A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Felix the Cat is a 1950s animated series based on a cartoon character from silent 1920s films. Each episode sees the mischievous titular feline face off with his human adversary, who's out to steal the cat's bag of tricks. The show moves at a pretty slow pace, especially compared to modern cartoons, and conflicts aren't particularly violent, but what mishaps do exist (crashes, long falls, machines that turn people into stone) have only momentary effects. Your kids won't learn any valuable lessons from Felix's antics, but there's equally little to worry about in the content.
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What's the story?
FELIX THE CAT is a 1950s cartoon series created around a popular star of silent films. In it, Felix (voiced by Jack Mercer) and his devious archenemy, the Professor, engage in an ongoing tug-of-war over Felix's magical bag of tricks, with the Professor usually unveiling new inventions that will help him contain the mischievous cat. Often he's helped in his attempts by his sidekick, Rock Bottom, while his nephew, Poindexter, takes Felix's side. Their misadventures take them to various places, including, many times, space.
Is it any good?
Felix the Cat began as a comic-strip character and first came to life in silent movies in the 1920s, but he's best known today as the rascally star of this vintage cartoon in which he faces off with the scheming Professor. Their adventures are light-hearted and fun, and the simple plots still manage to entertain audiences decades later. What's more, the show mostly sidesteps a lot of the cultural stereotypes visible in many other classic cartoons, which makes it all the more appealing for family viewing.
Felix the Cat is a good example of entertainment that doesn't necessarily have a point but doesn't suffer from it. The plot is repetitive, the characters' actions are predictable, and Felix always manages to outwit the bumbling Professor, but somehow the stories have a surprising freshness to them despite the redundancies.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what accounts for Felix's repeated success at outsmarting the Professor. Does he seem to have a plan that counteracts his enemy's clever inventions or ideas? Is he particularly fast or strong? In real life, is it possible to always be a winner? Why, or why not?
What can we learn about a particular moment in time from the entertainment it produced? Does this series give you any clues about how people thought and felt during the 1950s? What do you think people 50 years from now will think of us based on the shows you watch?
How does this cartoon illustrate how much has changed in entertainment during the past 60 years or so? What are the advantages of modern animation and sound techniques? Do these advances always mean that a modern show will be a good one? What place do classics such as this one have in today's entertainment setting?
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