There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this set, even before its appearance. Most of that centers around the claim on the cover to include "The Complete 1958- 1959 Full- Color Series". This set includes 31 episodes, a far cry from the 260 supposedly created. So what's going on? The Felix cartoons of this era are widely believed to run about four minutes each. The ones in this set run about seven minutes, almost twice as long. Possibly each episode was originally run in two parts. In that case, there would really have been 260 parts, making up 130 two- part episodes.
John Canemaker, in Felix: The Twisted Tale of the World's Most Famous Cat, writes that Joe Oriolo's original plan was to create 260 episodes that could run as four minute individual episodes or a continuing quarter hour, depending on the station format. Many cartoons of the time ran as "cliff-hangers", multi- part stories that dropped off at the end of the episode, including Ruff and Reddy, Crusader Rabbit, and Underdog. This was so that the clowns and spacemen who were the live hosts of kids' TV could sprinkle cartoon shorts throughout their shows, which ran from Fresno to Binghamton. Oriolo's revival cartoon arguably had little to do with the original Pat Sullivan/ Otto Mesmer film shorts, but it was Joe who gave Felix his magic bag along with the show's personnel, which included the Professor, Poindexter, Rock Bottom, and Master Cylinder. Oriolo tried to follow the Hanna- Barbera successes of limited animation, and deliberately aimed his show at kids, which may be why it has remained such a favorite.
This set is beautifully packaged, with a graphic of the iconic cat on the cover, and includes a list of episodes. The case opens like a book and contains two one- sided discs. The plastic around the discs isn't very strong, and my set arrived with the plastic broken, but the discs still played OK. Disc one opens with ads for Rocky and Bullwinkle DVD sets and the Veggie Tales movie, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, and includes 16 Felix episodes running about seven minutes each, for a total disc running time of 120 minutes.
Disc two includes the remaining 15 episodes and three special features. These features are the same as on the Felix the Cat Collectors' Edition issued in 2001 through Sony Wonder. They include the first Felix cartoon, "Feline Follies" from 1919; an excellent interview with John Canemaker on the history of Felix called "Through the Ages"; and an archival promo reel for stations to use, including an ad in French and a black and white ad in Spanish (The Collector's Edition also included other features not on this set). The second disc running time is 112 minutes. The Collector's Edition included ten episodes on a single one- sided disc. On this set they are episodes number 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 10, 21, 27, 29, and 30.
The episodes include;
Disc one: 1. The Magic Bag; 2. Into Outer Space; 3. Abominable Snowman; 4. Felix Out West; 5. Electronic Brainwasher; 6. Felix the Cat Suit; 7. Do- It- Yourself Monster Book; 8. Blubberino the Whale; 9. Ghostly Concert; 10. Captain No- Kiddin'; 11. Felix in Egypt; 12. Detective Thinking Hat; 13. Balloon Blower Machine; 14. Friday the 13th; 15. Stone Making Machine; 16. Penelope the Elephant.
Disc Two: 17. The Money Tree; 18. Oil and Indians Don't Mix; 19. The Glittering Jewels; 20. The Gold Car and County Fair; 21. Sheriff Felix VS. the Gas Cloud; 22. Felix's Gold Mine; 23. How to Steal a Gold Mine?; 24. Private Eye Felix and Pierre Mustache; 25. The Gold Fruit Tree; 26. The Flying Saucer; 27. Felix Baby- Sits; 28. Instant Money; 29. Master Cylinder- King of the Moon; 30. The Invisible Professor; 31. Venus and the Master Cylinder.