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Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: December 25, 1943
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Meathead
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

Baby Puss © MGMA little girl makes Tom behave like a baby.

Tom only reluctantly cooperates, until he discovers the milk bottle. Jerry mocks him and warns three alley cats of Tom’s baby behavior. They mock him too, all too more violently, which leads to a frantic samba finale in which the little cat does a great Carmen Miranda impersonation, singing her hit song ‘Mamãe eu quero’ from the film ‘Down Argentine Way’ (1940).

Tom’s friends, the red cat from ‘Sufferin’ Cats‘, Meathead (in his debut) and a little cat, would reunite only seven years later in ‘Saturday Evening Puss‘ (1950). Apart from the finale the greatest scene is when Jerry behaves like ‘she’ is caught naked in the bathroom of a doll house.

Watch ‘Baby Puss’ yourself and tell me what you think:

https://vimeo.com/90508001

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No.11

To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Yankee Doodle Mouse
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Zoot Cat

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Directors:William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: January 16, 1943
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Meathead
Rating: ★★★★★ ♕
Review:

Sufferin' Cats © MGMIn ‘Sufferin’ Cats’ Tom and a red alley cat fight over Jerry.

‘Sufferin’ Cats’ introduces the red alley cat, who was Tom’s first rival in the series. The red cat would return in ‘Baby Puss‘ later that year, but soon he would be replaced by Meathead, a black cat.

‘Sufferin’ Cats’ is a wild and funny cartoon, which is considerably faster than all earlier Tom and Jerry shorts. The gags come in quick and plenty, and are supported by one of Scott Bradley’s all time best scores, in which Tom and Jerry’s musical themes build up to a frantic finale during the cartoon’s main chase. Metamorphosis now reaches greater heights than in ‘The Bowling Alley Cat‘, when the red cat changes into an ironing board when crashing into the gate.

With its increase in speed and violence ‘Sufferin’ Cats’ marks a new era in the Tom & Jerry Series: from now on the duo would be less cute, but much funnier.

Watch ‘Sufferin’ Cats’ yourself and tell me what you think:

https://vimeo.com/90507841

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No.9

To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Fine Feathered Friend
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: The Lonesome Mouse

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: May 26,1951
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Mammy Two-Shoes, Meathead
Rating: ★★★★★ ♕
Review:

Sleepy Time Tom © MGMTom has been hanging out all night with three other cats.

He comes home early in the morning, only to meet a very angry Mammy. The same night Jerry has plundered the kitchen, so Mammy orders Tom to stay awake to chase the mouse away. Not an easy task for the exhausted Tom. Especially when Jerry repeatedly makes him fall asleep. In the end Tom is thrown out, only to be picked up again by his friends for another long night out…

‘Sleepy Time Tom’ is a hilarious cartoon with great gags and wonderful animation involving Tom’s feeble attempts to stay awake. Together with ‘Daffy Duck Slept Here‘ from 1948, its’arguably the funniest cartoon about sleep ever, outdoing other great cartoons like the Woody Woodpecker cartoon ‘Coo-Coo Bird‘ (1947),  the Donald Duck shorts ‘Early to Bed‘ (1941), ‘Fall out-Fall in’ (1944), ‘Sleepy Time Donald’ (1947), and ‘Drip Dippy Donald’ (1948), or the similar Pluto short ‘Cat Nap Pluto‘ (1948).

One may indeed consider ‘Sleepy Time Tom’ to be the last of the classic Tom & Jerry cartoons. Although other funny Tom & Jerry shorts would be made in the years to come, the average quality of the designs, animation and stories would only diminish during the rest of the fifties.

Watch ‘Sleepy Time Tom’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 58
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Jerry’s Cousin
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: His Mouse Friday

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: January 6, 1951
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Meathead, Toodles
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

Casanova Cat © MGMIn ‘Casanova Cat’ Tom is visitingToodles,  who has inherited a million dollars and who now lives in a classy apartment downtown.

Tom brings Jerry along as a present, who is forced to dance with a blackface on a hot plate, a scene which is probably censored on many copies. The annoyed Jerry invites alley cat Meathead, too, and a feud starts between the two rivaling cats. However, in the end it’s Jerry who’s the lucky one, driving off with Toodles into the distance and kissing her.

‘Casanova Cat’ doesn’t cover any new grounds, but it combines the themes of earlier romance cartoons ‘Puss ‘n’ Toots’ (1942) and ‘Springtime for Thomas’ (1946) with great and remarkably fresh results.

Watch ‘Casanova Cat’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 55
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Cueball Cat
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Jerry and the Goldfish

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: January 19, 1950
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Mammy Two-Shoes, Meathead
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

Saturday Evening Puss © MGMWhen Mammy goes out, Tom invites his friends, Meathead, the red cat and the little cat, who we hadn’t seen together since ‘Baby Puss‘ (1943).

Together they play intoxicating hot jazz, which unfortunately keeps Jerry out of sleep. After several attempts to stop them, Jerry calls Mammy who rushes home to catch the cats red-handed. Unfortunately, she likes the same music…

‘Saturday Evening Puss’ is one of the better ‘Tom and Jerry’ shorts, due to the irresistible jazz soundtrack and great comedy from all the characters. Highlights of animation are those of Mammy preparing to go out and of Jerry’s head taking different shapes to corresponding jazz sounds. Seventeen years later, the tables would be turned in Abe Levitow’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Rodent‘ (1967), which is one of the best Tom & Jerry’s by Chuck Jones’s unit.

‘Saturday Evening Puss’ is noteworthy for being the only cartoon in which Mammy’s face can be seen, if only for a split-second when she rushes towards the camera. Unfortunately, this cartoon also exists in a censored version from the 1960s featuring a white girl instead of the familiar black maid.

Watch ‘Saturday Evening Puss’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 48
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Little Quacker
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Texas Tom

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: December 10, 1949
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Meathead
Rating: ★★★
Review:

Tennis Chumps © MGMTom and Meathead are having a tennis match, first against each other, then against Jerry. There’s no fair play involved, however, as all rules are broken, including the laws of nature.

‘Tennis Chumps’ is one of the most violent of all Tom & Jerry cartoons, and none of the three protagonists is sympathetic in it. It’s perhaps because of this that the humor of ‘Tennis Chumps’ never comes off, despite its fast timing and abundance of Tex Averyan gags.

The inspiration of the subject of ‘Tennis Chumps’ may have come from the otherwise very different Goofy short ‘Tennis Racquet‘ from four months earlier.

Watch ‘Tennis Chumps’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 46
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Jerry’s Diary
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Little Quacker

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: August 30, 1947
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Mammy Two-Shoes ,Meathead
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

A Mouse in the House © MGMIn ‘A Mouse in the House’ Mammy has two cats: Tom and Meathead. Unfortunately, they are both lazy as hell.

She tells them whoever catches the mouse (Jerry) is allowed to stay. This premise leads to a wild chase, simply packed with wonderful gags. The cartoon builds up brilliantly to a grand finale in which not only both cats are expelled, but Jerry, too.

‘A Mouse in the House’ is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable Tom and Jerry cartoons. Hanna & Barbera must have thought so, too, because the premise of this cartoon was reused in ‘Pet Peeve’ (1954), featuring Spike instead of Meathead. However, the latter cartoon is no match for the perfect comedy of ‘A Mouse in the House’.

Watch ‘A Mouse in the House’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 32

To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Salt Water Tabby
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: The Invisible Mouse

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