Tom Cat

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This article is about the Tom and Jerry cartoon character. For other uses, see Tomcat.
Tom Cat
Tom and Jerry character
Tom Tom and Jerry.png
Tom's design in the Hanna-Barbera shorts.
First appearance Puss Gets the Boot (As Jasper) The Midnight Snack (As Tom)
Created by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voiced by See below
Information
Nickname(s) Tommy
Aliases Thomas
Species Domestic short-haired cat
Gender Male
Family Mammy Two Shoes
Unnamed man from Posse Cat and Cruise Cat
George and Joan
Relatives George (identical musophobic cousin)
Butch ("buddy" or rival)
Meathead ("buddy" or rival)
Topsy ("buddy" or rival)
Lightning ("buddy" or rival)
Fluff, Muff and Puff (enemy)
Jerry ("buddy" or mostly rival)

Thomas "Tom" Cat is a fictional character and one of the title characters (the second being Jerry Mouse) in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's series of Tom and Jerry theatrical cartoon short films. Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Tom is a blue/grey anthropomorphic domestic short-haired cat who first appeared in the 1940 animated short Puss Gets the Boot.[1] Tom was originally known as "Jasper" during his debut in that short,[2] however, beginning from his next appearance in The Midnight Snack and onwards, he is known as "Tom" or "Thomas".[3]

History[edit]

Tom and Jerry cartoons[edit]

His full name, "Tom Cat", is based on "tomcat", a phrase which refers to male cats. He is very rarely heard speaking with the exception of a few cartoons (such as Tom & Jerry Tales' League of Cats) and "Tom and Jerry: The Movie". His only notable vocal sounds outside of this are his various screams whenever he is subject to pain or panic. He is continuously after Jerry Mouse, for whom he sets traps, many of which backfire and cause damage to him rather than Jerry.

Tom has changed remarkably over the years, especially after the first episodes. For example, in his debut, he was quadrupedal and had normal cat intelligence. However, over the years (since the episode Dog Trouble), he has become almost completely bipedal and has human intelligence. As a slapstick cartoon character, Tom has a superhuman level of elasticity. Tom is usually defeated (or very rarely, killed) in the end, although there are some stories where he outwits and defeats Jerry.

Anchors Aweigh & Dangerous When Wet[edit]

Tom and Jerry appeared together in the 1945 Technicolor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musical Anchors Aweigh where Tom briefly appears as a butler for Jerry, the latter who has a dance sequence with Gene Kelly, and also in another musical with the same studio Dangerous When Wet (1953), where, in a dream sequence, main character Katie Higgins (Esther Williams) does an underwater ballet with Tom and Jerry, as well as animated depictions of the different people in her life.[4]

Voice actors[edit]

Love interests[edit]

Apart from chasing Jerry, Tom has multiple love interests with female cats. Their names start with "T", except in Tom and Jerry Kids. They are:

  • Toots, a fluffy beige cat who appears in Puss n' Toots and The Mouse Comes to Dinner, the latter being her only speaking role. This version of Toots also appeared in some 1940s Tom and Jerry comics.
  • Toots, a different cat by the same name who appears in The Zoot Cat. She has occasionally and erroneously been referred to as "Sheikie," but this is actually Tom's nickname, as seen on a gift card in the cartoon.
  • An unnamed, non-speaking cat who appears very briefly in The Bodyguard. She was made as a mere object of slap-stick humor, as when Tom gave her a wolf-whistle, he ironically gave himself away to Spike, who was supposed to protect Jerry every time he whistles.
  • Tara, a non-speaking cat who appears in Texas Tom.
  • Toodles Galore, a non-speaking recurring cat who sometimes adores Tom and sometimes treats him badly (particularly in Love Me, Love My Mouse). She appears in multiple shorts.
  • An unnamed white cat appearing in Blue Cat Blues. Similar to the cat seen in Muscle Beach Tom, except with a personality like Toodles.
  • Sugar-Belle, a beige kitten in the pre-Civil War era who once was enticed to Little Tom, but went to Beauregard, a fat dark brown kitten.
  • Cindy-Lou, a light brown kitten around Little Tom's age who wanted a mouse as a pet for a birthday gift, namely Jerry.
  • Lieutenant Lucy, a toupe kitten in a military outfit, as a Lieutenant at a U.S. Army training base, who did not turn a blind eye to Little Tom pestering Jerry.
  • White Tabby, A bi-pedal white kitten (a bit of a homage to Toodles),[citation needed] who wanted a mouse to cuddle with. After Little Tom gave her Jerry, she took the mouse to her boyfriend's limo.

Owners[edit]

Over his years as a housecat, Tom has multiple owners, varying in different cartoons.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IMDb. "Puss Gets the Boot". Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Mark Christopher Carnes, American national biography (2) 
  3. ^ IMDb. "The Midnight Snack (1941)". Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  4. ^ IMDb. "Dangerous When Wet (1953)". Retrieved 16 May 2010.