Felix the Cat had a very humble beginning as a curious and mischievous little cat as first conceived by New Jersey cartoonist Otto Messmer. In no time at all he was more popular than movie stars and world leaders of the same era. His squat, black body and huge, wide eyes and grin were instantly recognizable worldwide. He is considered the first true movie cartoon star. His first appearance was in a short film in the early 1900’s called “Feline Follies”. Soon thereafter he made the transition to print. King Features syndicated Felix in over 250 newspapers in a multitude of languages, reaching practically every corner of the globe. He’s now published through Felix Comics, Inc., in various magazines and publications. Little did anyone know back then that this rather angular Felix would metamorphosize into the rounder, more lovable character he is today.
Otto Messmer was just doing what he loved to do…draw! He had no idea what he was starting! It wasn’t long before a young Joe Oriolo, Otto’s protégé, began working closely with Felix. There was a love for the character from the beginning. Joe Oriolo’s presence with Felix then became very pronounced. Joe began to work exclusively on Felix and received from Otto a “carte blanche” to create a “new Felix”. Joe Oriolo thus created a new Felix with a new image, new personality and new characters, including The Magic Bag of Tricks, Poindexter, The Professor, Rock Bottom and Vavoom. These are the renowned characters we know so well today. Felix became so famous that he was chosen by Charles Lindbergh to be his lucky mascot on his historic transatlantic flight. Felix’s image was the very first image to be broadcast over television airwaves. That’s right! When the engineers at RCA Research Labs were creating the phenomenon of TV, they used a Felix doll as their test model in their very first transmission on NBC, a historic moment! His image adorned clocks, Christmas ornaments, and was even the first balloon featured in the Macys Thanksgiving Parade. Soon Felix was playing in every TV set in the world…he was suddenly an overnight sensation!
At this point, a young Don Oriolo began his close relationship to these popular characters. The only two cartoonists ever to draw Felix in the newspapers and comic books in those early days were Otto and Joe. As the characters became more trendy, so did the desire by the public to have Felix dolls, cards, toys and jewelry. By the end of the 50’s, Joe Oriolo produced for Trans-Lux TV 264 five minute episodes of the new Felix that were immediately picked up for first-run syndication. They were a smash hit!! They ran continuously for the next 20 years. Today, these shows are still being shown around the world. Joe Oriolo, in recognizing his son’s ability and love for Felix, asked Don topic up the mantel and carry Felix forward into the next century.. Encompassing the past and present of Felix, Don Oriolo continued his father’s work. His inborn creativity and love for Felix created an instant partnership.
In the mid-eighties, Don Oriolo single handedly wrote and produced a feature film entitled “Felix the Cat, the Movie”. This feature length film has successfully entertained audiences throughout the world .In the US and Canada, Buena Vista Video released the film and the Disney Channel played the film in steady rotation for over 10 years. Again, Don Oriolo’s keen interest to expand the image of Felix took him into the publishing world by creating nearly one million comic books worldwide. Since the mid 80’s, licensing and merchandising showed a dramatic increase under the new leadership.
In association with Film Roman and CBS, Felix re-entered the world of national network television via the creation of about 60 very successful “bumpers” or pre-commercial announcements. Felix the Cat Creations, Film Roman and CBS embarked on the creation of “The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat” which premiered in the US in1996 and throughout the world with stellar ratings!
Now, you can have the world’s most famous cat right in your fingertips because of Oriolo Guitars. Specifications : Body Construction: Glued in Dovetail Neck, Body Wood: Spruce Top, Neck Shape: C, Nut Material: Synthetic, Fingerboard Material: Rosewood, Scale Length: 23”, Number of Frets: 19, Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1.65”, Fingerboard Width at 12th Fret: 2.125”, Fingerboard Inlays: Custom Graphic, Guitar Finish: Gloss Poly Lacquer, Bridge Material: Rosewood, Bridge Style: Custom Oriolo, Bridge String Spacing: 2.165”, Saddle Material: Synthetic, Tuners: Chrome Finish, Bridge Pins: Synthetic Black with White Dot, Strap Button: Chrome Finish and Truss Rod.