Cats have been a staple of animated cartoons about as long as there have been animated cartoons: think of Felix, Sylvester and Tom. More recently, British animator Simon Tofield has created “Simon’s Cat,” a series of cartoons and books in which a gluttonous house cat will do whatever it takes to get his owner to feed him. It’s slapstick humor, feline style.
Tofield spent years producing animated commercials for various companies. In 2008 he wanted to teach himself how to use Adobe Flash and realized that an idea he had kicking around in his head — a short animated film about a cat — would be the perfect project. His own cats were the source of inspiration for the project: Jess, Maisie, Teddy, and most especially, the ever-mischevous Hugh.
As he told the Washington Post, “Living with four cats provides an endless source of inspirational material. Cats are such expressive animals, who tell you what they think through body language. So they make great subjects for animation. All of my cats have played a role in providing antics for basing stories around.”
In the decade since, Tofield has produced dozens of Simon’s Cat animated shorts, a newspaper comic, books, and even a video game. He uses new technology to make the animated films but a traditional technique, drawing each frame by hand. It takes upward of 25 drawings for one second of animation.
Tofield’s latest addition to his feline empire is a series called “Simon’s Cat Logic.” It uses a mix of animation and live action to explain what makes cats tick, why they behave the way they do, and how to keep them happy and healthy. Tofield narrates and is joined by cat behaviorist Nicky Trevorrow. An episode called “What do cats want for Christmas?” is posted below — it’s all about enjoying a safe holiday season with your cat.
Are you a fan of Simon’s Cat? Have any funny tales of feline hijinks at Christmastime? Let’s hear from you in the comments at Facebook and don’t forget to like and share.