Puss In Boots Not The First Famous Cat [GALLERY]
Pixar’s “Puss In Boots” topped the box office receipts for the second straight week taking in $33 million dollars at theaters across North America. The “Shrek” spinoff has made a total of $75.5 million since it’s release.
But the swashbuckling kitty is not the first feline to make it big.
“Felix The Cat” debuted in the silent film “Feline Follies” on November 9, 1919. Felix was voted one of the greatest cartoon characters of all time in a TV Guide poll in 2002. In 1927, a Felix balloon was the first to float in a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Felix has co-starred with Betty Boop in the comics, with The Simpsons on television and appeared in the movie “Batman Returns.”
Leo The Lion has been used as the mascot for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films since 1924. About five different lions were used for the logos over the years to open movies from black and white to color. For the 2006 version of “The Pink Panther” starring Steve Martin, the MGM logo was even tinted pink.
“The Pink Panther” series of movies began in 1963 with Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau and directed by Blake Edwards. The pink panther in the title actually refers to a large valuable pink diamond. Henry Mancini composed the music we hear in our heads whenever we see the pink panther. An animated version was created for “The Pink Panther Show” on Saturday mornings.
Another cartoon pussy cat debuted in 1945 in Fritz Freleng‘s “Life With Feathers,” Sylvester the Cat. His official full name is Sylvester J. Pussycat, Sr. He first appeared opposite Tweety Bird in the 1947 cartoon “Tweetie Pie.”
Another famous feline can be found each day in our local newspaper, Garfield was created by Jim Davis in 1978. As of 2007, Garfield held the Guinness World Record for being the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip, appearing in more than 2500 newspapers.
Garfield merchandise earns nearly a billion dollars each year and the character has been used in television specials and several movies.
The lasagna-loving cat even has his own website.
Watch for the Garfield balloon at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Another cat made a comeback this year in 3-D, Simba the lion cub from Disney’s “The Lion King.” The original movie debuted in 1994 and was re-issued in 3-D in 2011.
“The Lion King” earned two Academy Awards and was the 16th highest grossing film taking in $920 million worldwide as of 2011. Songs for the film were written by Elton John and Tim Rice.
A Broadway adaptation of “The Lion King” opened in 1997 and has won six Tony Awards including Best Musical. You can see “The Lion King” on stage in Denver until December 4th at the Temple Buell Theatre.
Also, felines have been represented in the music world. There’s Cat Stevens and the Stray Cats, “Cat Scratch Fever” from Ted Nugent and “Cat’s In The Cradle” by Harry Chapin.
And in case you missed it, Ultimate Classic Rock recently featured famous album covers recreated using kittens, check them out.