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I don’t think there are any animated characters older than Felix The Cat, and I doubt that anyone will find a collection of animated short films from the same vintage as the Lumivision release of FELIX! ($20). In the silent era, Felix The Cat was the number one cartoon character. His exploits were at times somewhat racy, so he gained his popularity with adult audiences, instead of the youth market to which today’s animated films pander. Lumivision’s animated collection features seven cartoons from as early as 1912 (FELIX SAVES THE DAY) to as late as 1930 (FELIX WOOS WHOOPIE). These cartons are historically important because they feature some of the earliest attempts to combine animation with live action film. These cartoons also have a topical significance to their era, since other Hollywood notables such as Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson made "cameo" appearances in Felix’s films. Lumivision produced this collection in association with Cinémathéque Québécoise film museum in Canada. The animated shorts have been transferred from the finest surviving film elements, and for the most part are in very good shape. None of the shorts are in pristine condition, but are better preserved than the majority of silent films from the same era. The black and white image is relatively sharp with good detail; fans of classic animation shouldn’t be disappointed by this presentation. There is a Dolby Digital two channel stereo soundtrack that features musical (and sound effect) accompaniment. The track sounds good and doesn’t distract one from the visuals. As supplement, Lumivision has included a color film of Felix’s creator Otto Messmer working in his studio.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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