Tom and Jerry is a classic series of cartoon short films first made in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera (Hanna-Barbera).
During its original run, Hanna-Barbera produced 114 shorts for MGM from 1940 to 1958. In the mid-1960s, Chuck Jones (of Looney Tunes fame) produced 34 more shorts for MGM.
Why It Rocks Edit
- MGM animation in its purest form.
- One of the original slapstick duos of the animated world.
- Memorable and likable characters such as Tom, Jerry, Spike, Butch and Nibbles.
- Despite them almost never talking, it was very easy to understand both Tom and Jerry's personalities.
- Practically invented cartoon violence.
- Clever use of Squash & Stretch to make the pain more credible.
- Several spin-offs including The Tom and Jerry Kids Show, Tom and Jerry Tales and The Tom and Jerry Show (2014).
- Tom's famous screaming sound effect (which was done by William Hanna himself).
- The Chuck Jones era from 1963-1967, Tom and Jerry Tales, and The Tom and Jerry Show (2014 series) are very faithful to the franchise.
- In several episodes, Tom and Jerry put their differences aside to achieve a certain goal, but only go back being arch rivals again.
- Many hilarious chases involving not only Tom and Jerry, but with Spike and other characters as well.
- The formula of slapstick and a cat and a mouse chasing and beating each other is handled very well.
Bad Qualities Edit
- Unfortunately, after the success of the very first Tom and Jerry cartoon, Puss Gets the Boot, the executive producer of MGM animation, Fred Quimby, does not like the cat and mouse duo. He told William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, not to create anymore cartoons involving both half-pint roughhousing, rampaging wild animals. But the following year, Quimby received the letter from the film distributor in Texas, saying that new cartoons be created with the cat and mouse. Fred Quimby later quickly changed his mind about cat and mouse cartoons.
- The Gene Deitch era from 1961-1962 was heavily panned by many fans and critics and is inferior to the classic era from 1940-1958 and the Chuck Jones era from 1963-1967.
- Even though the Chuck Jones era is a major upgrade from the Gene Deitch era, the slapstick plays it safe a good amount of the time in these shorts.
- Like many other American cartoons from the 40's-50's, some episodes have racist stereotypes, the most notable being the African-American maid Mammy Two-Shoes. These are often removed when they are shown on TV after segregation against black people in America had come to an end in 1965 with the help of Martin Luther King Jr..
- The opposite effect also happens... by whitewashing mammy two shows. Combating racism with racism is not really a thing kids Television does post-MLK death.
- The theatrical feature film (despite being a cult classic), the crossover with the Wizard of Oz, and the crossover with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory didn't do very well with both critics and fans.
- The first two television programs in the franchise, 1975's The Tom and Jerry Show and Filmation's The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show were negatively panned by fans, who consider them the dark eras of the franchise.
- There was an episode called "Blue Cat Blues" where Tom and Jerry commit suicide by letting a train run over them on railroad tracks because of the losses of their girlfriends. It is considered one of the WORST cartoons in the series. It also gave birth to an urban legend that it was originally supposed to be the final episode of the original series, but that was really a Creepypasta based on the cartoon.
- In fact, some of the episodes actually had Tom die. Thankfully, there was no gore.
- Aside from Tom's notorious owner from the Gene Deitch era, there were other bad characters like Jeannie the Babysitter and Nancy (The girl from Baby Puss), along with some other bad episodes like Tot Watchers, one of the worst cartoon episodes to end the 1940-1958 era.
- Tom and Jerry was also popular in Germany.
Tom and Jerry is one of the most popular animated franchises in existence and is still widely popular today.
The series won 7 Academy Awards/Oscars.