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Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation (WIP)

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 (Edited)

It’s safe to say nearly everyone is aware of Felix the Cat. Most know him from his 1958-1961 cartoon series appearance where carried a magic bag of tricks. Some have seen him in the 3 color cartoons that appeared in 1936. But far fewer people know him from his earliest, mostly black & white incarnation on film shorts from 1919-1930. And fewer still are aware that a great deal of these films are missing, lost, or otherwise unavailable to the general public.

Since the early Felix films have fallen into the public domain by now, many of the surviving films have been made available on VHS and DVD mostly by low-budget or fly-by-night companies packaging up what are often really poor film transfers and selling them on the cheap, often alongside other public domain cartoons of the same time period. With well over 50 of these home video releases out there, it’s a confusing mess trying to figure out what’s available…let alone trying to watch all the films that exist. In addition to this, there are a great number of Felix films out there in public or private archives, some of which have been transferred and put online for viewing, but most of which have not.

I have already compiled a list of all the known Felix films from 1919-1930, as well as a list of all known home video releases and which Felix films they contain (where it was possible to determine this). There’s still a huge number of films that are unavailable as far as I can tell.

The purpose of this thread is:

  • to determine what the best sources for these films are
  • to compile a collection of all of the best available copies of the material
  • to discover sources for any films not available in any home video release
  • to identify any other early Felix preservation efforts in progress

This topic header will be updated as new information comes to light.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [COMPLETED]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]
Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows) [ONGOING]
Iznogoud (1995 animated series) English audio preservation [ONGOING]

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 (Edited)

This space is reserved for the master listing of all the Felix film shorts.

DISTRIBUTED BY THE FAMOUS PLAYERS-LASKY FOR PARAMOUNT PICTURES:

1919 11/09 Feline Follies
1919 11/16 The Musical Mews
1919 12/14 The Adventures of Felix
1920 01/25 A Frolic with Felix
1920 02/22 Felix the Big Game Hunter
1920 03/07 Wrecking a Romeo
1920 04/11 Felix the Food Controller
1920 04/18 Felix the Pinch Hitter
1920 05/16 Foxy Felix
1920 06/06 A Hungry Hoodoo
1920 06/13 The Great Cheese Robbery
1920 07/18 Felix and the Feed Bag
1920 08/22 Nifty Nurse
1920 09/26 The Circus
1920 10/24 My Hero
1920 11/21 Felix the Landlord
1920 12/26 Felix’s Fish Story
1921 02/06 Felix the Gay Dog
1921 02/13 Down on the Farm
1921 03/20 Felix the Hypnotist
1921 04/17 Free Lunch
1921 05/15 Felix Goes on Strike
1921 06/05 Felix Out of Luck
1921 07/03 The Love Punch
1921 07/17 Felix Left at Home

DISTRIBUTED BY MARGARET J. WINKLER PRODUCTIONS:

1922 02/01 Felix Saves the Day
1922 03/01 Felix at the Fair
1922 04/01 Felix Makes Good
1922 05/01 Felix All at Sea
1922 06/01 Felix in Love
1922 07/01 Felix in the Swim
1922 08/01 Felix Finds a Way
1922 09/01 Felix Gets Revenge
1922 09/15 Felix Wakes Up
1922 10/01 Felix Minds the Kid
1922 10/15 Felix Turns the Tide
1922 10/21 Felix Fifty-Fifty
1922 11/?? Felix Comes Back
1922 11/01 Felix on the Trail
1922 11/15 Felix Lends a Hand
1922 12/01 Felix Gets Left
1922 12/15 Felix in the Bone Age
1923 01/01 Felix the Ghost Breaker
1923 01/15 Felix Win’s Out [sic]
1923 04/15 Felix Tries for Treasure
1923 05/01 Felix Revolts
1923 05/15 Felix Calms His Conscience
1923 06/01 Felix the Globe Trotter
1923 06/15 Felix Gets Broadcasted
1923 07/01 Felix Strikes it Rich
1923 07/15 Felix in Hollywood
1923 08/01 Felix in Fairyland
1923 08/15 Felix Laughs Last
1923 09/?? Felix and the Radio
1923 11/15 Felix Fills a Shortage
1923 12/01 Felix the Goat-Getter
1923 12/15 Felix Goes A-Hunting
1924 01/01 Felix Out of Luck
1924 01/15 Felix Loses Out
1924 02/01 Felix ‘Hyps’ the Hippo
1924 02/15 Felix Crosses the Crooks
1924 02/29 Felix Tries to Rest
1924 03/15 Felix Doubles for Darwin
1924 04/01 Felix Finds Out
1924 04/?? Felix Cashes In
1924 04/?? Felix Fairy Tales
1924 05/01 Felix Pinches the Pole
1924 05/15 Felix Puts it Over
1924 06/01 A Friend in Need
1924 06/15 Felix Finds ‘Em Fickle
1924 06/15 Felix Baffled by Banjos
1924 07/01 Felix All Balled Up
1924 07/15 Felix Brings Home the Bacon
1924 08/01 Felix Goes West
1924 08/?? Felix Minds His Business
1924 09/01 Felix Grabs His Grub
1924 12/01 Felix Goes Hungry
1924 12/15 Felix Finishes First
1925 01/01 Felix Wins and Loses
1925 01/15 Felix All Puzzled
1925 02/01 Felix Follows the Swallows
1925 02/15 Felix Rests in Peace
1925 03/01 Felix Gets His Fill
1925 04/13 Felix Full O’ Fight
1925 04/27 Felix Outwits Cupid
1925 05/08 Felix Monkeys with Magic
1925 05/25 Felix Cops the Prize
1925 06/08 Felix Gets the Can
1925 08/15 Felix Dopes it Out

DISTRIBUTED BY EDUCATIONAL PICTURES:

1925 08/23 Felix the Cat Trifles With Time
1925 09/06 Felix the Cat Busts into Business
1925 09/20 Felix the Cat Trips thru Toyland
1925 10/04 Felix the Cat on the Farm
1925 10/18 Felix the Cat on the Job
1925 11/01 Felix the Cat in the Cold Rush
1925 11/15 Felix the Cat in Eats are West
1925 11/29 Felix the Cat Tries the Trades
1925 12/13 Felix the Cat at the Rainbow’s End
1925 12/27 Felix the Cat Kept on Walking
1926 01/10 Felix the Cat Spots the Spook
1926 01/24 Felix the Cat Flirts with Fate
1926 02/07 Felix the Cat in Blunderland
1926 02/21 Felix the Cat Fans the Flames
1926 03/07 Felix the Cat Laughs it Off
1926 03/21 Felix the Cat Weathers the Weather
1926 04/04 Felix the Cat Uses His Head
1926 04/18 Felix the Cat Misses the Cue
1926 05/02 Felix the Cat Braves the Briny
1926 05/16 A Tale of Two Kitties
1926 05/30 Felix the Cat Scoots Through Scotland
1926 06/13 Felix the Car Rings the Ringer
1926 06/27 School Daze
1926 07/11 Felix the Cat Seeks Solitude
1926 07/25 Felix the Cat Misses His Swiss
1926 08/08 Gym Gems
1926 08/22 Two-Lip Time
1926 09/05 Scrambled Yeggs
1926 09/19 Felix the Cat Shatters the Sheik
1926 10/03 Felix the Cat Hunts the Hunter
1926 10/17 Land O’ Fancy
1926 10/31 Felix the Cat Bursts a Bubble
1926 11/14 Reverse English
1926 11/28 Felix the Cat Trumps the Ace
1926 12/12 Felix the Cat Collars the Button
1926 12/29 Zoo Logic
1927 01/09 Felix the Cat Dines and Pines
1927 01/23 Pedigreedy
1927 02/06 Icy Eyes
1927 02/01 Felix the Cat Stars in Stripes
1927 03/06 Felix the Cat Seems ‘Em in Season
1927 03/20 Barn Yarns
1927 04/03 Germ Mania
1927 04/27 Sax Appeal
1927 05/01 Eye Jinks
1927 05/15 Roameo
1927 05/29 Felix the Cat Ducks His Duty
1927 06/12 Dough-Nutty
1927 06/26 LocoMotive
1927 07/10 Art for Heart’s Sake
1927 07/14 The Travel-Hog
1927 08/07 Jack From All Trades (aka Mr. Do-All [color])
1927 08/21 The Non-Stop Fright
1927 09/04 Wise Guise
1927 09/18 Flim Flam Films
1927 10/02 Felix the Cat Switches Witches
1927 10/16 No Fuelin’
1927 10/20 Daze and Kights
1927 11/13 Uncle Tom’s Crabbin’
1927 11/27 Whys and Other Whys
1927 12/11 Felix the Cat Hits the Deck
1927 12/25 Felix the Cat Behind in Front
1928 01/08 The Smoke Scream
1928 01/22 Draggin’ th’ Dragon
1928 02/05 The Oily Bird
1928 02/19 Ohm Sweet Ohm
1928 03/04 Japanicky
1928 03/18 Polly-tics
1928 04/01 Comicalamities
1928 04/15 Felix the Cat in Sure-Locked Homes
1928 04/19 Eskimotive
1928 05/13 Arabiantics
1928 05/27 In- and Out-Laws
1928 06/10 Outdoor Indore
1928 06/24 Futuritzy
1928 07/08 Astronomeows (aka Astronomeous)
1928 07/22 Jungle Bungles
1928 08/05 The Last Life

GENERAL ELECTRIC PROMOTIONAL CARTOON:

1927 The Cat and the Kit

COPLEY PICTURES (REISSUES WITH ADDED SOUND):

1928 (was 1928 05-13) Arabantics
1928 (was 1928 06-10) Outdoor Indore
1929 (was 1926 08-22) Two Lip Time (Felix in Dutch)
1929 (was 1927 11-27) Whys and Otherwise
1929 (was 1927 08-21) The Non-Stop Fright
1929 (was 1927 10-20) Daze and Knights
1929 (was 1928 04-19) Eskimotive
1929 (was 1928 07-08) Astronomeous (aka Astronomeows)
1929 (was 1928 06-24) Futuritzy

COPLEY PICTURES (WITH SOUND):

1929 The Cat’s Meow
1929 False Vases
1929 Felix the Cat Woos Whoopee
1929 Forty Winks
1929 One Good Turn
1929 Romeeow
1930 April Maze
1930 Tee Time
1930 Hootchy Kootchy Parlais Vous
1930 Skulls and Sculls
1930 Oceantics

VAN BEUREN / RKO (WITH COLOR & SOUND):

1936 02/07 The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg
1936 03/20 Neptune Nonsense
1936 05/29 Bold King Cole

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [COMPLETED]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]
Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows) [ONGOING]
Iznogoud (1995 animated series) English audio preservation [ONGOING]

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Whoa, nice project! Most of us have absolutely no idea until someone points it out.

If I can suggest more work for you, 😃, would you also specify sources for these listed shorts? I’m constantly seeing collections of old Public Domain cartoons in store sale bins. It would help to know what you have identified from particular film, videotape, DVD, and Internet media (YouTube, et al) links. It would give topic watchers the chance of catching shorts not on your list. And show pictures, too, of package front/back covers (where applicable).

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Spaced Ranger said:

Whoa, nice project! Most of us have absolutely no idea until someone points it out.

Thanks! Yes, I went from spending a few years obsessing over the lost Doctor Who episodes (still am) to this. I had no idea so much of Felix’s past was missing as well, but given how much film from the previous turn of the century is lost, it’s not too surprising.

If I can suggest more work for you, 😃, would you also specify sources for these listed shorts? I’m constantly seeing collections of old Public Domain cartoons in store sale bins. It would help to know what you have identified from particular film, videotape, DVD, and Internet media (YouTube, et al) links. It would give topic watchers the chance of catching shorts not on your list. And show pictures, too, of package front/back covers (where applicable).

I would love to do that, and much of that info is in my spreadsheet…but I’m not sure how best to implement it here. Maybe a link to an online shared copy of the spreadsheet on Google docs? I’m open to any suggestions, of course.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [COMPLETED]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]
Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows) [ONGOING]
Iznogoud (1995 animated series) English audio preservation [ONGOING]

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Since you already have it in spreadsheet form, manually putting it in the forum would be arduous work. I wonder if an export script could write out your spreadsheet as text, pre-formatted for this forum’s style of rows and columns, ready to copy-&-paste into one of your preserved, update posts?

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 (Edited)

For example, this code:

||. . .||. . .||. . .||. . .||
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|
| **year** | | **date** | | **title** | | **source** | | **source picture** |
| 1919 || 11/09 || Feline Follies || brand-x || ![](http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS1deIo_yV_KyimAO7py4_RUBfJX8HVQ7u5KERKAlym9vmDHwJ-) |
| 1919 || 11/16 || The Musical Mews || brand-x || ![](http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS1deIo_yV_KyimAO7py4_RUBfJX8HVQ7u5KERKAlym9vmDHwJ-) |
| 1919 || 12/14 || The Adventures of Felix || brand-x || ![](http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS1deIo_yV_KyimAO7py4_RUBfJX8HVQ7u5KERKAlym9vmDHwJ-) |
| 1920 || 01/25 || A Frolic with Felix || brand-x || ![](http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS1deIo_yV_KyimAO7py4_RUBfJX8HVQ7u5KERKAlym9vmDHwJ-) |
| 1920 || 02/22 || Felix the Big Game Hunter || brand-x || ![](http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS1deIo_yV_KyimAO7py4_RUBfJX8HVQ7u5KERKAlym9vmDHwJ-) |

produces this table:

. . . . . . . . . . . .
year date title source source picture
1919 11/09 Feline Follies brand-x
1919 11/16 The Musical Mews brand-x
1919 12/14 The Adventures of Felix brand-x
1920 01/25 A Frolic with Felix brand-x
1920 02/22 Felix the Big Game Hunter brand-x

Nicer formatting isn’t implemented yet (for example, I had to use periods to make spacer columns; there’s no specifying picture size (had to find a small picture), and so on. All considered, though, it does get the information into a post.

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 (Edited)

I like that formatting, and I may do something with that. It could get a bit unwieldy, though, if we wind up with certain films possibly being on 10 or more different releases with cover variations for each. So we may not necessarily be able to do the cover art here.

Most of what I already have is pulled directly out of the existing spreadsheet. I’m still working on the best way to format the data in the original spreadsheet, but I’ll either port that here or link elsewhere for it.

In the meantime, I contacted Don Oriolo (son of Joe Oriolo who took over Felix after the original creators had passed on), and he gave me a lead on someone who appears to be putting material together for this same kind of project. I’ll be getting in touch with them and hopefully be able to collaborate in some capacity.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [COMPLETED]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]
Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows) [ONGOING]
Iznogoud (1995 animated series) English audio preservation [ONGOING]

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You may want to get ahold of a very nice gentleman by the name of Steve Stanchfield.

"Ollie, wontcha speak to me…?

“I have nothing to say.”

L&H

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GrindhouseGuru said:

You may want to get ahold of a very nice gentleman by the name of Steve Stanchfield.

Funny you should mention that! I just emailed him yesterday. I’m hoping he’s got some knowledge to impart on this.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [COMPLETED]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]
Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows) [ONGOING]
Iznogoud (1995 animated series) English audio preservation [ONGOING]

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Time
 (Edited)

So…after a prolonged pause, an update on the situation:

I’ve now been in touch with animation archivist Steve Stanchfield, and I can reveal that there is in fact a project in the works through his Thunderbean company to collect and release the Felix films in highest quality on a 3-volume BD set of 3 discs each…which is exactly the best case scenario I was hoping for when I started this thread. It is being worked on as we speak. Fantastic!

Unfortunately that’s about all I can say about the project at the moment, but I will certainly keep this thread updated when I have future information. Suffice to say that right now Felix’s early films are in good hands (the best hands, in fact!) and I look forward to the day when we can purchase a definitive collection to reside on our collective shelves.

Stay tuned.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [COMPLETED]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]
Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows) [ONGOING]
Iznogoud (1995 animated series) English audio preservation [ONGOING]

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Steve is an amazing Human.

"Ollie, wontcha speak to me…?

“I have nothing to say.”

L&H

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I understand that Sullivan’s material was kept by his Australian relatives. there is a museum there … maybe they have information. I don’t think it all went to waste when Sullivan died

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 (Edited)

huemulin said:

I understand that Sullivan’s material was kept by his Australian relatives. there is a museum there … maybe they have information. I don’t think it all went to waste when Sullivan died

I do really hope this is true…although of course they aren’t too keen on the modern day feeling that the credit behind Felix the Cat is largely due to Otto Messmer, not Pat Sullivan.

In the meantime, wonderful news in the form of a new Blu-ray in the Cartoon Roots series that has just come out, with some very rare beautifully restored early Felix cartoons. These were mastered from Tommy Stathes’ own film collection, and they look absolutely fantastic: painstakingly restored, sometimes from just fragments, for the most complete version and best image quality. This is the closest thing to a restored Felix collection we have yet. I’m hoping Tommy will release some more Felix collections in this series while we wait for Steve Stanchfield’s definitive collection to come out…due to rights issues because he wants to do it right and include everything from the early days and not just the public domain material, it’s been delayed indefinitely. I really hope it does go forward eventually.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [COMPLETED]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]
Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows) [ONGOING]
Iznogoud (1995 animated series) English audio preservation [ONGOING]

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Interesting stuff. I like Felix the cat.

I’m just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.

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I’ve been researching this for a few months. I found a lot of the films on youtube and archive.org. Some of the ones I have are incomplete. Quality ranges from poor to great. I tried to get the best picture quality and longest length films. Some are completely silent, some have fake background music and some have film projector noise. One film has the captions in another language.

I used the following website for the complete known filmography:
https://www.intanibase.com/gac/felix/ftcclassicfilms.aspx

I felt this was the best site since they have the exact dates the films aired along with descriptions of them. In youtube, there are some wrongly named films. Using this guide helped me rename them to what they really are. There are also a lot of untitled snippets of Felix the Cat films on youtube. Using this guide helped me determine if they were new films or repeats.

I found a lot of good quality films by searching youtube for felix the cat in Japanese: フィリックス・ザ・キャット. There was also a show on Cartoon Network Japan called "Late Night Black and White. I found a rare felix film on one of the episodes uploaded on archive.org. There might be more hidden.

I also have some alternate versions of films. They are usually shorter than the ones I kept but some of them have added sound/music. Some of these films have changed scenes. I am thinking they were rough drafts. Some are colorized.

This website has a lot of info on Felix the Cat 9.5mm films released around the world.

http://www.pathefilm.uk/95flmart/95flmartfelix/95flmartfelix2.htm

You should check with your sources to see what they have before searching online. I may have some stuff they are missing but I doubt it.

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Yes - that is an excellent site, and one of the best arguments for archiving old sites that have fallen off the internet.

Some of the incorrectly-named films I’ve found were named that way because they are shorter excerpts of the original films that were made available for the home market. So they would change the name, usually to match the main skit featured in the film excerpt.

Definitely interested in seeing what could turn up from the Japan connection there. I know that Japan has a particular affinity for Felix, and there have been Felix releases there that were available nowhere else.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [COMPLETED]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]
Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows) [ONGOING]
Iznogoud (1995 animated series) English audio preservation [ONGOING]

Author
Time

Yeah. Those 9.5mm films usually had one excerpt from once film spliced with another excerpt from another film. I was able to get more complete versions of films by splitting them up. Sometimes those text boxes weren’t needed and the flow of the films would be better without them. The quality on those are so bad that it really isn’t worth it unless you have the actually 9.5mm films and can restore them like the professionals do.

Download this document. Is outdated but there is a lot of useful information on where some films are located. Most of the rare ones can only be found in various video archives that sometimes can only be viewed on site. It can get expensive for them to loan out or to make copies.

https://www.intanibase.com/gac/felix/FelixEncyclopediaPublic.doc