Tom's advances on a young jive-talking girl cat get nowhere; nowhere, that is, until Tom gets a zoot suit. Armed with his miles of fabric and a new cool lingo, Tom still has to deal with the tricks of his nemesis, Jerry. Solid, Jackson! Written by
This is one of the few cartoons where both Tom and Jerry speak. See more »
[Imitating Charles Boyer]
Ah, I love you. When I'm with you, I am what you call, uh, a hep cat. I am hip to the jibe. I'm in the groove, daddy.
Now you're REALLY sendin' me, Jackson.
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This was one of my favorites as a kid, liked it even more after I started listening to my dad's records in high school, and have come to appreciate it ever since.
Along with 'Little Red Hot Riding Hood' this is the coolest cartoon ever produced. Especially because it deals with an American subculture as opposed to 'popular culture'. For example Warner Bros often caricatured Bing Crosby or Sinatra whereas (at MGM) Louis Jordan would later be used a few years later in 'Solid Serenade'.
While most perceive jazz as their grandparents 'music', this was when your grandparents were young and jazz was associated with sex, reefer smoking, and degenerates. At the extreme Hitler was rounding up young Aryans, some meeting the same fate as the other 'undesireables' for listening to jazz.
While I won't get into specifics, it is vital to realize when this 'short' was released (Feb. 1944), that in June of '43 Los Angeles passed a resolution criminalizing the wearing (and 'wearer')of zoot suits in public. And the man who made the look popular Cab Calloway was banned from the airwaves (12/41) for improvising the national anthem.
While I think PC is out of control and an oxymoron (I am Japanese and liked Hashimotos and Fuji from Super Dave Osborne) it is one thing to be complacent and another to be promote racism.
So while some will defend other studios racist cartoons as 'the times' there are discernible differences between say 'Uncle Tom's Cabana' and 'All that and Rabbit Stew'. A better description would be the 'places', Warner Bros' theaters were located in the south and the Midwest in a segregated country, the latter would only reinforce long held 'truths'. Although these were intended for adults, cartoons are kid friendly.
However to judge history with modern 'values' is unfair and has to be put into context, makes this cartoon quite remarkable.
I urge everyone to read about what Elanore Roosevelt correctly termed race riots but what is known as the 'Zoot Suit Riots'
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