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Jerry Mouse is a fictional animated character, one of the mian characters in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's series of Tom and Jerry theatrical cartoon short films. Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Jerry is a brown anthropomorphic mouse, who first appeared as an unnamed mouse in the 1940 MGM animated short Puss Gets the Boot.[1] Hanna gave the mouse's original name as "Jinx", [2] while Barbera claimed the mouse went unnamed in his first appearance. [1]

HistoryEdit

Tom and Jerry cartoonsEdit

The name "Jerry" was chosen by MGM animator John Carr, who submitted "Tom and Jerry" as potential names for the duo after an important Loews Inc. distributor in Texas asked for follow-ups to Puss Gets the Boot. [1] While the idea of a cat-and-mouse duo was considered shopworn by the 1940s [1], Hanna and Barbera decided to expand upon the standard expected hunter/prey relationship. Their Jerry Mouse, an "incurable scene stealer", [3] served more or less as the protagonist of most of the films; instead of being a "cowering victim" of his persuer, Tom Cat, he took delight in besting, and often torturing, his antagonist. [1] Hanna and Barbera considered Tom and Jerry "the best of enemies", whose rivalry hid an unspoken amount of mutual respect. [3]

In later Tom and Jerry cartoons, Jerry acquired a young ward: a small grey mouse called "Tuffy" or "Nibbles" depending upon the cartoon, [4] [5] who was left on Jerry's doorstep as a foundling baby in the 1946 short The Milky Waif. [5] Jerry and Tuffy were also featured together in a sub-series of Tom and Jerry cartoons set in 17th century France which featured the characters as musketeers. [4] The first of these shorts, The Two Mouseketeers, won the 1952 Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons. [4]

Hanna and Barbera served as writer/directors of the Tom and Jerry cartoons until 1956, when they also became the producers. [6] Fourteen Tom and Jerry cartoons between 1940 and 1954 were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons, with seven of the shorts winning that award. [7]Template:Rp MGM shut down its animation department in 1957, but new Tom and Jerry cartoons were produced by Gene Deitch and later Chuck Jones during the 1960s. Jerry would also appear in later Tom and Jerry productions made for television, a series of direct-to-video features, and Tom and Jerry: The Movie, a 1992 theatrical film. [8] The first of these shorts, The Two Mouseketeers, won the 1952 Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons. [4] Later productions eschewed much of the violence the 1940s and 1950s shorts were known for, and in several of the television shows Jerry was given a red bow tie and a kinder disposition. [9]

Anchors AweighEdit

On his own, Jerry Mouse appears in a fantasy sequence in the 1945 Gene Kelly MGM musical film Anchors Aweigh. [10] Jerry appears as the ruler of a kingdom where is music banned because he feels he lacks talent, and Kelly persuades the mouse into performing a song-and-dance number with him. [11] Kelly and MGM had originally wanted Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse as Kelly's dance partner for the sequence, but Disney was unwilling to license the character. [12]

Hanna and Barbera achieved the effect of Kelly dancing with Jerry by rotoscoping: live-action plates of Kelly dancing alone were shot first, and the action traced frame by frame so that Jerry's movements would match. [12] The success of the animated segment of Anchors Aweigh, which was noted as "stealing the show" in contemporary trade reviews, [11] led to two more live-action/animated projects for Hanna and Barbera and MGM: an underwater ballet sequence featuring both Tom and Jerry in Esther Williams' 1953 film Dangerous When Wet, and the "Sinbad the Sailor" sequence of Gene Kelly's 1956 film Invitation to the Dance. [12]

Voice actorsEdit

Jerry is primarily mute in most incarnations of Tom and Jerry. [3] William Hanna provided the vocal effects for Jerry in most of the 1940-58 Tom and Jerry shorts. [3] Vocal effects in the 1961 Gene Deitch shorts were provided by Allen Swift. [13] Sara Berner sings and speaks for Jerry in Anchors Aweigh, [14] while Dana Hill voices Jerry in Tom and Jerry: The Movie. [15]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Barbera, Joe (1994). My Life in 'Toons: From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century. Atlanta, GA: Turner Publishing. pp. 73-76. ISBN 1-57036-042-1. 
  2. Hanna, William (2000). A Cast of Friends. Da Capo Press. pp. 39-46. ISBN 0306809176. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Hanna, William (2000). A Cast of Friends. Da Capo Press. pp. 20. ISBN 078640728X. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Barbera, Joe (1994). My Life in 'Toons: From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century. Atlanta, GA: Turner Publishing. pp. 96. ISBN 1-57036-042-1. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Maltin, Leonard (1980, rev. 1987). Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. New York: Plume. pp. 303-304. ISBN 0452259932. 
  6. Barrier, Michael (1999). Hollywood Cartoons. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg. 547-548. ISBN 0-19-516729-5.
  7. Vallance, Tom (2006-12-20). "Joseph Barbera: Animation pioneer whose creations with William Hanna included the Flintstones and Tom and Jerry". The Independent (London). 
  8. Barbera, Joe (1994). My Life in 'Toons: From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century. Atlanta, GA: Turner Publishing. pp. 234-239. ISBN 1-57036-042-1. 
  9. Maltin, Leonard (1980, rev. 1987). Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. New York: Plume. pp. 306-309. ISBN 0452259932. 
  10. Albin Krebbs (February 3, 1996). "Gene Kelly, Dancer of Vigor and Grace, Dies". NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0823.html. Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Hanna, William (2000). A Cast of Friends. Da Capo Press. pp. 61-64. ISBN 0306809176. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Barbera, Joe (1994). My Life in 'Toons: From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century. Atlanta, GA: Turner Publishing. pp. 97-98. ISBN 1-57036-042-1. 
  13. Grimes, William (April 27, 2010). "Allen Swift, Voice Actor for Radio and TV, Dies at 86". The New York Times.
  14. Webb, Graham (2000). The animated film encyclopedia: a complete guide to American shorts, features and sequences 1900-197. McFarland. pp. 45-50. ISBN 0306809176. 
  15. McBride, Joseph (October 2, 1992), "Review of Tom and Jerry: The Movie", Variety, http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117900137.html?categoryid=31&cs=1&p=0 

External linksEdit

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