24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Otto Mesmer lives!!!,
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This review is from: Felix the Cat (1919-1930 Collection) (DVD)
I have long been a fan of the early, silent Felix cartoons. They have a life that few cartoons these days can match (even with sound).
There were many (relatively speaking) Felix complilations on VHS, but as that medium goes the way of the vinyl LP, I wondered if Felix would also be making the move (I doubt a ton of money is made off of silent animation these days, and since money seems to move most things...). Luckily someone did lead the charge, and now I can finally rid myself of the VCR.
This collection has a lot of good stuff in it, but what I found a little irritating is the removal of some of the original title sequences(i.e., the ink bottle sequence with Felix and a drawing hand; it does appear, but not before every toon like it would have originally). This could be seen as a tribute to Otto Mesmer and a slight to Pat Sullivan (Mesmer who is reputed to be the real genius behind Felix; Sullivan's name was splattered all over the titles as he took most of the public credit, but was mainly the PR man for most of Felix's run - see John Canemaker's book on Felix for more info), however, I felt like I was missing out, being a sort of purist when it comes to historical media. The titles of silent animation have as much character as the animations themselves - in the same way that old photographs have a character of their own even if the people aren't familiar. Other silent Felix collections are not edited in this manner (it's the first time I've seen it, at least).
Nonetheless, this collection is a good one, and there is much to be seen here. If you're not sensitive about missing titles (there are worse things in the world, after all), this compliation will view smoothly.
The footage of Otto Mesmer is very interesting, though it's what you would expect: someone sitting and drawing (and he's not drawing Felix; the footage looks like it could be from the 60s - it has a watered technicolor hue to it, and may be discarded footage from a documentary). It's not enthralling, but it's great to have any footage of the master behind Felix at work.