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Director: Michael Lah
Release Date: December 6, 1957
Stars: Droopy, Butch (Spike)
Rating: ★★★

One Droopy Knight © MGMIn this Cinemascope cartoon ‘sir Butchalot’ (Butch a.k.a. Spike) and ‘sir Droopalot’ (Droopy) combat a dragon over a beautiful princess.

Despite its medieval setting ‘One Droopy Knight’ feels like a remake of ‘Señor Droopy‘ from 1949, as it reuses no less than three gags from the earlier film, including the last one. Unlike the wolf in ‘Señor Droopy’, however, Spike is as unsuccessful as Droopy in combating the dragon, until the very end. The dragon appears quite invincible, indeed, as is demonstrated by Droopy’s feeble attempts to pinch it with his rubbery sword. He’s a well-conceived character on his own, and less a ferocious bully than the bull was in ‘Señor Droopy’. One has the genuine feel he rightly defends himself against those pesky, puny knights.

As in his other cartoons, Michael Lah’s timing is a little too relaxed to make the gags work right. Moreover, the short is hampered by a large amount of dialogue, and even Scott Bradley’s music sounds more canned than before. Several scenes are stolen by the beautiful, highly stylized backgrounds, laid out by Ed Benedict and painted by F. MonteAlegre, with their bright colors and elementary designs.

Watch ‘One Droopy Knight’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘One Droopy Knight’ is available on the DVD-set ‘Tex Avery’s Droopy – The Complete Theatrical Collection’


Director: Tex Avery
Release Date: November 17, 1951
Stars: Droopy, Spike
Rating: ★★½

Droopy's Double Trouble © MGMDroopy is a butler in a mansion who invites his incredibly strong brother Drippy to join him at work.

The pair is told to let nobody into the house while the master’s away, but Droopy brings in his old pal, the tramp Spike. What follows is a series of confusion gags, in which Spike is pampered by Droopy and clobbered by Drippy.

The comedy is less inventive than in earlier Droopy shorts, and ‘Droopy’s Double Trouble’ is arguably Avery’s weakest Droopy cartoon. Spike is in no sense the funny, mean cheater he was in earlier cartoons, like ‘The Chump Champ’ (1950) and ‘Droopy’s Good Deed’ (1951). He speaks with a strange, Irish(?) accent and is only a meek and unfunny victim of the confusion gags.

Watch ‘Droopy’s Double Trouble’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: December 8, 1951
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Spike

Cat Napping © MGM‘Cat Napping’ is a blackout gag cartoon, in which Tom & Jerry are fighting over a hammock  on a hot summer day.

‘Cat Napping’ is certainly not among Tom & Jerry’s best cartoons. The gags are not all bad (the best one is when marching ants make the hammock resonate), but the comedy feels uninspired. Moreover, the story is less consistent than usual, and the gags are rather disjointed. However, the cartoon is especially hampered by rather appalling designs on Tom & Jerry, which are on the same low level as those in ‘His Mouse Friday’ from earlier that year.

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 62
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Nit Witty Kitty
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: The Flying Cat

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: September 8,1951
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Spike & Tyke
Rating: ★★★

Slicked-up Pup © MGMWhile chasing Jerry Tom makes Tyke dirty.

Spike threatens Tom he’ll tear him limb for limb, when he makes Tyke dirty again. So Tom does his best to keep Tyke clean. To no avail, because, as expected, Jerry takes advantage of the situation. ‘Slicked-up Pup’ is based on a routine that goes all the way back to Tom & Jerry’s very first film (‘Puss gets the Boot‘ from 1940). Unfortunately, it has all been done before, even with cleaning (‘Mouse Cleaning‘ from 1948), and with Spike & Tyke (‘Love That Pup‘ from 1949). The result is less amusing than any of the previous films. The best gag may be when Tom pretends Tyke to be a chicken.

Watch ‘Slicked-up Pup’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 60
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: His Mouse Friday
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Nit-witty Kitty

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: October 21, 1950
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Spike
Rating: ★★★★

The Framed Cat © MGMTom frames Jerry for eating a chicken leg only to eat the chicken leg himself.

Jerry revenges himself on Tom by repeatedly framing him for stealing Spike’s bone. The cartoon ends with a wonderfully elaborate magnet gag, repeatedly tying Tom unwillingly to Spike’s bone.

Even though it’s not among Tom & Jerry’s most memorable entries, ‘The Framed Cat’ is a fun cartoon. It’s one of those rare cartoons in which Tom speaks a little. It’s also noteworthy for its backgrounds, which are more stylized than usual.

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

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 53
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Cueball Cat

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: October 1, 1949
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Spike & Tyke
Rating: ★★★★★

Love That Pup © MGMTom’s chases of Jerry disturb Spike’s son Tyke. If Tom is at it again, Spike “will tear him apart”. Needless to say, Jerry takes advantage of this situation.

‘Love that pup’ is one of the most hilarious Tom & Jerry cartoons. The gags come in fast and plenty, and Scott Bradley’s music is particularly inspired, perfectly matching the fast action. Highlight may be the running gag involving Tom rushing into several garden tools.

‘Love That Pup’ marks Tyke’s debut. He has no name, yet. But then again, even Spike is still called Butch in this cartoon. Spike and Tyke would become Tom and Jerry regulars in the fifties, even starring two films without the cat and the mouse in 1957.

Watch ‘Love That Pup’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 44
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: The Cat and the Mermouse
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Jerry’s Diary

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: July 17, 1948
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Spike
Rating: ★★★★★

The Truce Hurts © MGM‘The Truce Hurts’ starts with a chase involving Jerry, Tom and Spike (called Butch in this cartoon).

The chase ends in a triple fight, until Spike interrupts and they all sign a peace treaty. The treaty works until the three discover a giant steak dropped from a van. When they have to share it, their greediness and egotism win, and they start to fight again at the same spot and with the same tools as where they’d left them before.

‘The Truce Hurts’ is one of the most marvelous Tom and Jerry cartoons. Not only is the idea original, it has a perfect story that is wonderfully executed with great character animation of the three foes behaving like pals.

Watch an excerpt from ‘The Truce Hurts’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 35
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Kitty Foiled
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Old Rockin’ Chair Tom

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: September 27, 1947
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Spike
Rating: ★★

The Invisible Mouse © MGMDuring a chase Jerry accidentally falls into a bottle of invisible ink, rendering him invisible, too. In this condition he gives Tom a hard time.

The invisible mouse is wonderfully animated, especially in the scenes where Jerry’s presence is only suggested by forces on pillows and clothes. However, it suffers from an all too powerful Jerry. Tom doesn’t stand a chance against his invisible opponent, making him pitiful rather than a comical foe. The soundtrack, with its surprisingly low amount of sound effects, doesn’t help, but the main problem lies in the invisibility itself, for the Donald Duck short ‘The Vanishing Private‘ (1942), using the same idea, leads to an equally unfunny cartoon.

Watch ‘The Invisible Mouse’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 33
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: A Mouse in the House
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Kitty Foiled

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: February 22, 1947
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Spike
Rating: ★★★★★

Cat Fishin' © MGMTom goes fishing in a no-fishing area, guarded by Spike. He uses Jerry as a live bait to catch an enormous pike.

The humor of this perfectly timed cartoon follows logically from the clever interplay between these four characters, it’s highlight being the sequence where Tom tries to land a big fish, which turns out to be Spike. The result is one of the most perfect Tom & Jerry cartoons ever.

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

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 27
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Solid Serenade
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Part Time Pal

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