Tom and Jerry are celebrating 80 years of cat and mouse hijinks. Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the duo debuted in the short "Puss Gets the Boot" in 1940, though at the time they were called Jasper and Jinx.
The story of cat Tom and mouse Jerry living in the same house and constantly outsmarting each other, ended regularly with angry Tom, and Jerry managing to reach his desired destination, with lots of chasing and humorous situations.
William Hanna and Joseph Barbera are known for making theatrical short films under the banner of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).
The duo was made up in MGM's animation department, where authors William Hanna and Joseph Barbera worked to strive for the success of other studios that had success with characters like Mickey Mouse and others.
The authors who were less than 30-year old at the time, began to come up with ideas – Barbera said he liked the simple concept of a cartoon about a cat and a mouse, with conflicts and chases even though it had been done countless times before.
The first episode was released in 1940, which achieved huge success and even brought the studio an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short.
Yet, the authors were told by the managers that they should not immediately disclose all their trump cards, and the change came when one influential Texas person wrote to them asking when they would be able to see another wonderful cat and mouse cartoon.
Then Jasper and Jinks, as they were originally called, became Tom and Jerry.
According to Barbera, there was not much discussion about whether the characters would talk, but with the great success of silent films with Charlie Chaplin, the authors knew that the characters could be fun and without dialogue.
The music for the cartoon was composed by Scott Bradley and Tom's famous human-like scream was vocalised by William Hanna himself.
Over the next 20 years, Hannah and Barbera oversaw the production of more than 100 short cat and mouse cartoons and each took weeks to make and cost $50,000 each, making only a few popular cartoons each year.
In its original run, Hanna and Barbera produced 114 Tom and Jerry shorts for MGM from 1940 to 1958.
After MGM closed the animation studio in 1957, Hanna and Barbera started their production company. However, a few years later, MGM decided to revive Tom and Jerry, but without the original authors.
The production was moved to Prague due to cost reductions in 1961, with animator Jean Deitch supposed to lead the production, but lacking budget or staff.
After him, the production was taken over by Chuck Jones, whose animators made Tom with stronger eyebrows and a distorted face. His team made 34 cartoons between 1963 and 1967.
By 1970, many of the first episodes of Tom and Jerry began to be considered violent, after that they made episodes where the cat and the mouse were friends, but those episodes never achieved success as the original.
Hanna and Barbera considered Tom and Jerry "the best of enemies", whose rivalry hid an unspoken amount of mutual respect but in Tom and Jerry 1975, they were friends.
Still, Tom and Jerry are popular around the world today. China has even invented the eponymous mobile phone game that has more than 100 million users.
Four years ago, an Egyptian official tried to blame a cartoon for the rise in violence in the Middle East, while the Iranian leader compared the country's relations with the US as Tom and Jerry's.
William Hanna passed away in 2001, and Joseph Barbera passed away five years later in 2006. Tom and Jerry went on to star in 164 animated shorts produced by MGM, winning seven Academy Awards for Animated Short Film. Their popularity led to a series of spinoff shows, including The Tom and Jerry Show in 1975, The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show in 1980, Tom & Jerry Kids in 1990, Tom and Jerry Tales in 2006, and The Tom and Jerry Show, which debuted in 2014 and is still airing new episodes.
Currently, the cartoon rights to Tom and Jerry are owned by Warner Bros. and it plans to release a new movie before Christmas this year to honour the 80 years of our favourite cat and mouse. This film will be a blend of live-action and animation. It is directed by Tim Story and stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Ken Jeong, and Rob Delaney.
Tom & Jerry
His full name "Tom Cat" is based on "tomcat", a phrase which refers to male cats. Tom's personality has changed remarkably over the years, especially after the first episodes. For example, in his debut, he was quadrupedal and had normal cat intelligence. As a slapstick cartoon character, Tom has a superhuman level of elasticity. When acting as Jerry's antagonist, Tom is usually defeated (or very rarely, killed) in the end, although there are some stories where he outwits and defeats Jerry. The name "Jerry" was chosen by MGM animator John Carr, who submitted "Tom and Jerry" as potential names for the duo after an important Loew's Inc distributor in Texas asked for follow-ups to "Puss Gets the Boot." Their Jerry Mouse, an "incurable scene stealer", served more or less as the protagonist of most of the films; instead of being a "cowering victim" of his pursuer, Tom Cat, he took delight in besting, and often torturing, his antagonist.
Butch is a coarse rival to Tom as well. In the short, "Springtime for Thomas" (1946), he was known simply as "Dream Boy" (after Jerry's fake letter from Toodles), and he acted as Tom's rival for Toodles' affection. Butch is not only a love rival to Tom but a coarse opponent in simple competitions such as sports – for example in Tennis Chumps.
However, Butch is also the leader of the alley cats (usually Lightning, Topsy, and Meathead) who are friends with Tom and, at times, join him in tormenting Jerry. Butch also appears in the Tom and Jerry Tales series. In the episode "Beach Bully Bingo", he appears in red swimwear.
Spike and Tyke Bulldog
Spike is a giant bulldog with brownish-grey fur with a light brown marking that spans up to the front of his torso. In many cartoons, his fur is light grey, while his underbelly marking is white. His ears are pointed with pink insides and his tail is slender, small, and pointed as well. His only consistent article of clothing is a red, spiked dog collar. He has an anchored tattoo on his left upper arm as seen in "Quiet Please!"
Tyke is similar to his father Spike Bulldog. He has a grey coat, a red dog collar, and light blue eyes.
Mammy Two Shoes
Mammy first appeared in "Puss Gets the Boot", the first Tom and Jerry cartoon (except Tom was called "Jasper"). She is a heavy-set, middle-aged African-American woman who often has to deal with the mayhem generated by the lead characters, but whether she is the owner of the home or merely the house-keeper is never really made clear. She is based on the "Mammy" archetype that was prevalent throughout the US in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Mammy's appearances have often been edited out, dubbed, or re-animated as a slim white woman later.
In later Tom and Jerry cartoons, Jerry acquired a young ward – a small grey mouse called "Tuffy" or "Nibbles" who was left on Jerry's doorstep as a foundling baby in the 1946 short "The Milky Waif."
Nibbles was more often a speaking character than Jerry. In the "Mouseketeer" subseries, he spoke mostly in French, resorting to English whenever a slapstick humour depended on it. The only exception to this was Robin Hoodwinked where he talked purely in Saxon English and had a different, rougher voice. Nibbles looked somewhat more mature in Robin Hoodwinked as well, despite the fact that he still wore his diaper.
Quacker and Cuckoo
Quacker Jeff Duck is a recurring character in the Tom and Jerry series. He is a yellow duck. Quacker is normally getting chased by Tom in the Tom and Jerry series and Jerry is trying to save Quacker from getting eaten by Tom. He's very trusting, even of Tom who in many scenes wishes to eat him. He's a friend of Jerry, but unlike Jerry harbours no hard feelings towards Tom.
Cuckoo is a male canary who first appeared in the Tom and Jerry short "Kitty Foiled." He usually teams up with Jerry to defeat Tom through extreme cartoon
Unknown facts about Tom & Jerry
• The Tom and Jerry series was made in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, who also created beloved shows like Yogi Bear, Top Cat, Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs, The Flintstones, etc.
• Tom and Jerry were originally called Jasper and Jinx.
• The cartoon series has a total of 163 episodes and was first released on February 10, 1940. It continued until September 27, 2005.
• MGM studio almost discontinued the show after the first episode as they believed that the concept of a cat and mouse duo was too common in cartoons.
• The face of Tom's owner, Mammy Two Shoes, was shown only once, and that too very briefly, during the entire series.
• In the initial episodes, Tom moved on all four legs like a normal cat but later started walking on two legs.
• Tom and Jerry had multiple spin-offs such as The Tom and Jerry Show, The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show, Tom and Jerry Kids, Tom and Jerry Tales, etc.
• Tom and Jerry cartoons won seven Oscars and were nominated for six more.
• Tom & Jerry was made in the 1950's, the Spike & Tyke cartoons featured the adventures of the well-known bulldog and his son. However, it ran for only two episodes, because the studio closed.
• For a brief period in the 1960's the animated series were actually made in Czechoslovakia.
• The interesting facts about the cartoon include the release of the album "Tom n Jerry" ans Tex Avery Too! Volume, "Which included 25 songs written for the cartoon by Bradley Scott.
• Because of them, "to Tom and Jerry" in the late 1820s meant "to indulge in riotous behaviour. In 1972, the Arab state Sharjah issued a set of Tom and Jerry postage stamps.