Directors: John Foster & George Rufle
Release Date: January 30, 1932
Stars: Tom and Jerry
For example, the opening scenes of ‘Rocketeers’ are so deeply drenched in the 1920’s comic tradition that the scene’s silent acting feels terribly old-fashioned. In it, Tom and Jerry are members of the Royal Experimental Society, firing themselves to the moon in an over-sized sky-rocket. Then the cartoon takes quite an unexpected turn: instead of flying to the moon, the rocket plummets immediately and falls into the ocean, reaching the sea floor, where Tom and Jerry encounter some sea monsters and some skeletons (looking back to the Waffles and Don cartoon ‘The Haunted Ship‘ from 1930). But just when one starts to prepare for yet another horror-inspired cartoon, the duo hits on some sexy mermaids. Tom & Jerry perform a song, while the mermaids dance.
The designs of the mermaids are halfway those of Fleischer’s ‘Barnacle Bill‘ (1930) and Disney’s later ‘King Neptune‘ from September 1932. Their stylized, pretty human designs contrast greatly with Tom & Jerry’s own primitive features, and are without doubt the highlight of the cartoon.
Tom and Jerry would fly a rocket again in their last cartoon ‘The Phantom Rocket’, which also plummets into the sea (1934).
Watch ‘Rocketeers’ yourself and tell me what you think:
‘Rocketeers’ is available on the DVD ‘The Complete Animated Adventures of Van Beuren Studio’s Tom and Jerry’