Tom and Jerry (Van Beuren)

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For the later MGM cartoon cat and mouse duo, see Tom and Jerry.

Tom and Jerry are fictional characters that starred in a series of early sound cartoons produced by the Van Beuren Studios, and distributed by RKO Pictures. The series lasted from 1931 to 1933. When Official Films purchased the Van Beuren library in the 1950s, the characters were renamed Dick and Larry to avoid confusion with Tom and Jerry, the famous MGM cartoon series of the '40s and '50s. Today, animation historians refer to the characters as Van Beuren's Tom and Jerry. Today, all of these cartoons are in the public domain.[citation needed]

Joseph Barbera began his career as an animator and storyman on this series. In 1940, Barbera co-created with William Hanna another duo of cartoon characters using the same names: a cat and mouse named Tom and Jerry.

Description[edit]

The characters were a Mutt and Jeff-like pair, one short (Jerry) and one tall (Tom). Each cartoon featured a different adventure and the plot varied from film to film. Sometimes they were lawyers, hunters, plumbers, hobos, etc. Stylistically, the cartoons were similar to those made by Fleischer Studios, which like Van Beuren Studios was located in New York City. According to Markstein's Toonopedia, Fleischer staff sometimes moonlighted at Van Beuren's, which was situated just across the road (accounting for the many visual similarities between the two). Tom and Jerry's adventures were generally absurdist comedies, featuring bizarre imagery, racist themes, and more than a few (minor) sexual references. One 1932 short (Piano Tooners) introduced a "flapper" character clearly[weasel words] derived from Fleischer's Betty Boop,[citation needed] further demonstrating the stylistic relationship between the two studios. Tom and Jerry, however, did not obtain popularity of the type Mickey Mouse, Betty Boop, and Bosko had, and the series was cancelled in 1933.

Filmography[edit]

Title Directors First release
Wot a Night John Foster and George Stallings August 1, 1931
Polar Pals John Foster and George Rufle September 5, 1931
Trouble John Foster and George Stallings October 10, 1931
Jungle Jam John Foster and George Rufle November 14, 1931
A Swiss Trick John Foster and George Stallings December 19, 1931
Rocketeers John Foster and George Rufle January 30, 1932
Rabid Hunters John Foster and George Stallings February 27, 1932
In the Bag John Foster and George Ruflem March 26, 1932
Joint Wipers John Foster and George Stallings April 23, 1932
Pots and Pans John Foster and George Rafle May 14, 1932
The Tuba Tooter John Foster and George Stallings June 4, 1932
Plane Dumb John Foster and George Rafle June 4, 1932
Redskin Blues John Foster and George Stallings July 23, 1932
Jolly Fish John Foster and George Stallings August 19, 1932
Barnyard Bunk John Foster and George Rufle September 16, 1932
A Spanish Twist John Foster and George Stallings October 7, 1932
Piano Tooners John Foster and George Rufle November 11, 1932
Pencil Mania John Foster and George Stallings December 9, 1932
Tight Rope Tricks John Foster and George Rufle January 6, 1933
Magic Mummy John Foster and George Stallings February 7, 1933
Happy Hoboes George Stallings and George Rufle March 31, 1933
Puzzled Pals George Stallings and Frank Sherman March 31, 1933
Hook and Ladder Hokum
(also A Fireman's Life and "Fire! Fire!" through Astra TV and Official Films, respectively)
George Stallings and Frank Tashlin April 28, 1933
In the Park Frank Sherman and George Rufle May 26, 1933
Dough Nuts Frank Sherman and George Rufle July 10, 1933
The Phantom Rocket Frank Sherman and George Rufle July 31, 1933

See also[edit]

External links[edit]