Page 6 - CinemaRecord #11R.pdf
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Tom and  Jerry                                                            by  Graham Smythe

             Most of our readers are aware that I frequently include a cartoon of
             these famous two in one of my programmes, and always get some
             feed  back expressing the enjoyment which comes from the antics
             of these two stars.  Born in Hollywood, Tom and Jerry have captured
             the  delight and  the  laughter of audiences around the world - yet
             gathered  enough Academy Awards  to make  many movie  stars

             Their creators, often known as Hanna- Barbera were William Hanna with a musical background, and Joseph
             Barbera talented in sketch and drawing.  The concept goes back to the Spring of 1939 with the idea of a cat and
             mouse - natural conflict - cat chases the mouse - big guy picks on the little guy - sympathy for the little mouse
             - laughter and applause when the big guy gets his just desserts.  Initially, the MGM men were not impressed.
             There  had  already  been  Felix the Cat,  Mickey  Mouse and  a Terrytoon  Mouse -  their approval was very

                                         The first cartoon "Puss Gets the Boot" made its' debut 1Oth February, 1940 and
                                         received rave reviews.  Although the cat was known as Jasper the pair were un-
                                         named until, after a contest between the studio staff involving 1  OO's suggestions,
                                "        they were christened Tom and Jerry.

             In  the first cartoons Tom  and  Jerry were rubbery,  elastic and  round  in
             appearance - quite different from  the  more  sharply  defined, almost
             streamlined features of later years.  Jerry did put on some weight to gain
             a chubbier tummy and a cuddlier look, but always the lovable scamp.
             Toms' fur smoothed out, eyebrows changed, ears and face coloured a
             little.  Incredibly, neither have ever spoken one articulate word!

             They were in MGM's Stable of Stars- they danced divinely, 'sang' on occasions, spat, made-up, kissed, fought,
             and generally bashed,  crashed, smashed and walloped each  other across the  movie screens of the world.
             Each cartoon started with gags dreamed up by Hanna - Barbera during brain storming in their office.  Seated
             opposite each other they would bounce story ideas back and forth  like a mad tennis match until one would
             really hit the funny bone.

                                      And  so the story graph would  evolve - each line a frame of film  and columns to
                                      denote actions, effects, sounds.  A masterful example of editing when you think of
                                      the action crammed into a 6 to 7 minute cartoon, each of which  averages some
                                      12,000 different cells.

             Sometimes Tom and Jerry stepped out of their cartoon world to appear with famous stars like Gene Kelly or
             Esther Williams.  Now choreography comes into play as the actors do the dance and the Cartoon Department
             rotoscope the film to produce Tom and Jerry's imitative dance routines frame by frame.  For 20 years Hanna-
             Barbera gave to MGM the adorable personalities of Tom and Jerry,  114 cartoons which included 7 Academy
             Awards, namely:

                                         Yankee Doodle Mouse          1943
                                         Mouse Trouble                1944
                                         Quiet Please                 1945
                                         The Cat Concerto             1946
                                         The Little Orphan            1948
                                         The Two Mouseketeers         1951
                                         Johann Mouse                 1952
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