Western Animation: Felix in Hollywood
July 15, 1923 short subject featuring Otto Messmer's cartoon star Felix the Cat. The short is centered around Felix as he tries to get a job in show business, and encounters some other stars of the era such as Charlie Chaplin along the way.This short is in the Public Domain and can be viewed here.. It is widely regarded as one of the most memorable Felix the Cat cartoons and the only one to make it in The 50 Greatest Cartoons list at #50.A
Tropes Used In This Short
- Charlie Chaplin Shout-Out: Felix meets Chaplin and imitates him.
- Circling Birdies: The star variation.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Like all cartoons of that era.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's Felix, and he's in Hollywood.
- Follow the Leader: This was the first cartoon to portray famous Hollywood stars. This idea would later be copied by Walt Disney with cartoons like Mickeys Gala Premier, Mickeys Polo Team, Mother Goose Goes Hollywood and The Autograph Hound. Warner Brothers did the same with Hollywood Steps Out, Hollywood Daffy, Slick Hare and Whats Cookin Doc.
- It's Been Done: Parodied, as Felix invents what he thinks is a new act, but in reality has already been done by Charlie Chaplin, who indignantly scorns Felix for alledgedly stealing his act. This also doubles as a Mythology Gag, since Otto Messmer had worked on a series of silent Charlie Chaplin cartoons in the past, and Felix was initially inspired by Charlie Chaplin.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Felix meets several Hollywood celebrities, making this the earliest cartoon to use this storyline. Among the people we recognize are Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart, Will Hays, Snub Pollard and Ben Turpin.
- Plagiarism in Fiction: When Felix imitates Chaplin he accuses him of "stealing his stuff".
- Public Domain Animation: This cartoon is nearly 100 years old now and thus past its copyright.
- Shapeshifting: At one point, Felix transforms into a briefcase in order to tag along with his owner to Hollywood.
- Speech Bubble: Felix and other characters use speech bubbles to talk.
- Time Marches On: All the Hollywood stars portrayed in this cartoon have passed away nowadays. Apart from Chaplin most will not be recognized by today's audiences.
- You Just Ruined the Shot: Although in a twist on the trope, the director actually likes Felix's interruption and gives him a contract.