Down Beat Bear

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Down Beat Bear
Down Beat Bear credits.JPG
The title card of Down Beat Bear.
Directed byWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Produced byWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Story byWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
StarringPaul Frees
Daws Butler
Music byScott Bradley
Animation byKenneth Muse
Ed Barge
Irven Spence
Lewis Marshall
Layouts byRichard Bickenbach
Backgrounds byRobert Gentle
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • October 12, 1956 (1956-10-12)
Running time

Down Beat Bear is a 1956 one reel animated Tom and Jerry cartoon, directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with music by Scott Bradley. It was released on October 12, 1956 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.


Jerry prances into his home and turns on a Cabinet radio to turn on his light so he could read, but Tom enters and, disturbed by the music while reading, turns off the radio. Jerry, irritated, turns the radio back on, causing Tom's head to throb from the loudness. Tom switches it off again, and Jerry switches it on again. Before Tom can turn off the radio once more, a news broadcast announces that a trained bear has escaped from the carnival, and there is a big reward for reporting him to the police, but while he will dance if he hears music, he is harmless. Jerry and Tom then continue to toggle the radio on and off until Tom pulls the plug out.

The bear, dancing down the street to a swinging version of the Russian folk tune "Two Guitars", climbs over the wall to enter Tom and Jerry's house when he spots fruit on a table. Tom goes to call the cops, but when Jerry plugs the radio back in, the bear jumps into the house, grabs Tom, and dances with him, much to Jerry's amusement who sees this as an opportunity to play around with the cat. Tom manages to turn the radio off, causing the bear to resume eating the fruit. Tom again tries to use the phone, but sees Jerry about to turn the radio back on. Tom grabs Jerry, but Jerry still manages to switch on the radio, causing the bear to dance with Tom again. Tom tackles the bear into a closet, cuts the plug and chases Jerry.

Jerry hides in an automatic record player before turning it on, after which the bear breaks through the closet and runs into Tom with a door. Tom and the bear tango dance on opposite sides of the door until Tom knocks on the door, causing the bear to put down the door, unawarely pushing Tom into a grandfather clock.

Tom spots Jerry dancing and smashes the record being played over Jerry's head. Jerry then jumps on a piano and starts playing The Blue Danube. Tom flees, but runs into the bear. Tom manages to hit Jerry with a scraper, but Jerry lands on top of a ukulele and begins playing. Tom opens the floor grate to trap the bear and breaks Jerry's ukulele. Jerry turns on a small portable radio and a second bulletin plays announcing that the reward for the bear has doubled.

Tom tries to use the phone again, but music then plays from the small radio and the bear jumps out, ready to grab Tom for another dance. Tom dives through the floor grate to evade him, pops out of another floor gate in an adjacent room, and runs. The bear chases him, though, so Tom tricks him into tripping and falling onto a folding couch and subsequently traps him in it. He then catches Jerry outside the house and throws the radio after turning it off into the air as it hangs on the branch of a tree, but is shocked to find the radio has reactivated and the music will continue for another six hours, at which the bear (who has inexplicably and mysteriously escaped from the folding couch) silently asks him for a dance by batting his eyelashes at him. Tom shoos Jerry off and agrees (albeit begrudgingly), and they dance in the moonlight. After a short time, the screen pulls out of the place. "THE END" then fades in at the top near the moonlight.



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