In this post, I'll be talking about one of MGM's most famous cartoon series, and of course, one of my favourite cartoons, Tom and Jerry.
What is it that makes Tom and Jerry so famous? What is it that makes them so famous and memorable?
Well, to answer that question, I think that they're so famous because they had to be one of the first animated-characters to have violence and heartless characters in them, and Tom & Jerry became really famous for their slapstick humour and their very-little dialogue, Disney would have never done Tom and Jerry, as they are known for their 'happy-hearted' characters.
I know the fact that a certain number of people may not have liked Tom & Jerry, maybe because that at the time it came out, it was a lot different than any animated films and cartoons at that period, of course the characters were "heartless and violent", as what Michael Sporn told me about his opinion about T&J; I understand why people are not used to violent characters, T&J was supposed to be violent in a way, because that was basically what the whole situation was about, a relationship between a cat and a mouse.
The stories for the shorts were very simple, and the animation was crude at times, but I think, the animation is very funny and expressive.
Fred Quimby, the producer of MGM cartoon studio, sure did a great job of the cartoons, even though he never understood about cartoons and didn't have much of a sense of humour. I think that after Rudy Ising was probably 'booted' out of MGM, I think that it made Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera's career very successful throughout the years. During the 1940's, the T&J were very profitable, making a more profit than Disney at the time, and T&J went on to win 7 Oscars for Best Cartoon, a tie against Disney's Silly Symphonies and T&J recieved 6 Nominees.
However, over the years, I think that T&J became more rather violent and crude, and the humour was still there, but I think after Fred Quimby retired from MGM in 1955, the T&J cartoons became rather 'cheap' and 'not funny' anymore, some of the past cartoons were re-released but with different layouts, and their was less slapstick between them, and after the MGM cartoon studio was closed in 1957, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera went on to create many successful animated television-shows like: The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Top Cat, Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear, etc.
However, Tom and Jerry did come back to the spotlight over the years, but there were some pretty rubbish remakes like Chuck Jones' version, The 1975 television series, Tom and Jerry Kids, and the new Tom and Jerry Tales, and of course, THE MOVIE, where the stars actually talk throughout the entire film and become friends and they don't fight.
However, after 70 years of a cat and a mouse battling and hitting, which could make you laugh or cry, I think that they will live-on as legends!
[The pictures at the above]
Left: An original production drawing of Tom about to eat Jerry in a sandwich in the cartoon, Flirty Birdy, production drawing by Ray Patterson.
Right: A title card of Tom and Jerry which was used around the early to mid 1940's, it seems that it was deleted years ago, probably in the 1960's.