Tom and Jerry
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Tom and Jerry is a series of animated theatrical shorts created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer that centered on a never-ending rivalry between a housecat (Tom) and a mouse (Jerry) whose chases and battles often involved comic violence. Hanna and Barbera ultimately wrote and directed one hundred and fourteen Tom and Jerry cartoons at the MGM cartoon studio in Hollywood, California between 1940 and 1957, when the animation unit was closed. The original series is notable for having won the Academy Awards for Best Short Subject (Cartoons) seven times, tying it with Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies as the theatrical animated series with the most Oscars.
Beginning in 1960, in addition to the originals MGM had new shorts produced by Rembrandt Films, led by Gene Deitch in Eastern Europe. Production of Tom and Jerry shorts returned to Hollywood under Chuck Jones's Sib-Tower 12 Productions in 1963; this series lasted until 1967, making it a total of 161 shorts. The cat and mouse stars later resurfaced in television cartoons produced by Hanna-Barbera and Filmation Studios during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, a feature film, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, in 1992 and released domestically in 1993 and in 2000, their first made-for TV short, Tom and Jerry: The Mansion Cat for Cartoon Network. The most recent Tom and Jerry theatrical short, The Karate Guard, was written and co-directed by co-creator Joe Barbera and debuted in Los Angeles cinemas on September 27, 2005.
Today, Time Warner (via its Turner Entertainment division) owns the rights to Tom and Jerry (with Warner Bros. handling distribution). Since the merger, Turner has produced the series, Tom and Jerry Tales for The CW's Saturday morning "The CW4Kids" lineup, as well as the recent Tom and Jerry short, The Karate Guard, in 2005 and a string of Tom and Jerry direct-to-video films - all in collaboration with Warner Bros. Animation.