21.11.09

SIMON'S CAT

A cartoon of Simon Tofield's cat has become
one of the most-watched videos ever
posted on YouTube.

Hugh has become an internet celebrity after the
London-based illustrator focused his animations
on the antics of his cheeky feline friend.

He said: "I basically sat down one day and thought
I'd teach myself to use some new computer animation.
That morning Hugh, who was then a tiny kitten, had
been jumping all over me - pulling my ears and
scratching me, trying to wake me up for his breakfast.
So I decided to do a little film of a cat trying to wake
its owner. I made it up as I went along."

Over 45 million people are thought to have viewed
the videos in a little over a year, with Mr Tofield
being offered book deals as a result.

The Simon's Cat book was published in October
- and although Mr Tofield has not made
money from the YouTube hits, he describes
the book deal as "a dream come true".

He has also created a website and a
YouTube channel dedicated to his cat.

Mr Tofield said that it takes him six weeks
to create a minute and a half of animation,
and one week to do the sound.


He says the animations have a broad appeal
due to their slapstick, old fashioned comedy
values. "He's worked out how to twist me round
his paw," Mr Tofield admitted. I think a lot of
cat owners can relate to that."


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