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Aug. 16, 1892 - Oct. 28, 1982

Otto Messmer

                   by: Angie Garcia

  I chose Otto Messmer because I fell in love with his work when I was still a little kid and it inspired me to become the artist that I am now. He is considered an animation pioneer because he created Felix, the animated feline was a hit back in the twenties and was catching everyone's attention before Mickey was in the picture. Felix is now a landmark character in the history of animation and was a spark like no other.


Messmer was not very skilled at making animated characters yet he still pushed on and used what little he knew to become well known and loved for his many creations

Messmer was born in Union City, New Jersey (1892) and showed an interest in drawing at a very early age. His first character that he created was "Motor Mat" and his life started from there as animators looked at his work and immediately began working. Many years after that he got drafted into the army to fight World War 1, coming back to the U.S in 1919. 


Felix's popularity back in the 1920s led to being his first character merchandised via popular products, Felix was booming. In 1931, Sullivan, Messmers producer, decided to discontinue the series with problems of his own, his death followed in 1933 and never left the rights of Felix to Messmer. For more than 40 years, it was believed that Pat Sullivan was the creator, director, and head animator for Felix cartoons. His was the only name to appear on the films, comic strips, and merchandised products, and Sullivan himself helped live on the myth in interviews and publicity releases. Not until the late 1960s did Messmer receive long-overdue credit for his creation, named as a master and pioneer of early animation.  Messmer continued to draw Felix comic books, created new animations of Felix for three films in 1936, designed animated billboards for New York’s Time's Square, and directed animated commercials for television. Felix was revived for a series of cartoons in the 1950s and ’60s.


Otto Messmer soon died on October 28, 1983, in Fort Lee, New Jersey, at 91 years of age.

born Aug. 16, 1892

cartoons were published in 1914

World War 1 (1914)


Drafted into the army to fight World War 1 (1917)

returned from the War in 1919


Creates "Felix Saves The Day" (1922)


Turns Felix into a comic strip (1923)


Mickey begins to shadow Felix (1931)


Gets Married to Ann Messmer in 1934

Develops the first animated television commercial in 1941.

Comic End's (1943)


Retired at the age of 80 in 1974



Messmer was honored with the highest Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award from the ASIFA organization (1979)










- Cyrenne, Randall. "Otto Messmer And Felix The Cat - Animated Views."Animated Views RSS. Animated Views, 11 Jan. 2009. Web. 21 Sept. 2016

- Kirwan, Dave. "ReFrederator Blog." RSS. N.p., 6 Feb. 2007. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.


- Donnelly, Stephen. "Comic Art Auctions" ORIOLO, JOE. Collectors Network Inc, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.


- Harvey. "Felix the Cat #113." (Issue). CBS Interactive Inc, 21 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.


- Fob, Frank. "Biography." IMDb., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.


- "Otto Messmer." Rarebit Early Animation Wiki. Rarebit Early Animation Wiki, 2006. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.


- "Felix The Cat Coloring Pages." N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.