TIL the look of the cartoon character Felix the Cat is based on images from minstrel shows and racist caricatures called pickaninnies. Minstrelsy tropes worked well for creating a cartoon animal. The tropes cued audiences to expect a rebellious, active, amusing character.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_the_Cat#Authorship

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  1. From the ending of his first cartoon:

    “Now homeless, Felix goes to live with his love interest, only to find out she is the mother (and Felix is the father) of a large litter of kittens. In reaction, Felix runs towards the local gasworks and commits suicide by intentionally inhaling coal gas.”

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