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Felix the Cat made his debut in the 1919 animated short "Feline Follies". Australian cartoonist/film entrepreneur Pat Sullivan, owner of the Felix character, claimed during his lifetime to be the cat's creator.
American animator Otto Messmer, Sullivan's lead animator, has been credited as such.
What is certain is that Felix emerged from Sullivan's studio, and cartoons featuring the character enjoyed success and popularity in 1920s popular culture.
Aside from the animated shorts, Felix starred in a comic strip (drawn by Messmer) beginning in 1923, and his image soon adorned merchandise such as ceramics, toys and postcards. Jazz bands such as Paul Whiteman's played songs about him (1923's "Felix Kept On Walking" and others).
I don't think that it was ever aimed to break the barriers of great television it was what it was.
Felix's new looks, coupled with Messmer's character animation, brought Felix to fame.
In the 20's he had visible whiskers and short legs, but in later adaptions, the whiskers were scrapped and he was given longer legs.
He also is taller in many later incarnations, being close to the size of a child rather than a cat.
Sullivan stated in numerous newspaper interviews that he created Felix and did the key drawings for the character.
On a visit to Australia in 1925, Sullivan told the Australian The Argus newspaper that "The idea was given to me by the sight of a cat which my wife brought to the studio one day." On other occasions, he claimed that Felix had been inspired by Rudyard Kipling's "The Cat that Walked by Himself" or by his wife's love for strays.