The Zoot Cat

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The Zoot Cat
Zootcatoriginal.jpg
Original release poster for The Zoot Cat
Directed byBill Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Produced byFred Quimby (unc. on original issue)
Written byMark S Bernthal
StarringSara Berner (uncredited)
Bill Hanna (uncredited)
Jerry Mann (uncredited)
Music byScott Bradley
Animation byRay Patterson
Kenneth Muse (as Ken Muse on the original issue)
Irven Spence
Pete Burness
Assistant animation:
Barney Posner (uncredited)
Tony Ligerra (uncredited)
Bob Newmiller (uncredited)
Layouts byHarvey Eisenberg
Color processTechnicolor
Production
company
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • February 26, 1944 (1944-02-26)
  • October 7, 1950 (1950-10-07) (re-release)
Running time
7:04
LanguageEnglish

The Zoot Cat (also referred to as simply Zoot Cat) is a 1944 American Technicolor one-reel animated short and is the 13th Tom and Jerry short. It was released to theatres on February 26, 1944 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. The cartoon features much 1940s slang, a parody of the popular (but controversial) zoot suit, and some features of 1930s popular culture.

Plot[edit]

A Valentine note to Toots from Tom, with a pink ribbon tied to Jerry, is 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 and knocks him flat.

Toots responds with a scathing disparagement of Tom in jive talk, 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back at Tom, Jerry grabs an ear of corn and plants it in the box, signifying that Tom's efforts were "corny" (slang for outdated).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 dazzle his girlfriend.

On his knocking on the door again, Toots is now electrified and Jerry 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 the piano, taking on the persona of a suave, romantic lover and trying to impress Toots by using a Charles Boyer-esque voice. Jerry sticks matches in Tom's toes, and lights them in order to give him a hot foot. Tom unwittingly continues with a fire-related wooing until the flames engulf his feet. He pauses, sniffs the smoke-filled air, and remarks in a Groucho Marx voice "Say, something is burning around here!", then realizes what is burning and leaps about, yelling in a hilarious way. Tom then pursues Jerry, who opens up a floor vent door, causing the pursuing cat to fall in down to the basement.

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 eyes. 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 suit to shrink and squeeze the cat and eventually pop off his body. Jerry jumps into the shrunken suit, which is now a perfect fit for him. He then struts away, pleased with his new suit.

Voice cast[edit]

  • Sara Berner as Toots / Jerry (uncredited)
  • William Hanna as Tom (uncredited)
  • Jerry Mann as the Radio Announcer (uncredited)

Availability[edit]

DVD

External links[edit]