Blue Cat Blues
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|Blue Cat Blues|
|Tom and Jerry series|
|Directed by||William Hanna
|Produced by||William Hanna
|Story by||William Hanna
|Voices by||Paul Frees (Uncredited)|
|Music by||Scott Bradley|
|Animation by||Ed Barge
|Layouts by||Richard Bickenbach|
|Backgrounds by||Robert Gentle|
|Release date(s)||November 16, 1956|
|Preceded by||Down Beat Bear|
|Followed by||Barbecue Brawl|
Blue Cat Blues is a 1956 one reel animated Tom and Jerry cartoon directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with music by Scott Bradley. Released on November 16, 1956 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the cartoon was animated by Ed Barge, Irven Spence, Lewis Marshall and Kenneth Muse, with layouts by Richard Bickenbach and backgrounds by Robert Gentle.
Unusual for a Tom and Jerry short, Jerry "speaks", narrating the story in voiceover via Paul Frees. Since Jerry narrates through inner monologue, the short does not break the "cardinal rule" of not having Tom or Jerry physically speaking on screen. Also, unusually for a Tom and Jerry cartoon, while all the others have comical storylines, this one has a tragic one. Because of this—and the implied suicide at the end—this cartoon has rarely been seen on American TV, although it has aired once on TNT in the early 1990s and made its rounds on local affiliate channels. However, the short aired for only once on Cartoon Network Southeast Asia in November 2010. As of March 2014, very few airings are known but it has been shown briefly on Cartoon Network in the USA.
A depressed Tom sits on the railroad tracks, bent on suicide. Watching from a bridge crossing the tracks overhead, Jerry laments his old friend's state. Jerry knows that, when he gets home, his own friends will ask him why he didn't even try to stop Tom. Jerry believes that "it's better this way, and for the first time since he met her, he will be happy". Jerry recalls the events leading up to Tom's depression:
Tom and Jerry were inseparable friends, until a beautiful white female cat caught Tom's eye. The white cat initially reciprocated Tom's affections, but that soon changed when the much-wealthier Butch also became smitten by the white cat - rudely interrupting her date with Tom to make his move. The white cat proved herself an opportunist, as Jerry had suspected her to be. Attracted by wealth, she promptly left Tom for Butch.
Having seen the white cat for what she was, and how she'd made a fool of his best friend, he vainly urged Tom to let Butch have her. Ignoring Jerry's warnings, Tom pushed himself and his finances to the limit and beyond, in futile attempts at winning back the white cat's affections. He brought her such presents as flowers, perfume, a diamond ring, and a car (an utter jalopy, for which Tom literally sold himself into slavery - 20 years of it - so that he could cover 26 years' worth of payments at the annual interest rate of 112%). Yet Butch's presents were much bigger, to the point of outrageous extravagance (a large floral wreath, a tanker truck full of perfume, a ring with a diamond so large and shiny that it could not be looked at without eye protection, and a luxurious coupe). The white cat rejected the desperate Tom, which caused him to go downhill fast.
Broken-hearted and hopelessly in debt, Tom drowned his sorrows in milk - despite Jerry's pleas to stop. Tom almost let himself go down the gutter (literally), but Jerry rescued him. Then Tom saw his ex-girlfriend riding by in Butch's coupe, which was laden with luggage and had a "Just Married" sign on the back.
Jerry breaks from the sad story to think about his own girlfriend, "Toots". He is happy that, unlike Tom's ex-girlfriend, she has been faithful. Suddenly, Jerry's idyllic world is shattered when Toots rides by with another mouse, a "Just Married" sign on the back of their car. Jerry, now dejected, joins Tom on the railroad tracks. They wait for an oncoming train, which draws near. The oncoming train's whistle sounds louder as the cartoon fades out.
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