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Western Animation / Felix Saves the Day

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"Get to the polo grounds as quick as you can!"
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Felix Saves the Day is a 1922 Felix the Cat cartoon, directed and animated by Otto Messmer and produced by Pat Sullivan.

The cartoon starts with Felix playing baseball with a kid on the streets named Willie Brown. They soon trade places and Felix takes up the bat, but Felix swings too hard and knocks the ball directly at a cop, whose hat gets knocked off, with the ball flying right into the mouth of a nearby African American street sweeper. The cop, angered, assumes Willie threw the baseball at him, chasing him as Felix hides behind a trash can. Felix decides to help out and follows him as Willie climbs up the side of a building, with the cop in hot pursuit. Willie makes it to the top of a building, and a bird comes along and drops an egg towards him, which Willie grabs and throws at the cop, sending him flying off the building and back down to the ground. Undeterred, the cop calls for a Fly-Cop to get in, who literally flies with his arms up to the top of the building to arrest Willie. Felix follows the flying cop as Willie gets thrown in jail. Because Willie was meant to play in a baseball game, Felix realizes his jail time will put the kibosh on his team winning the game, so he paces around, trying to think of what he can do.

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Meanwhile, the crowds start piling into the baseball arena as the games begin. Felix watches the game score and finds out the opposing team, the Tar Heels, are completely mopping the floor with his team, the Nifty Nine. Felix runs to the jail, thinks up four giant question marks, and climbs up them so he can reach the kids jail cell. Felix breaks the bad news to Willie, so the kid, after thinking about it, tells Felix to pitch in for him in the game. Felix heads off and hails for a taxi cab to take him to the baseball game. Felix bails as he notices the taxi fare rising, so he's hops on a train to get to the game. He arrives, but thinks the only chance of winning the game is if a rainstorm comes. Felix steps in for Willie Brown, missing two strikes with his bat, but the third one hits and goes sailing out of the part, hitting the head of Jupiter Pluvius, who is sitting on a cloud in the sky. Angered, Jupiter decides to spoil the game, and uses his watering can to create a flash rainstorm, forcing the game to be called off. Felix runs off to Willie's jail cell in the rain to tell him the good news, and they both dance around giddily as the cartoon ends.

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The cartoon is in the Public Domain and can be seen here.

Tropes:

  • Blackface: The Tar Heels, an opposing kid baseball team, are all African Americans caricatured in this kind of outdated style. A street sweeper is drawn in this style as well.
  • The Determinator: The cop chases Willie Brown all the way up a building just to catch him.
  • Deus ex Machina: Played for Laughs. The reason Felix saves the day is because he accidentally sent a baseball flying at Jupiter, who starts a rainstorm in retaliation.
  • Institutional Apparel: Willie is wearing this when he gets thrown in jail.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: The cop gets knocked off a tall building by Willie, but survives.
  • Painting the Medium: Felix uses four question marks to climb up to Willie's jail cell.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Some scenes use still photographs for Felix to interact with, and some live action film is cut in with the animation, but neither interact together at once.
  • Visual Pun: A literal Fly-Cop (an outdated slang word for Detective) flies with his arms to arrest and carry off Willie.
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