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|Tom and Jerry series|
Re-release title card of Solid Serenade.
|Produced by||Fred Quimby|
|Music by||Scott Bradley|
|Preceded by||Trap Happy|
|Followed by||Cat Fishin'|
Solid Serenade is a 1946 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 26th Tom and Jerry short, produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on August 31, 1946 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer and April 3, 1954. It was produced by Fred Quimby, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, and the musical supervision was by Scott Bradley. Ed Barge, Michael Lah, and Kenneth Muse animated it; Pete Burness and Ray Patterson were uncredited animators. Excerpts of this cartoon are seen in three other Tom and Jerry shorts: Jerry And The Lion, Smitten Kitten, and Smarty Cat, the latter instance with altered audio and an added scene of Tom whistling.
In the backyard is a doghouse labeled "Killer" with the dog (Spike) inside. Tom pokes his head over the wall and spots Toodles in the window. Tom has brought a string instrument (which appears to be a hybrid of a double bass and a guitar). He leaps over the fence and neutralizes Spike by hitting him on the head with a mallet and tying him up. Tom then uses his instrument like a pogo stick to jump his way over to the window, stopping to taunt Spike along the way.
Tom performs "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby"; the sound waves from the instrument shake Jerry's mousehole, causing Jerry to fall out of bed and vibrate his way under a table, meanwhile a flower pot is vibrated across the table directly above Jerry's head and falls on him when both reach the edge of the table. Having had enough, Jerry take off her Nightcap pokes his head out of a mail slot and spots Tom before the vibration causes the match propping the slot open to break in half and the slot closes on Jerry's head. Jerry decides to get revenge by stuffing an iron into a pie which he then hurls at Tom through an open window; the cat is angered, but continues with a few more bars. Seconds later, he is hit in the face again – this time with a pie covered in whipped cream. Spotting Jerry, Tom chases him through the house.
Both animals dive off an ironing board; with Jerry ahead of Tom, Jerry drains the kitchen sink he landed in, leaving Tom to crash into the crockery. Tom follows Jerry through the open window, but Jerry pulls the window stop out of the window, which falls on Tom's neck, and Tom shrieks in pain. Jerry then runs out and unties Spike, who lets out a loud bull roar. Spike swaps his regular teeth for larger ones, blows off some pent-up steam, and goes after Tom.
Tom ducks as Spike's teeth come at him, which instead get lodged in a tree trunk. Tom then barely avoids getting his tail bitten and hides behind a wall, holding a brick up ready to attack. Spike sees the brick and investigates, but gets knocked on the head with it. Jerry revives Spike by hitting him with a wooden plank. After slamming Spike, Spike leaps high in the air screaming in pain just as Jerry hands off the board to Tom, framing the cat.
Knowing he is in trouble, Tom tricks Spike into believing the board is a bone by playing "fetch". Spike obliges and fetches but realizes he's been tricked. Tom and Spike then begin a back and forth chase with Toodles Galore watching on. Tom stops periodically to kiss the cat. Catching on to this habit, Spike substitutes himself on the third pass, and gets wooed in a Charles Boyer voice, but stops his speech abruptly when he sees the female cat. Realizing his mistake, he throws Spike onto the ground. Tom hides from Spike's rampage until Jerry walks around the corner; he chases Jerry into Spike's house, closing the door with a murderous laugh and Dracula leer. A second later, the door opens and Jerry emerges with Spike helping him out of the doghouse, Spike laughing even more evilly as he withdraws inside. The entire dog house thrashes about as Spike beats up Tom, who attempts to flee only to be snatched by Spike. Tom manages to write his last will before he's wrenched back in and beaten to within an inch of his life. In the end, Tom becomes part of his instrument in place of the strings with Spike strumming the cat's tail while Jerry bows a dramatic ostinato on Tom's whiskers and Toodles watches.
- Billy Bletcher as Killer (Spike) and Tom
- William Hanna as Tom's screams
- Buck Woods as Tom's Singing Voice
- Directed by: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
- Story: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
- Animation: Ed Barge, Michael Lah, Kenneth Muse
- Additional Animation: Ray Patterson, Pete Burness
- Music: Scott Bradley
- Co-Producer: William Hanna
- Produced by: Fred Quimby
Animation historian Michael Barrier wrote that Tom's appearance stabilized by the time of Solid Serenade, giving him a more streamlined and less inconsistent look. Jerry, whose appearance was already economical, only become cuter, according to Barrier. Describing music director Scott Bradley's work, academic Daniel Ira Goldmark called Solid Serenade "an excellent overview of Bradley's techniques", as it uses both popular songs and an original score.