Tom and Jerry is an American animated series of short films created in 1940 by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. It centers on a rivalry between its two main characters, Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse, and many recurring characters, based around slapstick comedy. Tom and Jerry has gained a worldwide audience and is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed cartoon series.
In its original run, Hanna and Barbera produced 114 Tom and Jerry shorts for MGM from 1940 to 1957. During this time, they won seven Academy Awards for Best Short Film, tying for first place with Disney's Silly Symphonies with the most awards in the category. After the MGM catoon studio closed in 1957, MGM revived the series with Gene Deitch directing an additional 13 Tom and Jerry shorts for Rembrandt Films from 1961 to 1962. Tom and Jerry then became the highest-grossing film series of all time, overtaking Looney Tunes. Chuck Jones then produced another 34 shorts with Sib-Tower 12 Productions between 1963 and 1967. Two more shorts were produced, The Mansion Cat in 2001 and The Karate Guard in 2005, for a total of 163 shorts. Various shorts have been released for home media since the 1990s.
A number of spin-offs have been made, including the television series The Tom and Jerry Show (1975–77), The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show (1980–82), Tom and Jerry Kids (1990–94), Tom and Jerry Kids (2006–08), and The Tom and Jerry Show (2014). The first feature-length film based on the series, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, was released in 1992 before ten direct-to-video films were produced between 2002 and 2013.
Numerous Tom and Jerry shorts have been subject to controversy, mainly over racial stereotypes which involves the portrayal of the recurring black character Mammy Two Shoes and characters appearing in blackface. Other controversial themes include cannibalism and the glamorization of smoking.
The series features comedic fights between an iconic set of enemies, a house cat and mouse. The plots of each short usually center on Tom's numerous attempts to capture Jerry and the mayhem and destruction that follows. Tom rarely succeeds in catching Jerry, mainly because of Jerry's cleverness, cunning abilities, and luck. However, there are also several instances within the cartoons where they display genuine friendship and concern for each other's well-being. At other times, the pair set aside their rivalry in order to pursue a common goal, such as when a baby escaped the watch of a negligent babysitter, causing Tom and Jerry to pursue the baby and keep it away from danger.
Before 1954, all Tom and Jerry cartoons were produced in the standard Academy ratio and format; in 1954 and 1955, some of the output was dually produced in dual versions: one Academy-ratio negative composed for a flat widescreen (1.75:1) format and one shot in the CinemaScope process. From 1955 until the close of the MGM cartoon studio a year later, all Tom and Jerry cartoons were produced in CinemaScope, some even had their soundtracks recorded in Perspecta directional audio. All of the Hanna and Barbera cartoons were shot as successive color exposure negatives and printed by Technicolor; the 1960s entries were done in Metrocolor. The 1960s entrees also returned to the standard Academy ratio and format, too. The 2005 short The Karate Guard was also filmed in the standard Academy ratio and format, too.
The following cartoons won the Academy Award for Best Short Subjects: Cartoons:
- 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1948, 1952, 1953
These cartoons were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons, but did not win:
- 1940, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1954
- The Tom and Jerry Show (ABC, 1975)
- The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show (CBS, 1980–1982)
- Tom and Jerry Kids (FOX, 1990–1994)
- Tom and Jerry Tales (The CW, Cartoon Network, 2006–2008)
- The Tom and Jerry Show (Teletoon, Cartoon Network, 2014–present)
Packaged shows and programming blocksEdit
- Tom and Jerry (1960s packaged show) (CBS, 1965–1972)
- Tom and Jerry on BBC One (BBC, 1967–2000)
- Tom and Jerry's Funhouse (TBS, 1986–1989)
- Cartoon Network's Tom and Jerry Show (Cartoon Network, 1992–present)
- The Tom and Jerry Hour (2010s packaged show) (MBC, 2014-present)
- Hanna-Barbera's 50th: A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration (TNT, 1989)
- Tom and Jerry: The Mansion Cat (Boomerang, 2001)
- Tom and Jerry: The Movie (Turner Pictures/Film Roman/WMG, 1992)
- Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring (Warner Home Video, 2002)
- Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars (Warner Home Video, 2005)
- Tom and Jerry: The Fast and The Furry (Warner Home Video, 2005)
- Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers! (Warner Home Video, 2006)
- Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale (Warner Home Video, 2007)
- Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes (Warner Home Video, 2010)
- Tom and Jerry & The Wizard of Oz (Warner Home Video, 2011)
- Tom and Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse (Warner Home Video, 2012)
- Tom and Jerry's Giant Adventure (Warner Home Video, 2013)
- Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon (Warner Home Video, 2014)
- Tom and Jerry filmography
- List of The Tom and Jerry Hour episodes
- MGM cartoon studio and MGM Animation/Visual Arts
- List of works produced by Hanna-Barbera