In Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s series of Tom and Jerry theatrical animated short films, Gerald Jinx “Jerry” Mouse, Sr. is a fictional character. He is also one of the two main titular protagonists (the other being Tom Cat). Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Jerry first appeared as a mouse named Jinx in the 1940 MGM animated short “Puss Gets the Boot”. Jerry is a brown mute anthropomorphic house mouse. “Jinx” was the original name given to the mouse by Hanna, while Barbera claimed that in his first appearance, the mouse went unnamed.
Quick facts about Tom and Jerry
- Initially, they were named Jasper and Jinx.
- Later there was a contest to name the characters.
- They were named after a cocktail.
- The cartoon has won 7 Oscars.
- They were in a live-action Gene Kelly movie.
How was the series produced in the beginning?
Hanna and Barbera produced 114 MGM cartoons, thirteen of which were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Subject. Seven went on to win, smashing the winning strip owned in the category by Walt Disney’s studio. Tom and Jerry received more Academy Awards than any other theatrical animated series based on a character.
For each Tom and Jerry cartoon, Barbera calculated the average budget of $50,000, which took the duo time to get it right. It took them about six weeks to create a typical cartoon.
Tom and Jerry hit Television
The Hanna and Barbera Tom and Jerry cartoons started to appear on television in heavily edited versions beginning in 1965. The regular opening titles for Tom and Jerry were also deleted. An opening sequence containing numerous clips of the cartoons was also used instead of the roaring MGM Lion sequence. Also, the title cards were modified. A pink title card was used instead, with the name written in a white font.
Who are the new owners of Tom and Jerry?
In 1986, WTBS founder Ted Turner purchased MGM. Turner sold the company a short while later but retained MGM’s pre-1986 film library. So Tom and Jerry became the property of Turner Entertainment Co., and on Turner-run stations such as TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, The WB, Boomerang, and Turner Classic Movies in subsequent years, they appeared.
What about the on-off productions?
In 2001, Boomerang debuted a new television special entitled Tom and Jerry: The Mansion Cat. It featured Joe Barbera as Tom’s owner’s voice, whose face is never seen (who was also a creative consultant). Jerry, housed in a cabin, is as much of a house pet as Tom is in this cartoon, and his trainer has to warn Tom not to “blame everything on the mouse”.
WB Kids started releasing excerpts from Tom and Jerry’s different works on the online YouTube site in May 2016. By January 2017, WB Kids had begun to release compilation videos of the Tom and Jerry franchise on the website.