The Milky Waif

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The Milky Waif
Tom and Jerry series
1954 reissue title card of The Milky Waif
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Produced by Fred Quimby
Voices by Lillian Randolph
Music by Scott Bradley
Animation by Michael Lah
Kenneth Muse
Ed Barge
Effects animation:
Ray Patterson
Irven Spence
(both uncredited)
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) May 18, 1946
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:23
Language none (text in English)
Preceded by Springtime for Thomas
Followed by Trap Happy

The Milky Waif is a 1946 American one-reel animated cartoon and is the 24th Tom and Jerry short directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, produced by Fred Quimby in Technicolor, released in theaters on May 18, 1946, and re-released in theaters on January 9, 1954 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. It was animated by Ed Barge, Kenneth Muse and Michael Lah. The name is a pun on "The Milky Wave" and "The Milky Way".


Jerry is asleep in his bed having a nightmare, when he wakes to the sound of a knock at his door and goes out to open it, finding a basket on his door step. He pokes the basket, and it comes alive and runs around in circles. Jerry pulls the blanket off to reveal Nibbles (his first appearance). An attached note says, "Please take care of Little Nibbles—He's always hungry! P.S. Feed him lots of milk." Nibbles then begins licking his lips and rubbing his belly.

After finding that he has no food, Jerry tiptoes out of his hole, spotting Tom asleep by his bowl of milk. Nibbles sees the milk and runs towards it, but Jerry pulls him back and goes out to get the milk for him. Nibbles runs out, but accidentally wakes Tom. Jerry grabs Nibbles and both fall into the bowl of milk, splashing it into Tom's face and waking him. Tom, startled, looks around and sees no one, so he starts to drink his milk. Jerry and Nibbles are under the milk, holding their breath, until Tom unsuspectingly scoops up Nibbles with his tongue. Jerry jumps out of the milk and opens the cat's mouth to retrieve Nibbles, which begins the chase. The mice retreat into the mousehole before Tom crashes head first into the wall.

Jerry builds a pipeline of straws into the milk, but Tom turns the tables by grabbing the end of the straw and sucking Nibbles through into it. Jerry squishes the end of the straw, saving Nibbles just in time, and blows the small mouse into the mousehole. Tom chases Jerry back to his hole, but the cat moves the hole so that Jerry crashes into the wall, and grabs him, but Nibbles comes out and hits Tom's tail with a hammer. The chase starts up again until Nibbles sips and spits some milk into Tom's face.

Jerry and Nibbles hide in a closet, while Tom pounds on the door. Jerry uses a container of shoe polish to disguise himself and Nibbles as a pair of black people. Jerry (voiced by Lillian Randolph) emerges from the closet, dressed in a headscarf and in blackface, and greets Tom. Out comes Nibbles, also in blackface and wearing a headscarf. However, the disguise is revealed when Nibbles' diaper falls down, exposing his tail and gray fur. The chase continues until Jerry hits Tom in the face with a frying pan, knocking him out before he pulls out Tom's tongue, and with all his strength, knocks the cat in the head, causing Tom to chomp his tongue and yell in pain, before the chase continues once again. Jerry hands the frying pan to Nibbles and continues to lead the chase. But instead of whacking the cat, Nibbles swings too soon and smashes his comrade. This repeats a second time, and on the third time around, Jerry stops and points at the cat. Nibbles obliges and hits Tom square in the face, then crawls under the rug to escape with Jerry. Tom grabs a bottle to trap the mice, but only catches Jerry. Nibbles taunts the cat and darts back under the rug, and Tom continues the chase.

Nibbles stops at the bowl again, signals for Tom to stop, and starts to drink the milk. Tom allows the mouse to drink briefly, then grabs Nibbles, but Nibbles crawls under Tom's fur. Tom grabs his tail and a revolver to shoot at Nibbles when he emerges from it, but just shoots his tail instead, screaming in agony. As Nibbles runs away, Tom chases him with a flyswatter and corners him. He then gives the mouse a great swat on his rear end. Horrified, Jerry breaks through the glass to inspect his ward, who is holding his rear in pain. Jerry pulls Nibble's diaper off and sees a big red mark being left on his rear, then furiously turns at Tom. Realizing what he did was unwise and that he pushed Jerry too far, Tom pathetically tries to hide the flyswatter behind his back. Not fooled, Jerry furiously unleashes a loud roar, causing Tom's body to turn yellow in fear. Tom tries to flee, but Jerry grabs him by the tail. Jerry slams Tom against the floor before throwing him into the trash can, and bashes his face repeatedly with the can's lid.

In the final scene, a still-infuriated Jerry stands with a wooden meat tenderizer over a bruised and injured Tom, being dressed in an apron and nurse cap, to keep him in line under a threat of getting whacked, forcing him to spoon-feed Nibbles his milk as punishment for terrorizing the little mouse.


There is a scene where Jerry and Nibbles dress up as blackface caricatures to fool Tom. Additionally, Jerry is voiced by Lillian Randolph during the scene. The entire scene is usually cut from TV versions, so the edit occurs between Jerry and Nibbles running in the kitchen and Tom running into the frying pan.

Voice Cast[edit]


  • Directed by: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
  • Story: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
  • Animation: Ed Barge, Michael Lah, Kenneth Muse
  • Effects Animation: Ray Patterson, Irven Spence
  • Music: Scott Bradley
  • Co-Producer: William Hanna
  • Produced by: Fred Quimby




External links[edit]