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Western Animation / The Night Before Christmas (1941)

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The Night Before Christmas is a 1941 animated short film (8 minutes) directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.

It is a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Tom and Jerry are up to their usual antics. It's Christmas Eve, and Jerry creeps out of his Mouse Hole and has fun for a while, bouncing around a teddy bear and goofing with a stuffed lion. But eventually he draws the attention of Tom, who chases him around for a while. Jerry winds up fleeing the house, exiting through the mail slot in the door—and then the cartoon takes a surprising turn.


  • Blowing a Raspberry: Jerry blows several strawberries, one of which being at Tom during one of their chases.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: Tom has won, locking Jerry outside, where Jerry is going to freeze to death. But his conscience gets the better of him, so he opens the door and brings Jerry back inside.
  • Christmas Episode: Besides the heartwarming ending, this cartoon isn't as violent as most of the Tom and Jerry oeuvre.
  • Circling Birdies: Circling stars as Jerry whacks his head while leaving his mouse hole.
  • Harmless Electrocution: In two different ways. Jerry jumps into the electric light socket of a Christmas ornament and merely lights up. Tom grabs Jerry, and of course Tom is shocked, but in cartoon fashion he recovers.
  • Harmless Freezing: When Tom pulls Jerry out of the snow Jerry is encased in a block of ice. But he's OK after Tom sticks him into the fire.
  • Low Clearance: Jerry is making his escape from Tom by riding the model train under the tree. He turns to stick his tongue out at Tom, and thus misses the railway tunnel, which knocks him off the train.
  • Mouse Trap: Towards the beginning and end of the short, we see a mousetrap by Jerry's Mouse Hole. He also pulls another mousetrap out of Tom's bowl of milk. As a Brick Joke, Jerry uses a candy cane to snatch the cheese from the trap by his hole, which then snares slowly while playing music like a music box.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: In order to hide from Tom, Jerry stands to attention along a line of toy soldiers. Unfortunately, he still sticks out because the soldiers tower over him.
  • Oddball in the Series: A rare example of a T&J cartoon which ends on a truce and a legitimately heartwarming Happy Ending for both of them.
  • Red Boxing Gloves: A few reddish boxing gloves appear, with Jerry using one of them to attack Tom.
  • Trampoline Tummy: A variant when Jerry jumps on a stuffed lion's abdomen.
  • Under the Mistletoe: Jerry stops Tom from chasing him by holding up a mistletoe and making a cute smoochy face at him. Tom then blushes and turns away shyly, only to have Jerry kick him in the rear.