Tom Cat

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Tom
Tom and Jerry character
Tom Tom and Jerry.png
Tom's design in the Hanna-Barbera shorts.
First appearance
Created byWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voiced byEnglish
Harry E. Lang (1940–1953)
William Hanna (1941–1958, 2006, 2014-present)
Patrick McGeehan (1941–1958, 2006, 2014-present)
Daws Butler (1950, 1957)
Allen Swift (1961–1962)
Gene Deitch (1961–1962)
Mel Blanc (1963–1967, 2021)
Chuck Jones (1965–1967)
Abe Levitow (1966–1967)
John Stephenson (1975)
Lou Scheimer (1980)
Frank Welker (1990, 2014-present, 2021)
Richard Kind (1992)
Alan Marriott (2000)
Jeff Bennett (2002)
Marc Silk (2002)
Spike Brandt (2005–2017)
Don Brown (2006–2008)
Billy West (2010–2011, 2016)
Rich Danhakl (2014–present)
Japanese
Shun Yashiro (1964–1970)
Kazue Takahashi (1970–1999)
Kaneta Kimotsuki (2000–2016)
Setsuji Satō (2016–present)
In-universe information
Full nameThomas Cat
SpeciesDomestic Cat
GenderMale
RelativesGeorge (identical cousin)
Tim (cat)

Thomas Cat is a fictional character and one of the two titular main protagonists (the other being Jerry Mouse) in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's series of Tom and Jerry theatrical animated short films. Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, he is a grey and white anthropomorphic domestic short haired mute Tuxedo cat who first appeared in the 1940 MGM animated short Puss Gets the Boot.[1] The cat was known as "Jasper" during his debut in the short;[2] however, beginning with his next appearance in The Midnight Snack he was known as "Tom" or "Thomas".

History[edit]

Tom and Jerry cartoons[edit]

His name, "Tom Cat", is based on "tomcat", a word which refers to male cats. He is usually mute and rarely heard speaking with the exception of a few cartoons (such as 1943's The Lonesome Mouse, 1944's The Zoot Cat and 1992's Tom and Jerry: The Movie). His only notable vocal sounds outside of this are his various screams whenever he is subjected to panic or, more frequently, pain. He is continuously after Jerry Mouse, for whom he sets traps, many of which backfire and cause damage to him rather than Jerry. His trademark scream was provided by creator William Hanna.

Tom has changed over the years upon his evolution, especially after the first episodes. For example, in his debut, he was quadrupedal. However, over the years (since the episode Dog Trouble), he has become almost completely bipedal and has human intelligence and he is similar to his previous appearance, in 1945 shorts he had twisted whiskers and his appearance kept changing. In the 1940s and early 1950s, he had white fur between his eyes. In newer cartoons, the white fur is gone. As a slapstick cartoon character, Tom has a superhuman level of elasticity. Tom is usually defeated (or very rarely, killed, like in Mouse Trouble, where he explodes) in the end, although there are some stories where he outwits and defeats Jerry.

Tom has variously been portrayed as a house cat doing his job, and a victim of Jerry's blackmail attempts, sometimes within the same short. He is almost always called by his full name "Thomas" by Mammy Two Shoes.[3]

Anchors Aweigh and Dangerous When Wet[edit]

Tom and Jerry appeared together in the 1945 Technicolor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musical Anchors Aweigh where Tom briefly appears as a butler for King Jerry, the latter who has a dance sequence with Gene Kelly, and also in another musical with the same studio Dangerous When Wet (1953), where, in a dream sequence, main character Katie Higgins (Esther Williams) does an underwater ballet with Tom and Jerry, as well as animated depictions of the different people in her life.

Voice actors[edit]

Despite almost every short depicts Tom being silent (besides his vocal sounds such as screaming and gasping), there are some cartoons featured him speaking, with his first film appearance (along with co-star Jerry) in 1992, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, being an example as Tom and Jerry talk throughout the film.

Here are several of his voiceover actors:

Voiced by in unofficial material:

Tom has had a number of different voice actors over the years. When the character debuted in Puss Gets the Boot, voice actor Harry E. Lang provided the screeches and meows for Tom. He would continue to do so until Sufferin Cats (1943). Beginning with the short The Night Before Christmas (1941), co-creator William Hanna provided the vocal effects for the character until the last Hanna-Barbera short Tot Watchers (1958), while two of Tom's vocal effects were reused audio of Patrick McGeehan from the 1943 Tex Avery short What's Buzzin' Buzzard. During this time period, Lang occasionally provided vocal effects and did the speaking voice for Tom between 1944 and 1953. Billy Bletcher also voiced him in a few shorts between 1944 and 1950. Stepin Fetchit also voiced him in a sequence in the short Mouse Cleaning (1948). In 1961–1962, when Gene Deitch took over as director after the MGM cartoon studio shut down in 1957, he and Allen Swift did vocal effects for Tom throughout that time period. When Chuck Jones took over during 1963–1967, he, Abe Levitow and Mel Blanc (best known for voicing Bugs Bunny and other characters) voiced Tom.

In The Tom and Jerry Show (1975), Tom was voiced by John Stephenson. Lou Scheimer voiced him in The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show in 1980–1982. Frank Welker voiced him in Tom and Jerry Kids in 1990–1993. Other voice actors include Richard Kind (in Tom and Jerry: The Movie), Jeff Bergman in a Cartoon Network Latin America bumper, Alan Marriott (in Tom and Jerry in Fists of Furry), Jeff Bennett (in Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring), Marc Silk (in Tom and Jerry in War of the Whiskers), Bill Kopp (in Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars and Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry), Spike Brandt (in The Karate Guard, Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale, Tom and Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse, Tom and Jerry's Giant Adventure, Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon, Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest, and Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), Don Brown (in Tom and Jerry Tales) and Billy West (in Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes, Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz, and Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz). In The Tom and Jerry Show (2014), his vocal effects are provided by show's sound designer Rich Danhakl and archival recordings of William Hanna, Patrick McGeehan and Harry E. Lang from the original theatrical shorts.

In popular culture[edit]

Tom and Jerry were planned to appear as a cameo in the deleted scene "Acme's Funeral" from the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Tom and Jerry". www.toonopedia.com. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  2. ^ Mark Christopher Carnes (2002), American national biography, ISBN 978-0-19-522202-9
  3. ^ Sampson, Henry T. (1962). That's Enough, Folks: Black Images in Animated Cartoons, 1900–1960. Scarecrow Pressure . pp. 57, 61–3. ISBN 9780810832503.
  4. ^ "Rachel's Turn On The Fence: Another Look At THE ALLEY CAT (1941)". The Home For Orphan Toons. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Jerry Mann". Youp. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Tom and Jerry in “The Zoot Cat” (1944)". Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  7. ^ a b c "Tom and Jerry in “Solid Serenade” (1946)". Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  8. ^ a b "Tom & Jerry – The Gene Deitch Collection". Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  9. ^ "Cartoonnetwork.la.com - Tom and Jerry Commercial". YouTube. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Boomerang Nordic Animated Indents 2010". YouTube. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Voice of Tom in Mad". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  12. ^ Davis, Lauren (12 May 2014). "See The Toons Who Would Have Appeared In Roger Rabbit's Deleted Funeral". io9. Retrieved 7 July 2019.