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A great early animated cartoon featuring Felix and some stars of the silent era; Charlie Chaplin, Ben Turpin, Douglas Fairbanks among others. The story holds up even in this jaded publicity-oriented era we live in today. Take minutes and let felix take you on a ride thru Hollywood all created by Otto Messmer.

Otto James Messmer (August 16, 1892 – October 28, 1983) was an American animator, best known for his work on the Felix the Cat cartoons and comic strip produced by the Pat Sullivan studio.

The extent of Messmer’s role in the creation and popularity of Felix is a matter of ongoing dispute, particularly as he only laid his claim to the character after the death of Sullivan, who until that time had received the credit. However, most prominent comics and animation historians support Messmer’s claim, as do the veterans of the Sullivan studio.

Early life

Messmer was born August 16, 1892 in West Hoboken, New Jersey (now Union City). He attended Holy Family Parochial School. He had a love of vaudeville and the entertainment industryinstilled in him by his parents and teachers beginning at a young age. He attended the Thomas School of Art in New York City from 1911–1913, and participated in a work-study program with the Acme Agency, where he did illustrations for fashion catalogs.

Career

As a youth, Messmer was fascinated with drawing and the cinema. He learned the craft of animation from Hy Mayer, with whom he produced advertising films in 1914. His talents were noted by Pat Sullivan, who hired Messmer in 1915 for his new animation studio in New York City. Together Sullivan and Messmer produced more advertising films, but their partnership was interrupted for three years while…

Death and legacy

Messmer died of a heart attack at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, New Jersey on October 28, 1983, aged 91. Today Felix the Cat is run in syndication in over 250 newspapers all over the world.