Western Animation: Tom and Jerry
Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse, the stars of a long-running series of short theatrical cartoons produced by MGM
during The Golden Age of Animation
, were the first characters created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
. In the first short, "Puss Gets the Boot
" (1940), the cat's name was Jasper and the mouse was not named in the short, but was originally dubbed Jinx
by the animatorsnote
The characters acquired their permanent names in an in-house contest held by MGM, with animator John Carr submitting the winning entry. Carr may have been inspired by the names of the two young tearaways in the 19th Century Life in London
stories by Pierce Egan, or perhaps by the eggnog-like beverage known as "Tom and Jerry" (itself named after Egan's characters), or possibly even by the earlier, human animated duo created by Van Beuren Studios
in the '30s. In any event, the Tom and Jerry
series went on to become one of the most popular and successful of all time, with seven of its shorts winning Academy Awards
. The only other theatrical animated series to win as many Oscars was Disney
's Silly Symphonies
After MGM's animation unit closed in 1957, Hanna and Barbera started their TV animation studio
. No new Tom and Jerry
cartoons were produced until MGM revived the series in the early 1960s, contracting it to Czechoslovakian-based Gene Deitch.
In 1965, CBS
began broadcasting a Tom and Jerry Animated Anthology
on Saturday mornings. Two years earlier, Chuck Jones
began directing another series of theatrical Tom and Jerry
shorts, taking over from Deitch and bringing production of the series back to Hollywood.
In 1975-77, Hanna-Barbera
produced a less violent Tom and Jerry Animated Anthology
series for ABC-TV
, supported by a new character, the Great Grape Ape. This was followed in the early 1980s by Filmation
's version on CBS, which used the classic slapstick
formula. Another series, Tom And Jerry Kids
, ran on the Fox network from 1990 to 1993. From 2006 to 2008, the CW network's animation block included Tom and Jerry Tales
, which continued with the slapstick humor of the theatrical shorts, as did a series of direct-to-video films. Tom and Jerry Tales
was canceled after 4KidsTV took over Kids WB, but the movies have continued.Warner Bros.
acquired the rights to Tom and Jerry after purchasing Turner Broadcasting System, which in 1986 had purchased MGM's entire pre-1986 library. Interestingly, since then it seems like Warner has been treating Tom and Jerry better than their own Looney Tunes
(probably due, in part, to the commercial bombing of Looney Tunes: Back in Action
). Tom and Jerry has been the only classic cartoon series to air consistently on Cartoon Network
. Since acquiring the rights to Tom and Jerry, Warner has produced several direct-to-video movies - and Tom and Jerry Tales
- which, for the most part, stay true to the classic Tom and Jerry form. After which came the 2014's version of The Tom and Jerry Show
, which is made in Adobe Flash
but otherwise continues the usual format of the series.
On a side note, a feature length Tom and Jerry film
was released in 1992, and the less said about that, the better
. There have also been some direct-to-video feature length Tom and Jerry films released since which are much closer to the premise.
Oh, and don't confuse them with that other Tom And Jerry
. It'll save you a lot of trouble.
Notable shorts include:
- Puss Gets the Boot (1940): The debut of the characters, and the short that establishes the series formula. Oscar Nominee.
- The Night Before Christmas: Nominated for the 1941 Academy Award for cartoon shorts.
- The Yankee Doodle Mouse (1943): First T&J short to win an Oscar.
- Mouse Trouble: Won the 1944 Oscar.
- Mouse in Manhattan (1945)
- Quiet Please! Won the 1945 Oscar.
- The Cat Concerto (1947): One of The 50 Greatest Cartoons. Won the 1947 Oscar.
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse: 1947 Oscar nominee.
- Mouse Cleaning (1948): Runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons.
- The Little Orphan: Won the 1949 Oscar.
- Hatch Up Your Troubles: 1949 Oscar nominee.
- Jerry's Cousin: 1951 Oscar nominee.
- The Two Mouseketeers: Won the 1952 Oscar.
- Johann Mouse: Won the 1953 Oscar.
- Puss Gets the Boot: Debut of Tom and Jerry, although they are called Jasper and Jynx in this meant-to-be oneshot cartoon.
- The Midnight Snack: First short where Tom and Jerry are dubbed as such. First official Tom and Jerry cartoon.
- The Night Before Christmas: Nominated for the 1941 Academy Award for cartoon short subjects.
- Fraidy Cat
- Dog Trouble: First appearance of Spike the Bulldog.
- Puss n' Toots
- The Bowling Alley Cat
- Fine Feathered Friend
- Sufferin' Cats!
- The Lonesome Mouse: First T&J short in which they talk.
- The Yankee Doodle Mouse: First T&J short to win the Academy Award.
- Baby Puss: First appearance of Butch and Topsy the cats.
- The Zoot Cat
- The Million Dollar Cat: The first time Tom defeats Jerry.
- The Bodyguard: Spike speaks for the first time.
- Puttin' on the Dog
- Mouse Trouble: Won the 1944 cartoon Academy Award.
- The Mouse Comes to Dinner
- Mouse in Manhattan: A Lower Deck Episode centered solely on Jerry visiting Manhattan, New York, with Tom only appearing briefly in the opening and ending. Notably uses the song "Manhattan Serenade" for almost all of the picture.
- Anchors Aweigh: An otherwise unrelated theatrical film which includes a sequence featuring Tom and Jerry.
- Tee for Two
- Flirty Birdy
- Quiet Please!: Won the 1945 cartoon Academy Award.
- Springtime for Thomas
- The Milky Waif: First appearance of Nibbles.
- Trap Happy
- Solid Serenade
- Kitty Foiled: First appearance of the Canary.
- The Truce Hurts
- Old Rockin' Chair Tom
- Professor Tom
- Mouse Cleaning: One of the two "banned" Tom and Jerry shorts. Jerry Beck claims that it will be included, restored, in a future collection to make up for its removal from the Spotlight Collections. The short is still aired on TV, albeit edited to remove the (fairly lengthy) scene of Tom in blackface.
- Polka-Dot Puss
- The Little Orphan: Won the 1949 Academy Award for cartoons.
- Hatch Up Your Troubles: Nominated for the Academy Award.
- Heavenly Puss
- The Cat and the Mermouse
- Love That Pup: First appearance of Tyke.
- Jerry's Diary: Compilation film containing footage from "Tee for Two", "Mouse Trouble", "Solid Serenade" and "The Yankee Doodle Mouse".
- Tennis Chumps
- Little Quacker: First appearance of Quacker.
- Saturday Evening Puss: Only time we get a chance to see the face of Mammy Two Shoes, but only as a freeze-frame bonus.
- Texas Tom
- Jerry and the Lion
- Safety Second
- Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl
- The Framed Cat
- Cue Ball Cat
- Casanova Cat: The second of the two "banned" shorts, although a future DVD release is planned. The short is still aired on TV, albeit edited to remove the (lengthy) scene of Jerry in blackface.
- Jerry and the Goldfish
- Jerry's Cousin: Nominated for the 1951 cartoon Academy Award.
- Sleepy-Time Tom
- His Mouse Friday
- Slicked-up Pup
- Nit-Witty Kitty
- Cat Napping
- The Flying Cat
- The Duck Doctor
- The Two Mouseketeers: Won the 1952 cartoon Academy Award.
- Smitten Kitten: Another compilation film, using footage from "Salt Water Tabby", "The Mouse Comes to Dinner", "Texas Tom" and "Solid Serenade".
- Triplet Trouble
- Little Runaway
- Fit to Be Tied
- Push-Button Kitty: Final appearance of Mammy Two-Shoes.
- Cruise Cat: Contains footage from Texas Tom.
- The Dog House
- The Missing Mouse
- Jerry and Jumbo
- Johann Mouse: Won the 1953 cartoon Academy Award. Last T&J to win the Academy Award.
- That's My Pup!
- Dangerous When Wet: An otherwise unrelated theatrical film which includes a sequence featuring Tom and Jerry.
- Just Ducky
- Two Little Indians
- Life With Tom: Yet another compilation film. Uses footage from "Cat Fishin", "The Little Orphan" and "Kitty Foiled". Final appearance of the Canary.
- Puppy Tale
- Posse Cat
- Hic-cup Pup
- Little School Mouse
- Baby Butch
- Mice Follies
- Neapolitan Mouse
- Downhearted Duck
- Pet Peeve: First T&J to be produced in Cinemascope.
- Touché, Pussy Cat!: "Prequel" of "The Two Mouseketeers".
- Southbound Duckling
- Pup on a Picnic
- Mouse for Sale
- Designs on Jerry
- Tom and Cherie: A follow up to "Touche, Pussy Cat!"
- Smarty Cat: Compilation film, uses footage from "Solid Serenade", Cat Fishin" and "Fit to be Tied".
- Pecos Pest: Last T&J not in Cinemascope (until Gene Deitch).
- That's My Mommy
- The Flying Sorceress
- The Egg and Jerry: Shot for Shot Remake of "Hatch Up Your Troubles".
- Busy Buddies
- Muscle Beach Tom
- Down Bear Bear
- Blue Cat Blues
- Barbeque Brawl
- Tops With Pops: Shot for Shot Remake of "Love That Pup".
- Give and Tyke: A Tom and Jerry-less short, giving the spotlight to Spike and Tyke.
- Timid Tabby
- Feedin' the Kiddie: Shot for Shot Remake of "The Little Orphan".
- Scat Cats: Another Tom and Jerry-less short, once again giving the spotlight to Spike and Tyke.
- Mucho Mouse
- Tom's Photo Finish
- Happy Go Ducky
- Royal Cat Nap: A follow up to "Tom and Cherie"
- The Vanishing Duck
- Robin Hoodwinked
- Tot Watchers: Sequel to "Busy Buddies", and the last of the original Tom and Jerry cartoons produced before the MGM cartoon studio shut down.
- Switchin' Kitten: First of the Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry cartoons.
- Down and Outing
- It's Greek to Me-Ow
- High Steaks
- Mouse Into Space
- Landing Stripling
- Calypso Cat
- Dicky Moe
- The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit
- Tall in the trap
- Sorry Safari
- Buddies Thicker Than Water
- Carmen Get It!: Final Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry cartoon.
- Pent-House Mouse: First of the Chuck Jones Tom and Jerry shorts.
- The Cat Above and the Mouse Below
- Is There A Doctor In The Mouse?
- Much Ado About Mousing
- Snowbody Loves Me
- The Unshrinkable Jerry Mouse
- Ah, Sweet Mouse-Story of Life
- Tom-ic Energy
- Bad Day at Cat Rock
- The Brothers Carry-Mouse-Off
- Haunted Mouse
- I'm Just Wild About Jerry
- Of Feline Bondage
- The Year of the Mouse: Remake of a Hubey and Bertie cartoon Chuck made for Looney Tunes.
- The Cat's Me-Ouch!
- Duel Personality
- Jerry, Jerry, Quite Contrary
- Love Me, Love My Mouse
- Puss 'n' Boats
- Filet Meow
- Matinee Mouse
- The A-Tom-Inable Snowman
- Cat and Dupli-cat
- O-Solar Meow
- Guided Mouse-ille
- Rock 'n' Rodent
- Cannery Rodent
- The Mouse from H.U.N.G.E.R.
- Surf-Bored Cat
- Shutter Bugged Cat
- Advance and Be Mechanized
- Purr-Chance to Dream: Last Classic Tom and Jerry cartoon.
- Tom and Jerry's Funhouse debuts on TBS Superstation (WTBS-TV Atlanta). It features Tom and Jerry shorts, And it also features Looney Tunes, Popeye, Pink Panther, Droopy (and other MGM cartoons by Tex Avery), and the only live action short: The Three Stooges. Ended in 1995.
- Hanna-Barbera's 50th: A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration: TV special featuring Tom and Jerry.
- Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars: Direct-to-Video film.
- The Karate Guard: Last Tom and Jerry short.
- Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry: Direct-to-Video film.
- Tom and Jerry: Theatrical film. (Yes, they're gonna try again. Hopefully this one will be more faithful to the material.)