A Closer Look
Animation is a series of stills that fool the eye into thinking it sees movement. The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg is a cel animation. Drawings are done directly onto clear acetate sheets or cels, with a new sheet for each movement. The backgrounds are usually watercolor paintings. The cels are laid over the background and photographed one at a time by the animation camera. Can you see how the backgrounds in this cartoon stay still while the characters move in front of them?
About the Media
Felix the Cat starred in more than 150 cartoons during the silent film era, beginning in 1919. They were shown in movie theaters before the feature film. Felix was the first animated character popular enough to bring people to the movies just to see him. Once movies with sound came along Felix had to compete with Mickey Mouse and his popularity faded. But he made it to TV in the 1990’s with his own cable series. And he is famous for being the very first televised image. Check him out in Magic in the Air in the Television Section of Media Arts here on Artopia.
About the Artist
Animator Otto Messmer was the creator of Felix the Cat. As a boy he liked to draw and took afterschool drawing lessons. He began drawing Felix cartoons for the Pat Sullivan Studios in the 1920's. Messmer also drew Felix for a comic strip. He continued to do the comic strip until 1955, so he spent more than thirty years with the little mischievous cat.