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10 Years Of Simon's Cat : A Web Animation watch Special

It's hard to believe it, but it has been a whole decade since the first episode of Simon's Cat first burst on to the scene. The creation of British animator Simon Tofield,  it has gone on from humble beginnings to become one of the most popular animated channels on YouTube, with over 4.7 million subscribers.

The wide appeal of the shorts was clear from the off. It was pretty much fully formed in the first two shorts, Cat Man Do and Let Me In. Made in a simple, hand-drawn black and white style, it depicted the relationship between Simon's animated alter-ego and his unnamed cat. They play equally well around the world too, as their lack of dialogue makes them universal.

The shorts were cute as a button and very funny, but what really makes them special is how perfectly they reflect real-life feline behaviour. Anyone who has ever known and loved (I hesitate to say 'owned') a cat will recognise them here. The behaviour and body language that the cat displayed could only come from animators who know them well. Added on top is just the right amount of exaggeration for comic effect. It's hardly surprising then, that the antics of Simon's Cat were inspired by Tofield's real-life furry friends.

Off the back of the success of the early shorts, Tofield was able to launch a company. While the first shorts were animated by Tofield alone, today they are made by a small team. As well as the shorts, they've also produced related informational videos (including a series on cat behaviour), launched a series of best-selling books and moved into games and apps. And of course, there's a successful line of merchandise, including everything from greetings cards, calendars, cat beds- and of course Simon's cat plush toys.

In 2015 the series made its first leap into full-colour with the 11-minute special Off To The Vets. The short film was funded via a successful IndieGoGo campaign, and initially available only to backers. In October 2017 it was released via the YouTube Channel.

After 10 years, the series is still going strong, with new black and white shorts released roughly every couple of months. Over the course of the decade, there have been more than 75 shorts released. The animation quality became slicker over time. The cast has grown, later introducing a kitten, a dog, and various other lovable critters. What more, the future is looking even brighter. In an interview to mark the anniversary (released as a podcast via Skwigly) Tolfield revealed that a Simon's Cat TV series is now in production.

So Happy Birthday Simon's Cat- and congratulations on the last 10 years. We look forward to enjoying your antics for many more years to come.

The Essential Simon's Cat

Cat Man Do

This is where it all began. The episode that introduced us to Simon and his Cat, and inadvertently started a phenomenon.

Let Me In

The second episode further established the character- in a way that will resonate with any cat lover.

Double Trouble

The episode that introduces the kitten.  Double the trouble, double the cuteness.

Suitcase / Bedsheets

These two episodes make an ideal pair. They will be both be incredibly familiar to anyone who has ever tried to pack a suitcase or change bedsheets with feline "help".

Crazy Time

As with so many Simon's Cat shorts, this will have fans both laughing and nodding in recognition. Why do cats do that?

Off To The Vets

The first full-colour film is considerably longer than usual at 11-minutes. Any worries that it would lose something in its expansion to longer-form storytelling are quickly put to bed. This is every bit as charming and funny as ever. The full-colour animation is gorgeous- but a black and white version has also been released for any purists out there!

See all the shorts here. Find out more at the Offical Simon's Cat website.