The Zoot Cat
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|The Zoot Cat|
|Tom and Jerry series|
|Directed by||Bill Hanna
|Produced by||Fred Quimby (unc. on original issue)|
|Voices by||Sara Berner (uncredited)
Bill Hanna (uncredited)
Jerry Mann (uncredited)
Billy Bletcher (uncredited)
|Music by||Scott Bradley|
|Animation by||Ray Patterson
Kenneth Muse (as Ken Muse on the original issue)
Barney Posner (uncredited)
|Preceded by||Baby Puss|
|Followed by||The Million Dollar Cat|
The Zoot Cat (also referred to as simply Zoot Cat) is a 1944 American one-reel animated cartoon and is the 13th Tom and Jerry short. It was produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on February 26, 1944 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. The cartoon features a great deal of 1940s slang, a parody of the popular (but controversial) zoot suit, and some outdated features of 1930s popular culture.
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The cartoon opens on a Valentine note to Toots from Tom, with a pink ribbon tied to Jerry inside a gift box. Meanwhile, Tom gets ready for a date, his whiskers in curlers.
Tom knocks on the door, rings the doorbell and shouts before dropping the box and hiding behind a pillar on the porch. Toots opens the door and is pleasantly surprised at the gift. Tom then attempts to impress Toots by playing a ukulele and dancing. Finally, Tom presents her with a bouquet of flowers, but a loose floorboard smacks him in the face.
Toots responds with a dissent, while Jerry nods in agreement to her words. After she throws the gift back at Tom, Jerry grabs an ear of corn and plants it in the box, signifying that Tom's efforts were "corny" (slang for outdated). Tom then hears a radio commercial for a zoot suit, which gives Tom an idea: to make his own zoot suit and mystify his intended.
On his knocking on the door again, Toots is now shocked to see Tom in the impressive outfit. Tom lights a cigar as Toots compliments his new, hip look before inviting him inside. They start to jive dance and Jerry politely cuts in, dancing a few steps with Toots before Tom realizes what's going on. Tom chases Jerry, who escapes by jumping into an ashtray and rubbing a burning cigarette butt on Tom’s nose.
Jerry then peels a banana and throws the skin onto the floor, which sends Tom crashing into a piano. But he recovers in majestic form and starts to play, taking on the persona of a suave, romantic lover. Tom tries to impress Toots using a Charles Boyer-esque voice. Jerry then sticks matches in Tom's toes, and lights them in order to give him a hot foot. Tom unwittingly continues until the flames engulf his feet. He pauses, sniffs the smoke-filled air, and then realizes what Jerry has done and screams in pain.
Jerry resumes dancing with Toots. Tom returns, determined to flatten Jerry with a fireplace shovel. A chase ensues. Jerry hides behind a table leg and uses his foot to trip Tom. Jerry clips the hanger in Tom's jacket to a window-shade, then kicks Tom in the eye. Tom angrily pursues the fleeing mouse, but the shade rolls back taking Tom with it.
By the window, Tom is dunked in a fishbowl. This causes the zoot suit to shrink and eventually pop off his body. Jerry jumps into the shrunken suit, which is now a perfect fit for him. He then dances away, pleased with his new zoot suit.
- Sara Berner as Jerry and Toots (uncredited)
- William Hanna and Billy Bletcher as Tom (uncredited)
- Jerry Mann or Bill Hanna as the radio announcer (uncredited)
- Tom and Jerry's Greatest Chases, Vol. 1
- Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection Vol. 1, Disc One
- Tom and Jerry Golden Collection Volume One, Disc One