Simon's Cat and His Talented Creator Simon Tofield

Updated on February 20, 2018
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Catherine adores cats of all kinds and appreciates the nuances of feline communication, their intelligence and unintended silliness.

Cats are among my favorites in life. They run the gamut from playful and silly to dramatic and arrogant. They are excellent communicators but only to those who take the time to notice the nuances. Cat lovers who are attuned to their felines will be generously rewarded with true affection and companionship peppered with humor and unpredictability.

My early morning habit is checking e-mail while enjoying my cup of coffee. I savor the peace and quiet before the rest of the family wakes up. I happened to open a link to a YouTube posting entitled Cat Man Do and found myself spewing latte and laughing aloud! Rarely have I seen anyone nail cat behavior so perfectly! This was my introduction to the creative genius of Simon Tofield, and I continue to be a huge fan today.

Tofield is a British animator and the director of Tandem Films, a commercial studio in London. Cat Man Do was his first flash-animated film short about a hungry cat's attempts to wake up his owner. It won Best Comedy in the 2008 British Animation Awards. It was also this serendipitous effort inspired by his own kitten, Hugh, that went on to launch the character of "Simon's Cat."

What had started as practice with new animation software ended up going viral after someone absconded with the video. Little did he know at the time that this first post on YouTube would get 3 million hits. Apparently there are many other cat fans in cyberspace!

The animated short that started it all:

Simon's real cat inspiration:

Simon began drawing cartoons as a child and got his first cat at nine. He studied animation and graphic arts at De Montfort University in Leicester, England and started with simple animation flip books. His life-long interest in the outdoors and animals ,especially cats, has helped him develop a keen sense of feline behavior. He finds endless subjects to animate from the antics of his own four cats: Jess, Maisy, Hugh, and Teddy.

Simon, who has been drawing his cats for years, produces his computer images on a Wacom tablet with a Wacom pen then he plays them back at 25 frames per second. That's a lot of drawing! His great ear for cat language enables him to reproduce the sounds himself. They are recorded and dropped into the films by his sound engineer, Russell Pay, from Shrooty. It takes between 6-8 weeks to make an animated short.

Including Cat Man Do, he has produced 75 films and continues to introduce more on a regular basis. Among them are: Let Me In, TV Dinner, Hot Spot, Hop-it, Cat in the Box, Snow Business, Cat & Mouse, Santa Claws, and, two recommended personal favorites: Fly Guy and Hidden Treasure. He occasionally features dogs which are characteristically simple-minded and in search of food. Fed Up, a 2008 contribution to the RSPCA "Give an Animal a Voice" campaign, sends the important message to not overfeed your dogs with table scraps during the holidays. The arrival of a new kitten brings a comic twist beginning with the animation short Double Trouble, and a large and over-zealous tabby, inspired by Simon's own cat Maisy, was recently introduced in the short film Tough Love. Simon's cat remains purposely unnamed so that viewers can identify him with their own favorite felines.

In 2013, Mr.Tofield donated over $56,000.00 to a British children's hospital through the auction of his work entitled "Doodles." His devotion to stray cats is apparent in his own charities and his Sponsor-A-Cat Program. Those who may not be able to have a cat can still help fund the care of sick and needy felines.

Simon finished his first 12 minute color animation short called Off to the Vet in 2015. It was an ambitious undertaking considering his use of the traditional frame to frame process of 25 per second. The projected cost of production was $472,000.00, and he successfully raised that through crowd-funding via IndieGOGO. It went on to earn The McLaren Award for Best British Animation at the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Mr. Tofield and The Endemol Shine Group, Good Catch, just announced the 2018 release of the mobile game Simon's Cat Dash. It challenges players to collect costumed cats by outrunning dogs and acing capers throughout the house, garden, and neighborhood in search of butterflies to impress Simon's love interest. No doubt, Tofield's whimsical animation and humor will insure that it matches or exceeds that of his popular 2017 puzzle game Crunch Time.

http://gcgames.co/scfblaunch

When everyday stresses start to wear you down, take a break by viewing these hilarious online animated short films, play a game, or treat yourself to his humorous books and calendars. I guarantee they will all make you smile!

Simon's Cat Philanthropy:

Simon Tofield, through the love of his own rescued felines, has a soft spot for strays. He has started a Stray Cat Rescue and Sponsor-a Cat Program which helps to fund care for sick and needy cats.
Simon Tofield, through the love of his own rescued felines, has a soft spot for strays. He has started a Stray Cat Rescue and Sponsor-a Cat Program which helps to fund care for sick and needy cats.

This animated short is from the 2008 RSPCA campaign "Give An Animal A Voice." It highlights the cruelty and danger of overfeeding dogs with table scraps during

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Catherine Tally

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      • cat on a soapbox profile image
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        Catherine Tally 4 months ago from Los Angeles

        Thank you, Kathy! He has just released a new mobile game called Simon's Cat Dash in collaboration with the Endemol Shine Group Good Catch.

      • KatWin profile image

        Kathy Burton 4 months ago from Florida

        I love Simon Tofield’s work but knew nothing about him. Thanks for sharing!

      • cat on a soapbox profile image
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        Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

        Hi Kris:) I hope you like Hidden Treasure as much as I do! I can really relate to the stuff that accumulates under things , cat toys included- lol. I'm delighted that my hub introduced you to Simon Tofield. He's just too good! Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. I'm happy to have you as a new follower too. My best to you!

      • KrisL profile image

        KrisL 5 years ago from S. Florida

        Voted up, and funny, and shared. I had seen "Cat Man Do," but didn't know about the creator, or that there were more where that came from.

        I just watched "Hidden Treasure."

      • cat on a soapbox profile image
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        Catherine Tally 6 years ago from Los Angeles

        Hi,christin. I'm so glad that you got a good laugh! It's my pleasure to introduce you to Simon's marvelous ability to pick up the nuances of cat behavior and relate them back through his cleverly animated drawings. Cats are naturally funny, but he knows just which behaviors to highlight. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      • christin53 profile image

        Ann-Christin 6 years ago from UK

        Loved these video's really made me laugh and reminded me of cats I've had in the past.

      • cat on a soapbox profile image
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        Catherine Tally 6 years ago from Los Angeles

        Hi mooboomoo! Thank you for stopping by. I always enjoy meeting other cat lovers, especially those that can laugh at silly feline behavior. I wish Simon had a cartoon strip in the U.S. He is absolutely brilliant!

        I appreciate your comments and am glad to see you following me.

      • mooboomoo profile image

        mooboomoo 6 years ago from London

        I've been a big fan of Simon's Cat for a while now, he captures their behaviour beautifully. he does cartoon cells for some newspapers over here too and they are brilliant.

      • cat on a soapbox profile image
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        Catherine Tally 6 years ago from Los Angeles

        Hello,nifwlseirff. I agree, and laughter really is a key to good health and well-being! Thank you for your comment.

      • nifwlseirff profile image

        Kymberly Fergusson 6 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

        Simon's cat makes me laugh every time!

      • cat on a soapbox profile image
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        Catherine Tally 6 years ago from Los Angeles

        You're welcome, writingalaska! I love to meet Simon's fans. Thanks for the comment.

      • writinginalaska profile image

        writinginalaska 6 years ago from southeast Alaska

        love his stuff!! thanks for the Hub. :) lvh

      • cat on a soapbox profile image
        Author

        Catherine Tally 6 years ago from Los Angeles

        Bless you, Epi! Hugs and kisses back to Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel and a big thank you. Cat's rule!

      • epigramman profile image

        epigramman 6 years ago

        ...I so much enjoyed this - what a tribute you have paid to his great talent and in return I will post your labor of love to my FACEBOOK page with a direct link back here and by sending you warm wishes from my two best friends Little Miss Tiffy (the diva in my picture and my mum's cat) and Mister Gabriel my big all white cat who is deaf and loves going on his walks with me wearing a leash and body harness - lake erie time ontario canada 8:40pm

      • cat on a soapbox profile image
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        Catherine Tally 6 years ago from Los Angeles

        Hi Deb! I'm happy that you enjoyed watching the videos. I hope you drop by my hubpage again soon. Thanks for your comment.

      • profile image

        Deb Welch 6 years ago

        Very funny and cute - his videos are interesting. Thanks.

      • cat on a soapbox profile image
        Author

        Catherine Tally 6 years ago from Los Angeles

        I'm so glad that I introduced you to Simon's cat and that they made you smile. Thanks for stopping by!

      • gail641 profile image

        Gail Louise Stevenson 6 years ago from Mason City

        I really enjoyed the videos of Simon's Cat and I thought that they were really funny. They made me laugh! The video "Double Trouble" is real cute, funny and fun to watch. The videos are wonderful and very entertaining.

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