Felix the Cat: The Movie
is a 1988 animated film based on the cartoon and comic strip character of the same name
Felix the Cat is a cartoon character created in the silent film era. His black body, white eyes, and giant grin, coupled with the surrealism of the situations in which his cartoons place him, combine to make Felix one of the most recognized cartoon characters in film history...
. It was made in Europe during 1986 and 1987, but was not officially released in the United States until 1991.
Felix the Cat is taking a nap underneath a palm tree when a tear finds him. The tear wakes him up and guides him to the abandoned Anairo Gold Mine ("Oriana" spelled backwards), where the transporter is located. Felix and his magical bag of tricks are soon transported to the fantastic and strange Kingdom of Oriana. When he arrives there, his bag changes into a drill, and accidentally floods the transporter control room when it drills into an ocean. After resurfacing in a swamp of Zill, Felix meets Pim, a reluctant lacky who leads Felix to Wack Lizardi, the owner of a local circus. Pim suggests to his boss that Felix could be a new attraction, so Wack confiscates Felix's bag and locks Felix in a cell before and after every show. Meanwhile, The Professor (Felix's arch-nemesis) and Poindexter (The Professor's nephew) have followed Felix to Zill, hoping to steal Felix's magic bag. Meanwhile, at the circus, Felix meets the princess of the kingdom,Oriana. At first, Oriana is skeptical, but soon realizes that Felix is the hero that she is looking for. She tells Felix that her kingdom was overtaken by a Duke of Zill, who is actually her uncle. The Duke was actually a scientist who suddenly became evil after an experiment went wrong and horribly disfigured his face. He was banished to the Land of Zill and began plotting his revenge after the Zillians began to see him as a god
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....
. Felix promises to the princess that they'll escape, which they do, leaving Wack's circus in shambles. Felix, Oriana, Pim, and eventually the Professor and Poindexter set off to the kingdom of Oriana. After braving the creatures of the world, they arrive at Oriana, where they confront the Duke.
It turns out that the Duke wants the Book of Ultimate Power, which he thinks will give him the power to rule the world. But when he discovers the contents inside the book ("Truth", "Love", and "Wisdom"), the infuriated Duke commands his newest creation, The Master Cylinder, to destroy Felix and his friends. But Felix takes the book and throws it at Master Cylinder. The Duke's robotic minions explode, the Duke flees, but only to be crushed by the remains of The Master Cylinder and the kingdom of Oriana has been saved. Felix, The Professor, and Poindexter walk into the transporter to take them home. Oriana thanks Felix with a hug, and the film ends with Felix saying "Righty-o!"
- Chris Phillips
Chris Phillips is an American voice actor, writer and singer. He studied at Stella Adler and attended Emerson College in Boston, Ma.Chris might be best known as the voice of the Face mascot on Nick Jr. Face ran from 1994 until 2003...
- Felix The Cat / The Professor
- Maureen O'Connell
Maureen C. O'Connell is the County Clerk of Nassau County, New York, an adjunct faculty member of the Adelphi University School of Nursing, and a member of the School of Nursing Advisory Boards of Nassau Community College, Molloy College, and State University of New York at...
- Princess Oriana
- Peter Newman
Peter Newman is famous for his voice work for Rankin/Bass. In ThunderCats he provided the voices of Tygra, Wilykat, Bengali, and Monkian. In SilverHawks he provided the voices of Quicksilver, Mumbo Jumbo, and Timestopper. He also played the evil Duke of Zill & Wack Lizardi in Felix the Cat: The...
- The Duke of Zill / Wack Lizardi
- Alice Playten
Alice Playten was an American actress and singer.-Life and career:Born Alice Plotkin in New York City, Playten began her career in the Broadway musical Gypsy...
- Pearl / Poindexter / The Mizzards
- Susan Montanaro
- Don Oriolo
- Christian Schneider
- Michael Fremer
- David Kolin
David Kolin , better known as Dr. Dave, is a TV and radio veteran and former orthodontist who first became an on-air talent on the show “Made In New York” with Matt Lauer and Jill Rappaport. Kolin is known for his radio and comedy companies he created: DB Communications and United Stations Radio...
Felix the Cat: The Movie
began development in the late 1980s, when Don Oriolo (the son of Joe Oriolo
Joseph "Joe" Oriolo was an American cartoon animator, writer, director and producer, known as the creator of the Felix the Cat TV series.-Early life:...
) began work on a feature-length television special
A television special is a television program which interrupts or temporarily replaces programming normally scheduled for a given time slot. Sometimes, however, the term is given to a telecast of a theatrical film, such as The Wizard of Oz or The Ten Commandments, which is not part of a regular...
intended as a pilot
A "television pilot" is a standalone episode of a television series that is used to sell the show to a television network. At the time of its inception, the pilot is meant to be the "testing ground" to see if a series will be possibly desired and successful and therefore a test episode of an...
. After Oriolo took the project to Europe, it ended up with director Tibor Hernadi and his Hungarian crew, at a cost of US$9 million.
The film opens with an introduction by Felix, who is rendered in CGI using then-new motion capture technology; this model also appears throughout the end credits. The rest of the film, however, is rendered in hand-drawn animation. The animation was produced at Pannónia Filmstúdió
Pannonia Film Studio is the largest animation studio in Hungary, based in the capital of Budapest.-History:...
in Hungary, with some parts subcontracted to studios in Poland and Bulgaria.
Release and reception
New World Pictures picked up the film in May 1987, some time after completion, and planned to release it in the U.S. market on Thanksgiving season; these plans fell through. The film premiered at the Wadsworth Theater
The historic Wadsworth Theatre is a live theatre in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, CA on Wilshire Boulevard and San Vicente Boulevard on the grounds of the West Los Angeles Department of Veterans Affairs complex. The theatre was built in 1939 and underwent an extensive restoration in 2002...
in Los Angeles on January 26, 1989, as the opening selection of the third Los Angeles Animation Celebration.
Felix the Cat: The Movie
was released on VHS on August 23, 1991 by Buena Vista Home Video. The film was also a staple of Disney Channel
Disney Channel is an American basic cable and satellite television network, owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. It is under the direction of Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. The channel's headquarters is located on West Alameda Ave. in...
's programming roster during the 1990s. As of 2010, its only legitimate DVD releases have occurred in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Serbia.
The staff of Halliwell's Film Guide
called it a "Laboured attempt to update the classic cartoon figure." Philip Strick of MFB
commented that it was "more likely to bury the ingratiating Felix beyond revival than to stimulate fresh legions of fans". In his 2005 book Television Cartoon Shows
, Hal Erickson noted that it "managed to salvage whatever marginal charm the 1960 series
Felix the Cat was the first television series featuring the famous cartoon character Felix the Cat.In 1954 Otto Messmer retired from the Felix daily newspaper strips, and his assistant Joe Oriolo took over. Oriolo struck a deal with Felix's new owner to begin a new series of Felix cartoons on...
has had by dressing it up with first class animation and character design."
The film features the theme song from the Felix The Cat
TV series, on which the film is based. The score was composed by Christopher L. Stone, with songs by Bernd Schonhoffen, Don Oriolo and Christian Schneider.
The other songs throughout the film are:
- Sly as a Fox
- Together Again
- All You Need is Friends
- Who is the Boss?
- Mizzard Shuffle
- Face to the Wind (The Princess Song)
- Something More Than Friends
- End Credits (Instrumental)
All music published by Felix The Cat Creations Music Inc. Original "Felix The Cat" theme song by Winston Sharples, published by Famous Music.