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Western Animation / The Yankee Doodle Mouse

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War. War never changes. Especially not between a cat and mouse.
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The Yankee Doodle Mouse is a 1943 cartoon directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, starring Tom and Jerry. It won the 1943 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

This is a Wartime Cartoon (the closest Tom and Jerry ever got to the trope), with Tom and Jerry's antics having a wartime theme. At the beginning Tom is chasing Jerry when Jerry retreats into the basement and gains the safety of his "Cat Raid Shelter" (i.e., his mousehole). From that point on Tom and Jerry battle in a manner suggestive of warfare, with Jerry flinging "hen grenades" (eggs) and firing off champagne corks in a manner suggestive of artillery. Finally Tom grabs Jerry and ties him to a firework pointed at the sky, only for Jerry to trick Tom and tie his hand to the firework instead.

The violence-for-violence's-sake in this cartoon, rather than any suggestion that Tom might want to eat Jerry, is reminiscent of the Itchy And Scratchy segments on The Simpsons that were inspired by Tom & Jerry.

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Tropes:

  • Ash Face: Tom with the standard ashy face after a firework blows up in front of him.
  • Blackface: Tom sticks his head in a teakettle just as the firecracker inside it explodes, leaving Tom looking like a blackface sunflower. Until June 28, 2002 on Cartoon Network, this cartoon aired with the scene being censored.
  • Delayed Explosion: Jerry is trapped in a teakettle with a firework. The fuse burns down but the firework doesn't go off. Jerry escapes the teakettle. A mystified Tom peeks inside, and the firework goes off, leading to the aforementioned Blackface.
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Non-verbally. Tom and Jerry are frantically throwing a hissing stick of dynamite back and forth at each other. Suddenly Jerry flips the script by pretending to insist on keeping the stick of dynamite. Tom falls for it, snatching the dynamite back from Jerry. They do this a couple of times until Tom is left with the dynamite as it explodes.
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  • Fantastic Fireworks: A single firework manages to create a giant American flag up in the sky.
  • Fatal Fireworks: Tom and Jerry shoot fireworks back and forth to each other like rockets.
  • Matryoshka Object: Tom is cornered by a gigantic firework that is as big as he is. It proceeds to split open and unwind open a series of smaller fireworks until only a tiny little nub of a firecracker is left. Tom picks it up and laughs, until the tiny firework goes off in a gigantic explosion.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: Like most T&J shorts.
  • Shout-Out:
    • At the beginning of the cartoon, after Jerry causes Tom to sink in a washtub, he sends a note to headquarters saying "Sighted cat, sank same", which is based on the famous saying "Sighted sub, sank same".
    • In the original release, there was a deleted scene where once Jerry brings a wrench down on Tom and is used to wet stamps, another note reads "ENEMY GETS IN A FEW GOOD LICKS!" This is based on a famous saying "Enemy gets in a few good kicks".
    • At the end, "Lt. Jerry" salutes the American flag made by the large exploding firework, then sends another note back to headquarters saying "SEND MORE CATS!" This is a shout-out to the famous message sent by the Marines at Wake Island, who, after repelling a Japanese landing attempt on December 8, 1941 despite being massively outnumbered and outgunned, sent back a message to Pearl Harbor saying "Send more Japs!"
  • Strapped to a Rocket: Tom attempts to do this to Jerry, but Jerry grabs the string and ties Tom's hand to the rocket, sending Tom zooming out into the stratosphere.
  • Wartime Cartoon: The whole short is war-themed. Jerry zooms around in a milk carton glider on a ramp that looks like a fighter plane, throwing eggs (bombs) and dropping bananas (torpedoes). There is also the occasional "slogan" showing such as "That friendly rat may tell the cat" and "Shut your trap"

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