Down Beat Bear

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Down Beat Bear
Tom and Jerry series
Down Beat Bear credits.JPG
The title card of Down Beat Bear.
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Produced by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Story by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices by Paul Frees
Daws Butler
Bill Hanna (Dancing Bear's screams)
Music by Scott Bradley
Animation by Kenneth Muse
Ed Barge
Irven Spence
Lewis Marshall
Layouts by Richard Bickenbach
Backgrounds by Robert Gentle
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) October 12, 1956 (1956-10-12)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 6:23
Language English
Preceded by Muscle Beach Tom
Followed by Blue Cat Blues

Down Beat Bear is a 1956 one reel animated Tom and Jerry short, directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with music by Scott Bradley. The cartoon was animated by Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge, Irven Spence and Lewis Marshall, with backgrounds by Robert Gentle and layouts by Richard Bickenbach. It was released on October 12, 1956 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.


Jerry prances into his home inside the Cabinet radio and hangs up his hat. He pokes himself out of the flap and turns on a loud music tune.

Tom enters, hangs up his hat, sits down and reads a newspaper, but is angered by the music, and turns off the radio. Jerry is inside, irritated that this action removes all the light from the tubes inside the radio, because Tom turned the music off, and turns the radio back on. Tom's head throbs from the loudness. Tom switches of the radio, but Jerry turns the radio back on. Before Tom can quell the radio, an interrupting news announces on loose that there is a dancing bear who has escaped from the carnival, and is a trained bear, but will dance if he hears music, and is harmless. A reward for spotting the bear will have the local police contacted. The music then continues, and Jerry and Tom then proceed to toggle the radio on and off until Tom pulls the plug. Jerry peeps out, and attempts to turn the radio on, but fails when he finds that it is off.

The Down Beat Bear dances its way into the house.

The dancing bear dances down the street, stumbles by Tom and Jerry's house, spots fruit on a nearby table and munches on them. Tom spots the bear and extends his arm stealthily across the room and grabs the phone to call the cops. Jerry, meanwhile, plugs back in the radio. The bear then jumps into the house, grabs Tom before he can begin to call, and starts up a dance. Jerry looks astounded and sees this is a great opportunity to play with the cat. As the bear dances past the radio, Tom turns it off. The bear stares blankly at the cat, then drops him and resumes eating the fruit. Tom again attempts to use the phone, but finds that Jerry is ready to turn the radio back on. Tom grabs the mouse, but fails when the station button is still within reach and soon the cat is dragged across the floor by the bear. Tom then stuffs the bear into a closet, cuts the plug, and chases the mouse.

Jerry escapes the cat and hides in a full automatic record player. Tom cannot see him. Jerry plays a classical-music record. The bear breaks out of the closet when he hears the music, takes the door with him and runs right into the cat. Both cat and bear have their hands poked through a hole in the door and thus the bear can begin a tango dance (La Cumparsita). Tom recovers and knocks on his side of the door. The bear closes the door on him and pushes Tom into a grandfather clock. He wonders where the cat may have gone and then grabs the door. However, Tom takes the place of the pendulum inside while the bear continues the tango alone.

Tom spots the mouse waltzing by himself on top of the record player and breaks the record over Jerry's head. The chase resumes briefly until Jerry jumps on a piano and starts playing The Blue Danube. Tom then flees, but is soon met by the bear. Tom grabs a scraper and hits the mouse off the piano with it as he is passing by. Jerry lands on top of an ukulele and plays a jazz rhythm. Tom then tricks the bear into dancing right through the floor grate, and he breaks the ukulele while Jerry is playing. Jerry turns on a small portable radio and a second bulletin plays announcing a larger reward for the dancing bear.

Tom and the bear literally dance the night away.

Tom tries yet again to use the phone, but is interrupted by the music from the small radio. Tom dives through the various floor grates and then traps the bear in a folding couch. Tom chases Jerry outside, catches him, and takes the radio. He throws it into the air, but it slides across a branch and clicks on against an offshoot. Tom is shocked in bitterness when he hears that the music will continue for six hours and the bear asks him for a dance. To finish his reasons, he accepts it and lets Jerry escape. Tom dances with the bear in the moonlight. Then, the camera pulls out of the grassland where the two are dancing together on. "THE END" soon fades in near the moon.

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