Jerry Mouse

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Jerry Mouse
Tom and Jerry character
Jerry Mouse.png
First appearance Puss Gets the Boot (As Jinx)
Midnight Snack (As Jerry)
Created by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voiced by See below
Information
Species House mouse
Gender Male[citation needed]
Family Nibble/Nibbles (ward/nephew)
Relatives Uncle Pecos (uncle)
Muscles (cousin)
Dinky (nephew)
Unnamed mother

Jerry is a fictional character and one of the title characters (the first being Tom) 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 house 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 her first appearance.[1]

History

Tom and Jerry cartoons

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 her pursuer, Tom, she took delight in besting, and often torturing, his antagonist (though sometimes, Tom is just following orders or is even just minding his own business and is antagonized by Jerry).[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 1951 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]:32 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] 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 Aweigh

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 music is 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 Kelly's 1956 film Invitation to the Dance.[12]

Tom and Jerry Kids

In 1990, this version of Jerry wears a red bowtie, and has a tuft of hair on his head. He often taunts Tom (as a kitten) any chance he gets. Sometimes, in a few episodes, he is friends with Tom.

Voice actors

Jerry is primarily mute in most incarnations of Tom and Jerry,[3] but on occasion he did have a voice.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e 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 0-306-80917-6. 
  3. ^ a b c d Hanna, William (2000). A Cast of Friends. Da Capo Press. p. 20. ISBN 0-7864-0728-X. 
  4. ^ a b c Barbera, Joe (1994). My Life in 'Toons: From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century. Atlanta, GA: Turner Publishing. p. 96. ISBN 1-57036-042-1. 
  5. ^ a b Maltin, Leonard (1980, rev. 1987). Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. New York: Plume. pp. 303–304. ISBN 0-452-25993-2. 
  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 0-452-25993-2. 
  10. ^ Albin Krebbs (February 3, 1996). "Gene Kelly, Dancer of Vigor and Grace, Dies". NY Times. Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
  11. ^ a b Hanna, William (2000). A Cast of Friends. Da Capo Press. pp. 61–64. ISBN 0-306-80917-6. 
  12. ^ a b c 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. ^ Webb, Graham (2000). The animated film encyclopedia: a complete guide to American shorts, features and sequences 1900-197. McFarland. pp. 45–50. ISBN 0-306-80917-6. 
  14. ^ Grimes, William (April 27, 2010). "Allen Swift, Voice Actor for Radio and TV, Dies at 86". The New York Times.
  15. ^ McBride, Joseph (October 2, 1992), "Review of Tom and Jerry: The Movie", Variety