|Tom and Jerry series|
The title card of Switchin' Kitten
|Directed by||Gene Deitch|
|Produced by||William L. Snyder|
|Story by||Gene Deitch
|Music by||Václav Lídl|
|Animation by||Václav Bedřich|
|Layouts by||Gary Mooney
|Release date(s)||September 7, 1961|
|Preceded by||Tot Watchers|
|Followed by||Down and Outing|
Switchin' Kitten is a Tom and Jerry animated short film, released on September 7, 1961. It was the first cartoon in the series to be directed by Gene Deitch and produced by William L. Snyder in Czechoslovakia, after William Hanna and Joseph Barbera departed from MGM.
Since Switchin' Kitten was the first Tom and Jerry cartoon to be produced by the inexperienced Deitch/Snyder team, and since it was produced on a tight budget of $10,000, it contains a large amount of animation errors, pacing issues, reverberating audio, high-pitched hypnotic music, and bizarre, sometimes misplaced sound effects. As a result, it is often considered to be the absolute worst short in the series.
During a storm, Tom is trying to find a place to stay after being thrown out of a horse-drawn wagon. In the meantime, Jerry is assisting a mad scientist in an eerie castle. In their experiment, they switch the brains of a cat and dog. The mad scientist gives the cat-with-a-dog-brain to Jerry as a companion. While they are sleeping, Tom approaches the castle, capturing Jerry. The cat growls and takes Jerry back, threatening Tom. Tom tries to convince the cat that he is a cat, but fails.
Over the next few minutes, Tom's continuous efforts to catch Jerry are thwarted by the cat. After going through a series of beaker tubes, Tom tries to escape from the castle in fright. Along the way, he comes into contact with other animals that the mad scientist has experimented on, including a chirping elephant, a chicken that baas like a lamb, the blue dog whose brain was switched with the cat, a mooing cuckoo bird, and Jerry, who roars like Leo the Lion and even has a gold-ribboned mouse hole. Disturbed, Tom blasts off like a rocket out of the castle, while Jerry winks at the camera as the cartoon closes.