The Bodyguard (1944 film)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2008)|
|Tom and Jerry series|
The reissue title card of The Bodyguard
|Directed by||William Hanna
|Produced by||Fred Quimby (unc. on original issue)|
|Voices by||Billy Bletcher|
|Music by||Scott Bradley|
|Animation by||Ken Muse
|Release date(s)||July 22, 1944|
|Preceded by||The Million Dollar Cat|
|Followed by||Puttin' on the Dog|
The Bodyguard is a 1944 American one-reel animated cartoon and is the 15th Tom and Jerry short directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, produced by Fred Quimby and animated by Ken Muse, Ray Patterson, Irven Spence and Pete Burness. The cartoon features Spike the bulldog in his second role, though this is the first time that we hear him speak. It was produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on July 22, 1944 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer.
The starting scene shows Tom running after Jerry. Jerry hides behind a potato mound in a garden when he hears Spike the bulldog call to him. Spike has been caught by a dog catcher and locked in the back of his truck, and Jerry is the only one who can help him escape from the truck before it drives away. Despite their differences (previously shown in 1942's Dog Trouble), Jerry shows Spike mercy and frees him by removing a piece of wood that latches the cage shut. Spike falls out of the truck just as it pulls away, and thanks Jerry by vowing to assist the mouse at any time at the sound of a whistle.
Completely carefree, Jerry strolls down the sidewalk, and Tom jumps out from around the corner with a plate, a fork, and a knife, and a napkin around his neck. As Jerry screeches to a stop and reverses direction, Tom sneaks around the fence and holds out two pieces of bread just as the mouse passes by, such that Jerry is unable to stop in time. Just as Tom starts to cut the bread in half with Jerry in it, Jerry whistles and Spike makes the save by grabbing Tom by the neck. He checks on Jerry to make sure he is O.K. and then issues Tom an ultimatum: the cat had better leave Jerry alone or he will face the consequences; and to prove his point, he squashes Tom into an accordion before walking off, reminding his pal once again to "just whistle". Seeing an opportunity to provoke Tom, Jerry picks up a tiny board and challenges the cat to a fight, who flippantly flicks the board away and prepares to punch the mouse into oblivion. Jerry then whistles and before the punch lands, Spike zooms in and his own punch lands onto Tom's face, which leaves the cat dazed in front of a city mailbox behind him. Once again, Spike reminds Jerry of their pact: "Anytime, chum".
Tom then tries to smash Jerry with a lead pipe and the resulting chase takes the duo to Spike. Jerry perches on the dog and pushes on Spike's nose to reveal a sharp set of teeth, as if to say "Stay away from me". Before the canine can attack him, Tom wriggles out of the situation by kissing Jerry, dropping him in a stroller and rolling the mouse down the street, using the pipe as a flute. When he passes behind a set of garbage cans, Tom basks in his victory by laughing menacingly; in the same evil voice, he utters "In me power!" Unfortunately, the cat's attraction to the opposite sex gets the better of him when he soon spots a cute female cat and loudly wolf-whistles at her, momentarily forgetting that this will lead to Spike attacking him. The dog pops up behind him and use two garbage can lids as cymbals on Tom's head.
Later, Tom spots Jerry strolling along, still on top of the world and soon the cat notices a bubble gum machine nearby. He shakes, throttles, and nudges the machine to obtain two gumballs, then covers one of them in glue. So as to get Jerry to eat the other piece of gum, the cat sits down and draws attention to himself chewing his piece. The manner in which Tom methodically enjoys his gum makes Jerry hungry for a piece. Tom then offers Jerry the glue-covered gumball, and Jerry suspiciously smells it, but follows through and starts chewing the gum. Jerry then shakes Tom's hand as a thank you and Tom winks at the camera. Quickly, the mouse figures out that the gum has glued his mouth shut and that he is unable to whistle (this gumball has glued his mouth shut so that he cannot whistle anymore because his voice is muffled). Using a similar trick to Tom's earlier in the cartoon, Jerry points to his lips and rubs his stomach as if to say that he adored the gum, then leaves the scene with Tom in pursuit. Jerry quickly shakes his hand again and runs away with Tom behind him.
Jerry briefly stops the chase to attempt to whistle a second time, and when he is still unable to do so, shrugs and begins to run away again. When he sees an anvil up ahead, the mouse holds it up and Tom runs into it, causing the cat to resemble a table. Jerry tries to escape through a hole in a fence but gets stuck, and as he unsuccessfully tries to free himself, Tom then grabs a slim wooden board and motions to hit Jerry with it...until he sees Spike walk by and decides to wait. Jerry tries to gesture to Spike that he needs help and that he can't whistle, but Spike doesn't understand what Jerry is saying and will only respond to the whistle. With the danger of retaliation past, Tom whacks Jerry all the way towards Spike again. Jerry tries again to tell his friend what happened and begs Spike to help him ("Please help me" is clearly audible even though it is muffled). Spike laughs at this, calls it "baby talk", and goes inside a yard. Jerry then pounds on the door for help, but has to run away from the approaching cat. As Spike opens the door, Tom's head gets stuck in Spike's mouth, forcing the cat to again shrug and run away.
The mouse eventually crawls through another hole in a different fence and tries to whistle until he turns red in the face. Eventually, Jerry blows a bubble and it keeps enlarging as Jerry forces more air into it. Tom climbs over the fence to chase the mouse, but soon sees the bubble growing to a gigantic size and cringes in terror as it explodes. A long, shrill whistle is emitted by the released air and Jerry's cleared mouth, and Tom pleads with Jerry to stop whistling, but he keeps going. "Knowing" Spike will completely whale on him, he digs his own grave, then writes his will, which says "I Thomas leave all to charity". As Tom finishes writing, both cat and mouse look up in puzzlement at the dog's disappearance, and once more find him locked up in the back of the dog catcher's truck again. This time, a padlock keeps the door shut so that Spike will no longer be able to escape the same way again and can no longer help his friend. Still whistling, Jerry chases the truck down the road with Tom chasing him.
- Billy Bletcher as Spike the bulldog and Tom (uncredited)