One of my favorite cartoons growing up, Tom and Jerry was an epic cat & mouse masterpiece. Tom is the trouble-making cat who indulges in bullying Jerry and Jerry is the clever mouse that equally enjoys vexing Tom. Other reccuring characters include Spike, the fierce bulldog who mauls Tom for tormenting Jerry. Cat chases mouse while mouse finds ways to outsmart cat and this stirs up wet wit, along with the typical cartoonish dialogues such as the TNT exploding in Tom’s face, mouse traps, throwing pies, etc. Of course, Jerry’s cleverness in making a play at Tom is attributed to his tiny size.
Tom & Jerry was created in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbara. One hundred and fourteen episodes were created altogether as theatrical shorts involving the beloved cat & mouse duo. It ran till 1957. The cartoon managed to win seven academy awards during its run, making it one of the most successful cartoons in television history. In 1963, production of new Tom & Jerry cartoons were added and continued throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s. It also led to the making of a Tom and Jerry movie in 1993 where we see the duo speak for the first time along with a few TV movies. The show was also notable for spawning the Tom and Jerry Kids show back in the late 80s on cartoon network for pre-schoolers. New Tom & Jerry cartoons are currently airing on the WB network titled “Tom and Jerry Tales”.
The original cartoons such as the very first one: “The Puss Gets The Boot” featured a poorly drawn version of Tom and Jerry. Tom was portrayed to be an unintelligent house cat while Jerry was the brown mouse with a pea brain. Overtime, however, the characters evolved into more independant creatures who could do a lot more than just lay around, sip milk, or eat cheese. Initially it was all about Tom chasing Jerry and then Tom getting kicked out by his owner for all of the damage that he caused. In later episodes, Tom started to become more independant but still cultivated the same habit of giving Jerry a hard time.
Although it made kids and adults alike pee in their pants, there are some drawbacks I’d like bank on. First of all, it promoted mischief among young children as they’d learn violent things such as throwing dishes at others and breaking them, hurting people for kicks and so and so. Therefore, in spite of the shows success, it had a negative impact on some children. At least Looney Toons taught kids some value of nutrition by portraying Bugs Bunny with a carrot, although it also specialized in comic violence.