DreamWorks Animation has acquired the rights to the iconic 1920s cartoon character Felix the Cat for an undisclosed sum, adding the cat to its library of classic characters including Lassie, Waldo, and Casper the Friendly Ghost.
You'd think that would mean the animation house is planning a Felix film or at least an appearance on the newly-launched DreamWorksTV YouTube channel. While there may be plans to reanimate Felix the Cat eventually, for now CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has something else in mind. "We plan to make him one of the most desired fashion brands in the world," he announced.
DreamWorks is under pressure to diversify its business
DreamWorks is under pressure to diversify its business, and retail is one way to do it. Felix the Cat is "especially popular" in Asia, Katzenberg says.
The cartoon cat first appeared in 1919, the silent film era, and made his way into comics and merchandise. In the 1950s, Felix the Cat cartoons started appearing on television. The cat's trademark is a "little magical bag of tricks" that assumes the shape of whatever Felix needs — a boat, a table, a ladder. He's considered one of the most recognizable cartoon characters of all time.