Tom is "killed" while chasing Jerry (as usual). He goes to heaven and meets the cat who meets dead cats boarding the "Heavenly Express." Tom is given one hour to have Jerry sign a letter of... See full summary »
Tom is desperate for sleep after a night of revelry with his friends, but Mammy Two-Shoes demands that he stay awake to keep the mouse out of the refrigerator. Jerry, being a clever mouse, sees his opportunity to get rid of the cat.
One of the very few times composer Scott Bradley used the full MGM Orchestra for the soundtrack, since the subject demanded it. He typically scored the MGM cartoons for a 20-piece ensemble, claiming "You don't need more than 20 players for cartoon music." See more »
6 year olds, 85 year olds, geography teachers, members of the Royal Family, tramps, beggars, millionaires, everyone. Everyone knows Tom and Jerry. Everyone. It is a rare phenomenon. Wonderfully drawn, fantastic music effects, side-splittingly funny. Something so popular, there were attempts to ban it, at one point. How did they make it so good?
I'm going to put a lot of the credit at Fred Quimby's door, and give kudos to Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera as well. Every good Tom and Jerry cartoon had 'Produced by Fred Quimby' somewhere in the credits. The brief bit of trivia on him says that he was despised by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, and he constantly got into arguments with them. All I can say is, whatever he did, however he got those cartoons produced, he did it perfectly, because every single one of them is well above average, and has more than a fair share of laughs.
After Quimby, the cartoons that were both produced and directed by Hanna Barbera were also of an excellent standard, although subsequent producers, particularly Chuck Jones, did the name of Tom and Jerry no good at all. When you think of Tom and Jerry, Fred Quimby's name on it is the seal of approval.
As far as the animation goes, the expressions in particular were just exquisite, and frequently were they the source of the many laughs that each and every episode contained. The way they could suddenly change. When Tom is conducting, watch for the part when Jerry keeps tugging at his tuxedo, and pleading with him. The urge was fortunately resisted to give Tom and Jerry proper, full-time speaking voices throughout Quimby's days in charge, instead just letting either character speak when it suited the part.
Up to a few weeks ago, I'd known Tom and Jerry as something to watch if it came on, because it was reasonably funny. But when I visited America recently, and watched Tom and Jerry for a full hour on the Cartoon Network every day, I realised just how good it was. The two best Tom and Jerry cartoons are 'Hollywood Bowl', and 'Cat Concerto'. They are the best cartoons in the Tom and Jerry range and considering all of Quimby's were excellent, that really is saying something.
How exactly it is that a cat and mouse who hate each other, and spend most of their lives trying to kill each other, stayed so successful, and NEVER lost ANY of the humour under Quimby, I will never fully know, and I think MGM may have pondered on it themselves (look for the episode 'Life with Tom'). The facts are: Tom and Jerry was started over 60 years ago, and Quimby's last was made in 1955. There were attempts to ban it, thanks to a woman named Mary Whitehouse, but she is dead, and Tom and Jerry lives on, as well known as it ever was. All that remains is for me to say good riddance to Whitehouse, and long live Tom and Jerry!
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