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Pat Sullivan

Patrick Sullivan (2 February 1887, Sydney, New South Wales – 15 February 1933, United States) was an Australian cartoonist, pioneer animator and film producer, best known for producing the first Felix the Cat silent cartoons. Sullivan arrived in the United States around 1910, after spending several months in London. He worked as assistant to newspaper cartoonist William Marriner, and drew a couple of strips of his own. When Marriner died in 1914 Sullivan joined the new animated cartoon studio set up by Raoul Barre. In 1916 William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate, set up a studio to produce animated cartoons based on his paper's strips and hired Barre's best animators. Sullivan decided to start his own studio and made a series called ‘Sammy Johnsin’, based on a Marriner strip on which he had worked. It is a matter of some dispute whether Felix was created by Sullivan or his top animator Otto Messmer. American animation historians have accepted Messmer's claim without question, as he was the principal animator on the Felix series. However, it is not proven that Messmer invented the cat and was not working to Sullivan's brief.


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