By Julia Williams
I love cats, and I love cartoons. So today I decided to share some information about my all-time favorite cat cartoon called Simon’s Cat. Now, I’m sure some of you know about this animated series and have watched the hilarious films on YouTube or Facebook. If you’re a cat lover, you can’t help but love the Simon’s Cat cartoons! I may have a lot of “favorite things involving cats,” but Simon’s Cat cartoons are at the top of that long list. They always make me laugh…and laugh… and laugh. The cartoons are such an incredible mood lifter, but I learned the hard way that I must put down any drink or snack before clicking the play button on my computer screen.
About the Simon’s Cat Cartoons
Simon’s Cat was created by Simon Tofield, an award-winning English illustrator, animator and director at Tandem Films in London. Simon is a “cat guy” who not only clearly loves and understands felines, but brilliantly translates that into the funniest animated cat cartoons I’ve ever seen! The Simon’s Cat cartoons center around the relationship between a man and his mischievous cat, who is always getting into some kind of trouble. If you’ve ever shared your home with a cat, you’ll recognize many of this cartoon cat’s antics, which Simon illustrates so hilariously. This “foodie cat” will do just about anything to get noms, including stealing a giant turkey off the table and leaving a small can of cat food in its place. The cat’s signature move is pointing to his mouth and making an amusing “feed me” meow that cracks me up no matter how many times I see it.
Simon’s Cat made his first appearance in March of 2008, in a film called “Cat Man Do,” described as “A hungry cat resorts to increasingly desperate measures to wake its sleeping owner.” Simon’s Cat has a huge fan base on Facebook and on YouTube, where that first cartoon has more than 29 million views! All of the Simon’s Cat films (there are 16 to date!) can be watched for free on their website and YouTube, and there’s talk of making a special DVD compilation of the films with added extras. I think that’s a splendid idea, but I’m not sure my body could survive all that laughing; I’d have to pace myself and only watch 5 minutes at a time.
The Simon’s Cat franchise has branched out since that first cartoon, and merchandise now includes three books as well as calendars, food bowls, t-shirts featuring that infamous ‘feed me’ pose, limited edition prints, notebooks, cards, coasters and more. There are also two iphone apps and a brand new Simon’s Cat plush toy in three sizes. The large plush cat has a sound chip that meows when you press his paw!
Like most children, Simon Tofield loved watching cartoons on television. However, these cartoons sparked a creative fire within the young Simon, and he began creating basic flip-books emulating the techniques he saw on the TV screen.
As you’d expect, Simon has a cat in real life – he couldn’t possibly dream up such spot-on “cat-versus-human” scenarios without at least one cat in the house. He actually has four cats, and sometimes posts photos of them on the Simon’s Cat website.
The Simon’s Cat films are drawn and animated in Adobe Flash using a Wacom stylus and tablet. However, they are still hand-animated in a traditional manner, frame to frame, and it takes between 12 and 25 drawings to create a mere one second of animation. This means that a finished Simon’s Cat film requires hundreds and even thousands of drawings. And that doesn’t count all the rough sketches Simon creates on paper before he puts digital pen to tablet. Wow. That’s a lot of drawing, isn’t it? I’m so glad Simon Tofield loves to draw!
Read more articles by Julia Williams
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