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|Tom and Jerry series|
|Produced by||Fred Quimby|
|Music by||Scott Bradley|
|Layouts by||Richard Bickenbach|
|Preceded by||Old Rockin' Chair Tom|
|Followed by||Mouse Cleaning|
Professor Tom is a 1948 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 37th Tom and Jerry cartoon released on October 30, 1948, directed by the duo's creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, produced by Fred Quimby, animated by Ray Patterson, Irven Spence, Kenneth Muse and Ed Barge with music by Scott Bradley. It was reissued on February 3, 1956 for re-release. The roles are reversed for a later Tom and Jerry short in 1954, Little School Mouse.
Tom is a professor, teaching a small gray kitten named Topsy about catching mice. After a bored Topsy falls asleep, Jerry interferes and attempts to convince Topsy that mice are friendly. Tom tries to grab Jerry, but the mouse rubs his chalk to hurt his ears. Tom then catches Jerry, but is forced to let him go as Topsy then picks up a squeaky chalk and makes a screech (squeak) on the chalkboard. As punishment, Tom forces Topsy to immediately chase Jerry. When Topsy reaches the mouse, Jerry shakes his hand to illustrate that mice are kind-hearted, but this causes Tom to scream in aggravation, so the chase continues.
Topsy proves to be clumsy, running into a chair and getting his head stuck between a couch and a table, but on both occasions Jerry helps him to his feet. Topsy then slips on the rug and crashes through the shower door as Tom runs off to search for him. Topsy then shields Jerry from Tom and goes off to teach Topsy that cat and mice like them should be friends, but Tom interrupts. Jerry holds Tom off with his pointer, but Tom resists Topsy's advances and sends him off to catch Jerry.
Topsy runs straight past Jerry, but Tom then starts to chase Jerry in a circle, handing Topsy a vase to ensure he hits Jerry, but Topsy does not understand the hint. After a few laps around, Topsy does nothing, so Tom points at the vase and then points to Jerry to signal to whack him. Topsy instead thinks he means to give Jerry the vase, so he does, and Jerry whacks Tom in the head with it. As Jerry flees to his hole, Tom grabs a cigar to blow smoke into it, but he quickly turns sick and passes out after six inhalations. As Jerry emerges with a clothespin on his nose, Tom quickly recovers, but Jerry stuffs the cigar into his face to make Tom pass out again.
Jerry then runs back to Topsy, who picks him up. Tom, thinking Topsy has finally learned, shakes his hand, kisses him, and pats him on the head. Tom then asks Topsy to hand Jerry to him, but Topsy defies him and lets Jerry go. After Topsy trips Tom, an angry Tom grabs him, sits down, and turns him over his knee and begins spanking on his bare bottom, causing Jerry to come to Topsy's aid by snapping Tom's tail. As Jerry runs down a carpet, Tom rolls the carpet up to trap him. Tom then goes to throw the carpet outside, but Jerry escapes and throws Tom and the carpet into the garden's pool. After Jerry runs back into the house, he slams the house doors in Tom's face and closes the windows.
Locked out, Tom decides to charge through the door at full force to break it down. Jerry quickly flees as an unaware Topsy opens the door. After Tom flattens Topsy, Jerry stretches an innertube across two posts on the backyard deck, stopping Tom in his tracks as he is sent flying back through the house and crashing through the mailbox with his head sticking out one end and his legs, tail, and butt sticking out the other end with his hands pinned by his sides. With Tom completely helpless, Jerry decides to take revenge on Tom for what he has done. Deciding that a good paddling is in order, Jerry grabs a piece of wood and prepares to paddle Tom. Topsy stops him. He decides to give every bit as good as he was given by paddling Tom. Topsy takes the paddle and gives Tom a moment to think about the painful, bare butt blistering that he is prepared to face as he hits Tom's defenseless bottom. He gives Tom a solid, blistering whack, bending the mailbox and breaking the paddle. With his revenge complete, he then gives Tom's teacher hat to Jerry and the two buddies walk away holding hands as friends, proving Jerry's theory correct and leaving Tom stranded in the mailbox.
- Directed by: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
- Animation: Ray Patterson, Irv Spence, Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge
- Layout: Richard Bickenbach
- Music: Scott Bradley
- Produced by: Fred Quimby
- Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection Vol. 2, Disc One
- Tom and Jerry Golden Collection Volume One, Disc Two
- "Smoke's no joke for Tom and Jerry". BBC News Online. BBC. 21 August 2006. Retrieved 13 June 2009.