, saving a clown from shooting himself, or overthrowing an evil dictator and his army of robots, he will not hesitate to help, and he shows virtually no signs of maliciousness or veangefulness (although he was a lot more rascally in his silent cartoons). At most, he just gets agitated at someone whenever they wrong him. He even holds no ill will towards his arch enemy, the Professor, and even helps him out if he winds up in trouble.
    • The Van Beuren Felix plays this trait up even more; in the opening of "The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg", Felix is handing out gold coins by the bucketful to the local poor, thanks to the help of his golden goose and her endless supply of golden eggs. And when the goose gets kidnapped by Captain Kid, her eggs are the last thing on Felix's mind—he's genuinely concerned for her safety, and he even tries to put up a fight against the pirate before he captures her.
  • Flying Car: Okay, the Bag isn't a car, but it can fly, or even turn into a small rocket!
  • Foil: To the Professor.
  • Funny Animal
  • Fun Personified
  • Guile Hero
  • In Name Only: The Van Beuren Felix shorts, and arguably the Trans-Lux cartoons aside from Felix himself.
  • Loyal Phlebotinum: The Magic Bag of Tricks will only work for Felix, although the Professor refuses to accept this fact.
  • Magic Wand: Er, Magic Bag, anyway.
  • Mascot with Attitude
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: A comic story had him operating as a detective under the name of Felix T. Cat. When asked, he says that the "T" stands for "The".
  • Papa Wolf: Felix gets rather temperamental when Captain Kid kidnaps his friendly golden goose, and he at least tries to put up a fight against him, even though he gets beaten rather easily.
  • Shape Shifter: Occasionally Felix has used this ability, most notably in "Felix In Hollywood".
  • Species Surname
  • Trigger Happy: Surprisingly, some of the older cartoons have him whipping a gun out of nowhere.
  • Walking the Earth: Felix is never in one place for too long.

Kitty

Felix's ladyfriend introduced in the first short. Sometimes known as Miss Kitty White or Kitty Kat, and mostly prominent in the comics.

The Professor

The arch-nemesis of Felix in the Trans-Lux TV cartoons. His modus-operandi in life is to steal Felix's magic bag of tricks for his own use—failing to realize throughout the years that the bag will not work for anyone but Felix, for some reason.

  • Absentminded Professor: Has impressive intellect, but he can't even remember his own name half the time.
  • Affably Evil: Once you look past the whole "obsessively hunting for Felix's bag of tricks" thing, he's really not that evil.
  • Aesop Amnesia: He never seems to accept that the bag won't work for him.
  • Badass Moustache: And a very expression one too, since it almost always covers his entire face.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: He has a fairly large laboratory, superb intellect and is very resourceful and capable of building impressive equipment, but wastes most of it on things such as stealing Felix's bag, or committing money heists.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the "Twisted Tales of Felix" cartoon, where he only appears in one episode.
  • The Determinator: He will stop at nothing to get Felix's bag.
  • Enemy Mine: In the Movie, he's forced into this with Felix due to having to save Oriana, although it's also a way for him to get close to stealing the magic bag—which also becomes ancillary once the Professor finds gold and tries—and fails—to smuggle it through the Dimensporter.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: When it comes to getting that Bag of Tricks, he has as much luck as Wile E. Coyote does at catching the Road Runner.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: When he isn't pursuing Felix to steal his Bag of Tricks, he's hiring him to babysit Poindexter. Naturally, these are episodes where the Bag doesn't appear.
  • Harmless Villain: Despite his menagerie of gadgets and intellect, he is more often than not a mere nuisance to Felix.
    • Not-So-Harmless Villain: That said, he has occasionally proven he can be a legitimate threat to Felix, due to him having equipment such as tractor beams, shrink rays and giant robots (and that's just the first episode), which make it easy for him to intimidate or capture the cat.
  • Mad Scientist
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate
  • No Name Given / Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Zig-Zagged; He is normally just called "The Professor", and the episode "Captain No-Kiddin" even made fun of this, showing that he can't even remember his real name. However, one episode and some merchandise gives his name as Professor Nutmeg, but this is usually forgotten. And in the German dub, he was called Professor Besserwisser (German for Know-It-All).
  • Running Gag: If he fails in getting the bag of tricks, chances are he'll have a machine laying around his lab made solely to beat himself up for his failure.

Pointdexter

The nephew of The Professor.

  • Child Prodigy: He is gifted with a brilliant mind, and in one episode even built his own fully-functional UFO as casually as putting together a Lego set, yet still has a childish persona, and the Professor requires Felix to babysit him time and time again.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: He can be quite good friends with Felix and even helps him when the Professor isn't around to watch.
  • Satellite Character: His personality depends on his interactions with the Professor and Felix.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses

Master Cylinder

A bizarre giant robot that resides inside of the moon, where he reigns supreme as King. He was initially a pupil of the Professor until his original body was destroyed. He also made an appearance at the end of the Felix movie, in a very out of nowhere twist, complete with upgrades!

  • Evil Is Hammy
  • Humongous Mecha: Particularly in his movie appearance.
  • Meaningful Name: He is literally a giant cylinder, after all. It goes further in the movie, where Cylinders are expanded to become a whole legion of robots.
  • Tin-Can Robot
  • Took a Level in Badass: In his appearance at the end of the Felix movie—they even compare the newer version with the original, side by side! Subverted however, by the fact that Felix beats him by throwing a book at him.

Rock Bottom

The professor's sidekick who happens to be a bulldog.

Vavoom

A little Eskimo with a voice loud enough to literally knock over trees! Named after the sound he makes whenever he opens his mouth.

The Duke of Zill

The villain of The Movie.

  • The Faceless: With the exception of a brief glimpse of his original human form, we don't see his face at all in the movie, which is completely hidden by his glass helmet-fishbowl thing. Strangely, one trailer for the form showed that his eyes were original meant to be visible, but this didn't make it into the final film for some strange reason.
  • Freudian Excuse: Was possibly driven insane by the accident that left him permanently trapped inside a life support suit.
  • Hollywood Cyborg
  • Mecha-Mooks: His vast Cylinder army.
  • Sequel Hook: Upon his defeat in the film, he disappears and says "I'll be back." Well, it's been almost 20 years and he STILL hasn't come back!

Princess Oriana

The Princess of the land of Oriana from The Movie.

Wack Lizardi

The secondary villain from The Movie, Wack is the ringmaster of a circus where Princess Oriana and later Felix are held captive and forced to perform.