The Yankee Doodle Mouse

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The Yankee Doodle Mouse
Tom and Jerry series
Yankee Doodle Mouse Poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Produced by Fred Quimby (unc. on original issue)
Story by William Hanna (unc.)
Joseph Barbera (unc.)
Voices by William Hanna (uncredited)
Music by Scott Bradley
Animation by Irven Spence
Pete Burness
Kenneth Muse
George Gordon
Jack Zander (credited on original issue)
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) June 26, 1943
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:28
Language English
Preceded by The Lonesome Mouse
Followed by Baby Puss

The Yankee Doodle Mouse is a 1943 American one-reel animated cartoon. It is the eleventh Tom and Jerry short produced by Fred Quimby, and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with musical supervision by Scott Bradley and animation by Irven Spence, Pete Burness, Kenneth Muse and George Gordon. Jack Zander was credited on the original print, but his credit was omitted in the 1951 reissue[citation needed]. It was produced in Technicolor and released to theaters on June 26, 1943 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer.

The short features Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse chasing each other in a pseudo-warfare style, and makes numerous references to World War II technology such as jeeps and dive bombers. The Yankee Doodle Mouse won the 1943 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, making it the first of seven Tom and Jerry cartoons to receive this distinction.[1]

Plot[edit]

Tom pursues Jerry through a cellar, but the mouse successfully dives into his mousehole (labeled "Cat Raid Shelter"). Tom peers into the hole, and Jerry launches a tomato from a mousetrap into his face. Jerry then climbs up the wall and grabs a handful of eggs from a carton marked "Hen-Grenades". As Tom wipes the tomato off his face, he is promptly covered in egg, with one hit to the eye leaving the effect of him wearing a monocle. Jerry shoots off the corks from a champagne case, knocking the cat into a tub of water with only a pot to keep him afloat. The mouse promptly launches a brick from a spatula, sinking both pot and cat. A war communiqué is displayed, reading "Sighted cat – sank same. Signed, Lt. Jerry Mouse."

Tom approaches Jerry's mousehole with a mallet in his hand, while Jerry uses a pipe as a makeshift periscope to observe; spotting this trap, he instead opens the ironing board cupboard, sending the board crashing onto Tom's head. The mouse charges down the board on a jeep made from a cheese grater attached to a roller skate, tearing Tom's fur as he speeds past, after which the jeep crashes into a wall, sending a sack of flour tumbling down. Adapting quickly to the situation, Jerry grabs the sack and spreads a makeshift flour smokescreen, which blocks Tom's vision but not Jerry's. He repeatedly smacks the nearly blind Tom in the rear with a board, but eventually Tom falls to the ground facing the mouse; he slaps Tom a fourth time before the cat can do anything.

Tom, now wearing a bowl as a helmet, throws a stick of dynamite towards Jerry, who immediately throws it back to Tom; this continues until Jerry takes it from Tom, provoking the cat to steal it back and this new cycle to continue until Jerry leaves Tom to triumphantly hold the exploding stick. Jerry jumps into a tea kettle to escape the cat's wrath, but Tom sees him and throws another firecracker into the kettle; Jerry panics, but the oxygen has run out and the mouse escapes through the spout with no explosion. The puzzled cat opens the kettle's lid and sticks his entire head in just as the firecracker goes off.

Continuing his attempts to blow up the mouse, Tom launches a paper airplane with a firecracker hidden on top, but Jerry blows it back beneath Tom, who barely spots the firecracker before it goes off and is again black in the face. Jerry then plants an enormous stick of dynamite behind Tom; the cat sees it and screams in terror until the cracker splits into successively smaller sticks reminiscent of matryoshka dolls, ending with a minuscule replica of the original firecracker. Tom believes this harmless, but the dynamite explodes powerfully.

Jerry then jumps into a makeshift plane fashioned from an egg carton and drops a succession of light bulbs and a banana bomb, which hit his head and face. Tom grabs a firecracker launcher and skillfully shoots down Jerry's now weaponless plane. Jerry uses a brassiere to parachute from the plane, but is again shot down by Tom. Jerry races into his mousehole to escape, but Tom pushes a cannon into the hole and fires off seven shots.

The mortar pursue Jerry through the cellar and eventually he leads them into a hose, which he shoots like a machine gun back into the barrel of Tom's cannon. The barrel explodes, leaving Tom riding the remaining parts of the barrel like a bicycle, which then crashes into the wall. Recovering, Tom fires a dart gun at Jerry, which hits him on the tail as he again attempts to dive into his mousehole.

Tom grabs the mouse and ties him to an ignited rocket; Jerry pretends to help himself be tied up, but unknown to Tom he is actually strapping the cat's hands to the rocket. Jerry emerges from the ropes, and the puzzled Tom does not realize what has happened until Jerry waves at him. He futilely attempts to blow out the fuse, but the rocket shoots high into the sky and explodes there, forming the US Stars and Stripes. Jerry proudly salutes the flag, and a final communiqué is displayed, saying "SEND MORE CATS! Signed, Lt. Jerry Mouse."

Censorship[edit]

The teapot exploding on Tom's face causing him to be a blackfaced sunflower is cut out on Cartoon Network during the early 1990s. Versions shown on several video collections, the Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection DVD set, and at the iTunes Store are uncut.[2]

Lost scene[edit]

Like other studios MGM reissued 30's and 40's cartoons to theaters during the 1950's and the 1960's. Many of the studios had the habit of changing the titles and some of the content. In the majority of cases the original elements still exist in studios vaults. Because of the 1967 MGM Vault fire, only the backup prints exists of MGM cartoons pre-1951 (usually the altered reissue version). The Yankee Doodle Mouse is one of those. It was reissued in 1951, two changes were made, one to the opening title and one to the body:

The opening title was completely replaced, thus the original credits are now presumed lost; the lost sequence happens right after Jerry runs off and into a mouse hole after hitting Tom in the face, Tom follows him and jam his head into Jerry's mouse hole. However, Jerry uses a wrench to pin him inside, then proceeds to wet stamps on Tom's tongue and paste them into a book. The scene then dissolves into a second war communique, which reads: "Enemy gets in a few good licks! Signed, Lt. Jerry Mouse."[3][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gifford, Denis (2001-03-24). "William Hanna: Master animator whose cartoon creations included Tom and Jerry and the Flintstones". The Guardian (London). 
  2. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20070205112019/looney.goldenagecartoons.com/ltcuts/mgmcuts.html
  3. ^ http://thadkomorowski.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/yankeedoodlemouse01.jpg
  4. ^ http://thadkomorowski.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/yankeedoodlemouse05.jpg

External links[edit]