TOM AND JERRY

 

In the world of animated film, the partnership of Tom and Jerry has a special claim to eminence. Tom is unquestionably the best-known cat, beating out Sylvester, Tweety Pie's enemy, by several lengths, and Jerry, Tom's faithful tormentor, is unrivaled in his diabolical ingenuity.
For twenty-seven years, from 1940 to 1967, Tom and Jerry's adventures accompanied some of MGM's finest films. This prestigious series, with its wealth of 161 titles, divides into three periods:

1940-1957: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
1960-1962: Gene Deitch
1963-1967: Chuck Jones

While the last two periods occured during the decline of the American animated cartoon, the first seventeen years of production represent dazzling artistic genius.

The series won seven Academy Awards:

1943 - The Yankee Doodle Mouse
1944 - Mouse Trouble
1945 - Quiet Please
1946 - The Cat Concerto
1949 - The Little Orphan
1952 - The Two Mouseketeers
1953 - Johann Mouse

On these pages you will find several production-drawings and a production-cel from the first period of Tom & Jerry cartoons. Every animation fan has a favorite Tom & Jerry cartoon from this era which he touts as "the best". But there are so many good shorts in the series that these judgements reflect the individuals' tastes, rather than the quality of the films.

I hope you'll enjoy my website, and if you have anything to add or any other comments, please e-mail me: hwalther@xs4all.nl

Hans Walther


All images © and TM of the respective studios.

You can click on the thumbnails to see larger images.

   
drw-mammy2shoes.jpg (31807 bytes)

THE LONESOME MOUSE (1943)
Production drawing. Production 89, scene 54, nr. 228: Mammy Two Shoes tries to hit Jerry with a broom, an animators extreme from this 1943 theatrical Tom & Jerry short, signed by the creators of Tom & Jerry: Wlliam Hanna and Joseph Barbera.
Hanna-Barbera Animation Art Serial Number: LM 856.

Mammy Two Shoes, also known as The Black Maid made her first appearance in the very first Tom & Jerry cartoon: "Puss Gets the Boot" (1940). In this film Tom is called Jasper and Jerry doesn't have a name. While Tom and Jerry developed quite rapidly, changing even the way they look, Mammy Two Shoes kept the same accent and drawl and, for most of the time, the same clothes: slippers, flower-printed bathrobe and stockings with reinforced or darned heels. The face of Mammy Two Shoes was deliberately hidden. We usually see only the lower half of her body; the black maid's chin appeared once, as an exception, in "Part Time Pal", and the film's last shot showed Mammy Two Shoes far in the distance, pursuing Tom without being able to see her features clearly.

The Tom & Jerry cartoons in which Mammy Two Shoes appeared:

1940 - Puss Gets the Boot
1941 - The Midnight Snack
1942 - Fraidy Cat
1942 - Dog Trouble
1942 - Puss 'n' Toots
1943 - The Lonesome Mouse
1945 - The Mouse Comes to Dinner
1947 - Part Time Pal
1947 - A Mouse in the House
1948 - Old Rockin' Chair Tom
1948 - Mouse Cleaning
1949 - Polka-Dot Puss
1949 - The Little Orphan
1950 - Saturday Evening Puss
1950 - The Framed Cat
1951 - Sleepy-Time Tom
1952 - Triplet Trouble
1952 - Push-Button Kitty

drw-tom-mouseclean.jpg (33830 bytes)

MOUSE CLEANING (1948)
Production drawing. Production 182, scene 28: Tom looks terrified (at Jerry juggling with eggs).
Animated by Kenneth Muse.
This is the matching drawing of the one of Jerry.

I found this drawing years after I found the drawing of Jerry, but was very pleased to find out that they were not only from the same film, but also from the same shot, where both Tom and Jerry appear at the same time! If you look it up on the video, you can see that the two drawings only differ ONE frame from each other. Considering that William Hanna and Joseph Barbera directed a total of 127(!) Tom and Jerry cartoons, that's pretty amazing.

drw-jerry-mouseclean.jpg (21098 bytes)

MOUSE CLEANING (1948)
Production drawing with spacing charts. Production 182, scene 28, nr. 80: Jerry juggles with eggs, an animators extreme from this 1948 theatrical Tom & Jerry short, signed by the creators of Tom & Jerry: the legendary directing team William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.
Animated by Kenneth Muse.
Hanna-Barbera Animation Art Serial Number: MC 252.

This drawing was released in an official art program of the Hanna-Barbera Studio, and therefore carries the Hanna-Barbera Seal of Authenticity and the signatures of both the directors.
Years later I found the matching drawing of Tom at a totally different gallery. This drawing wasn't released during the official art program, and also has no stamp or signatures.
The letters 'LC' on the stand for 'long cel', which means that the drawing had to be inked onto a long cel, along which the camera could pan.

drw-jerry-catconcerto.jpg (35758 bytes)

THE CAT CONCERTO (1946)
Production drawing of Jerry as he turns the knob on the musicstool, which propels Tom into the air.

Production 165 - scene 36 - nr. 7.
Animated by Irv Levine, who at that time was officially still Kenneth Muse's assistant.
The letters "REG" stand for 'register to background', which is part of the musicstool where Tom is sitting on.

"The Cat Concerto", which was released on April 26th 1947, was the fourth Tom & Jerry cartoon to win an Academy Award (in 1946!).

opd-CatConcertoTom.jpg (25887 bytes)

THE CAT CONCERTO (1946)
Production drawing of Tom on the musicstool, which is turned upwards (by Jerry, of course).

I bought this drawing of Tom on the piano stool mainly because it sort of matches the drawing above of Jerry turning the knob. It was a real bargain, and it gave me the opportunity to double-frame the two drawings. I also have the exact matching drawing of Jerry, but that one only features Jerryís hands and a small part of his head.

opc-jerry.jpg (40712 bytes)

NIT-WITTY KITTY (1952)
Production cel of Jerry (on a non-matching laser background) from this wonderful short cartoon. This scene appears at the very end, where Tom receives a beating from Mammy Two Shoes. Itís a wonderful little cel. Donít let the background fool you; that one is from a totally different cartoon.

It took me some time to find out from what cartoon this cel was, but luckily I got a little help from a Tom & Jerry fan, who saw this image on my website, and was able to point out the exact cartoon.

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