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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. It's Christmas Eve and Tom and Jerry are up to their usual antics. 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.


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Tropes:

  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: 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.
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  • Oddball in the Series: A rare example of a T&J cartoon where Tom wins, and an even rarer example of one where they make friends in the end.
  • 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.
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