Hello everyone and welcome to another exciting video. We are uncovering 10 facts about the beloved animated series “Tom and Jerry.” Characters Tom and Jerry were a fixture in many childhoods. From their silly fights to rivalry and pure comedy, Tom and Jerry were an all-time favorite. While the show gained major popularity during the ‘40s and ‘50s, it remained relevant well into the early 2000s. With that being said, there are many unknown facts viewers are not aware of. We are here to uncover them. This is Facts Verse Presents: 10 Tom and Jerry Facts You Never Knew. Don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to our channel for more. Click that notification bell to stay updated.
NUMBER ONE: Hanna-Barbera
The Hanna-Barbera production duo were responsible for a number of popular shows. Some of them include Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs, Top Cat, Yogi Bear, and The Flintstones. Tom and Jerry was officially created in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. The two producers were part of the MGM Cartoon Studio. It wasn’t until the studio took a loss that Hanna and Barbera were put together to make films. Barbera was an experienced storyteller, suggesting they produce a cat and mouse cartoon.
In fact, the other members of MGM didn’t think it was a good idea. Nonetheless, Hanna and Barbera went along with it. The cartoon was named Puss Gets the Boot and became popular in theaters. It even received a nomination from the Academy Awards for the Best Short Subject Cartoon. After this, MGM convinced Hanna-Barbera to produce more episodes. This was how Tom and Jerry came to life. As a duo, Hanna-Barbera won 7 Academy Awards and 8 Emmy Awards, along with a Golden Globe.
NUMBER TWO: Jasper and Jinx
Before they were Tom and Jerry, they were Jasper and Jinx. That’s right, a cat named Jasper and a mouse named Jinx were the original dynamic duo. Just like Tom, Jasper loved to antagonize and harass Jinx. The original animated series featured Jasper’s owner, Mammy Two Shoes, as she scolded and reprimanded Jasper for his bad behavior. Once the first episode became successful, Hanna-Barbera changed the main character’s names. Interestingly enough, during the process of changing names, Hanna-Barbera asked all employees at MGM studio to make suggestions. The best name combo would win a prize. An animator named John Carr suggested Tom and Jerry, based on the popular Christmas drink. Hanna-Barbera paid him $50 for the idea.
NUMBER THREE: Long-Running
This animated series had a total of three runs. The first run took place from 1940 to 1958, directed by Hanna-Barbera. The second run took place from 1961 to 1962, directed by Gene Deitch. The third run took place from 1963 to 1967, directed by Chuck Jones. Decades later in 2001, a short was produced entitled “The Mansion Cat,” directed by Karl Toerge. Lastly, a final short entitled “The Karate Guard” was released in 2005 by Joseph Barbera and Spike Brandt. The total number of animated shorts was 163 from 1940 to 2005! In fact, the first episode, “Puss Get the Boot,” was the longest of all, coming in at 9 minutes and 8 seconds.
Due to its simple and limited dialogue use, the show was easily translated into other languages. This helped boost the show’s success in other countries.
For example, it began airing in Japan during 1965. A 2005 Japanese poll found out teenagers and adults in Japan ranked Tom and Jerry at #58 in their top 100 anime of all time. Tom and Jerry was the only non-Japanese animation on the list and even beat out classic Japanese anime.
Tom and Jerry reached China in the 1980s. It remained on the air until the 1990s. Its popularity exploded in the country and can be found in Chinese book stores today.
The Philippines was also a fan of the show. It aired on ABS-CBN network from 1966 to 1972. Once the Philippines declared martial law, the shows were taken off the air. They were brought back again after 1986’s restoration of democracy.
In Germany, Tom and Jerry reached major popularity as well. The cartoons for German television were produced with a rhyming German verse and German translations when needed.
NUMBER FOUR: Saved By a (Cat) Hair
MGM almost discontinued the show, right after its first episode. MGM studio believed the concept of a cat and mouse was far too common. The studio disapproved of Hanna and Barbera’s vision for the show. In fact, right after the first episode aired, the duo began working on other ideas just in case. Luckily, the episode gained popularity within one year… and it was enough for MGM to change their mind. Hanna and Barbera were immediately assigned to the show once it gained traction. The rest is history.
NUMBER FIVE: A Quick Glance
Tom’s owner, Mammy Two Shoes, was only shown once (in full) on the entire series. Mammy Two Shoes was best known for her legs, with her face hidden from view on almost every episode. It wasn’t until “Saturday Evening Puss” aired in 1950 that viewers saw a quick glance of her face. She was a constant controversy for the show. This was due to the fact she was a heavyset black maid that spoke with a “black accent.” Critics viewed this as obvious racism.
Following the constant criticism, her voice was changed and altered to sound less stereotypical. She was also replaced by a slimmer, white woman. The mammy archetype was regarded as racist. In fact, Whoopi Goldberg provided a statement saying representation of blacks in cartoons is important, however, not everyone agrees with the manner in which Hanna-Barbera portrayed them
When asked about Mammy Two Shoes, Joseph Barbera said the character was not meant to reflect his racial opinions at the time. He claimed it was reflecting what was seen as comical during that time. He said it was meant to be humorous. The blackface gangs in the show are censored when aired on television today, showing just how much has changed in the past 80 years. In fact, episodes with blackface were removed from DVD. Furthermore, Whoopi Goldberg said a disclaimer at the beginning of the DVD for “potentially offensive material.” She called the episodes a “product of their time.” She warned viewers the content would contain ethnic and racial stereotypes. Then, she said the cartoon is not reflective of Warner Bros.’s views on race today.
NUMBER SIX: From Four to Two
Tom the cat originally walked on four legs, but quickly shifted to two. By the end of the 1940s, Tom walked on two legs. His appearance was changed many times during the ‘40s, while mouse Jerry stayed the same. Tom had thick, untamed fur, facial wrinkles, and eyebrow markings in the original episodes. This was altered and Tom was given a more polished look.
NUMBER SEVEN: Animation Suicide?
In the episode “Blue Cat Blues,” Tom sits on railroad tracks with a depressed look on his face. Jerry watches while his friend mopes around. Jerry starts to talk about how his friend Tom became so sad and depressed. The episode shows the bond between Tom and Jerry. However, as most episodes did, the narrative shifts to a lighter, comical tone. Tom sees a beautiful white cat. She captivates him and they take a liking to each other. A villain named Mr. Butch interrupts their romance and steals the white beauty away. He is wealthier and she falls for him, due to her opportunistic nature.
The episode continues to show Tom attempting to keep her, by using up all his saved money. With every attempt, Tom was not able to compare with the wealth of Mr. Butch. Mr. Butch marries the white cat and Tom becomes depressed, lonely, and broke. Jerry reminisces on his lovable girlfriend Toots. However, after he visualizes her running off with a wealthier man, he gets depressed too. The two sit side by side on railroad tracks. The train blows its whistle and the episode ends. This gave fans the impression they died on the tracks.
As you can imagine, this episode received major controversy, backlash, and confusion. Some say it would be impossible for them to have died since they appeared in the following episodes alive. Others say the pair most likely escaped death since they were notorious for dodging gunshots and explosions in other episodes.
NUMBER EIGHT: Still Around
There were several spin-offs of Tom and Jerry including “The Tom and Jerry Show,” aired in 1975, “The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show,” aired in 1980 to 1982, “Tom and Jerry Kids,” aired in 1990 to 1993, “Tom and Jerry Tales,” aired in 2006 to 2008 and “The Tom and Jerry Show,” aired 2014 to 2018. In addition to these spin-offs, a movie was made entitled “Tom and Jerry: The Movie” in 1992. Moreover, 13 films have been produced since 2002, all based on the beloved cat and mouse duo.
When it comes to cameos, they did it all. For example, in 1945’s Anchors Aweigh musical, Jerry made an appearance. In the Anchors Aweigh movie, Jerry danced with dance legend, Gene Kelly. Special effects were to credit for this cameo. Tom was briefly shown in the movie as well. The characters appeared again in 1953’s “Dangerous When Wet.” They performed with competitive swimmer Esther Williams.
NUMBER NINE: Awards on Awards
Tom and Jerry were adored by everyday viewers, parents, children, elderly, you name it. However, it didn’t stop there. They were also recognized and respected by the Oscar community. The show won 7 Oscars and was nominated 6 more times. They won in the category of Best Short Subject Cartoon. The episodes that won were… “The Yankee Doodle Mouse,” “Mouse Trouble,” “Quiet Please!,” “The Cat Concerto,” “The Little Orphan,” “The Two Mousketeers” and “Johann Mouse.” In fact, during “The Cat Concerto,” Tom is featured performing Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody #2.
NUMBER TEN: Elderly Cartoons
Since Tom and Jerry first aired in 1940, the cartoons would be 80 years old, if alive today. This show is cherished and remembered today as a testament to its quality. Tom and Jerry can still be seen on reruns. Also, fashion designers such as Kate Spade, among others, have featured throwback collabs, with vintage cartoons on handbags and accessories. The cat and mouse duo make a statement, even after 80 years.
Thank you guys for tuning into this video. We sincerely hope you enjoyed these amazing, unknown facts about the quintessential 1940’s animation, Tom and Jerry. The cat and mouse duo were far from ordinary, earning a forever place in the hearts of viewers. Don’t forget to give this video a ‘thumbs up’ if you enjoyed and subscribe to our channel for the latest videos. We want to hear what you think. Tell us in the comments which facts you found shocking and what’s your all-time favorite episode of Tom and Jerry. Thanks again, we’ll see you in the next one.