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|Tom and Jerry character|
Tom's design in the Hanna-Barbera shorts
|First appearance||Puss Gets the Boot (as Jasper)|
February 10, 1940
The Midnight Snack (as Tom)
July 19, 1941
|Created by||William Hanna|
Clarence Nash (1940–1943)
Harry E. Lang (1941–1953)
William Hanna (1941–1958)
Gene Deitch (1961–1962)
Mel Blanc (1963–1967)
Chuck Jones (1965–1967)
John Stephenson (1975)
Lou Scheimer (1980)
Frank Welker (1990-1993)
Don Brown (2006–2008)
Rich Danhakl (2014–present)
Richard Kind (1993 film)
Spike Brandt (The Karate Guard; 2007–present)
|Full name||Thomas Cat|
|Species||Domestic Short Haired Tuxedo Cat|
|Relatives||George (identical cousin)|
Thomas "Tom" Cat is a fictional character and one of the two titular main protagonists (the other being Jerry Mouse) in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's series of Tom and Jerry theatrical animated short films. Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Tom is a grey and white anthropomorphic domestic short haired mute Tuxedo cat who first appeared in the 1940 MGM animated short Puss Gets the Boot. Tom was known as "Jasper" during his debut in the short; however, beginning with his next appearance in The Midnight Snack he was known as "Tom" or "Thomas".
He will appear, along with co-star Jerry Mouse, in what would be their first theatrical film appearance since 1993's Tom and Jerry: The Movie, Tom and Jerry, which will be scheduled to be released in 2020. As of July 2019, the film is currently being filmed.
Tom and Jerry cartoons
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His name, "Tom Cat", is based on "tomcat", a phrase which refers to male cats. He is usually mute and rarely heard speaking with the exception of a few cartoons (such as 1943's The Lonesome Mouse, 1944's The Zoot Cat and 1992's Tom and Jerry: The Movie). His only notable vocal sounds outside of this are his various screams whenever he is subjected to panic or, more frequently, pain. He is continuously after Jerry Mouse, for whom he sets traps, many of which backfire and cause damage to him rather than Jerry. His trademark scream was provided by creator William Hanna.
Tom has changed over the years upon his evolution, especially after the first episodes. For example, in his debut, he was quadrupedal. However, over the years (since the episode Dog Trouble), he has become almost completely bipedal and has human intelligence and he is similar to his previous appearance, in 1945 shorts he had twisted whiskers and his appearance kept changing. In the 1940s and early 1950s, he had white fur between his eyes. In newer cartoons, the white fur is gone. As a slapstick cartoon character, Tom has a superhuman level of elasticity. Tom is usually defeated (or very rarely, killed, like in Mouse Trouble, where he explodes) in the end, although there are some stories where he outwits and defeats Jerry.
Tom has variously been portrayed as Jerry's "frenemy" and a victim of Jerry's blackmail attempts, sometimes within the same short.
Anchors Aweigh and Dangerous When Wet
Tom and Jerry appeared together in the 1945 Technicolor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musical Anchors Aweigh where Tom briefly appears as a butler for King Jerry, the latter who has a dance sequence with Gene Kelly, and also in another musical with the same studio Dangerous When Wet (1953), where, in a dream sequence, main character Katie Higgins (Esther Williams) does an underwater ballet with Tom and Jerry, as well as animated depictions of the different people in her life.
Despite almost every episode depicts Tom being silent (besides his vocal sounds such as screaming and yelling), there are some episodes featured him speaking, with his first film appearance (along with co-star Jerry) in 1993 Tom and Jerry: The Movie being a example, as Tom and Jerry talk throughout the film.
Here are several of his voiceover actors:
- Clarence Nash (1940–1943): Vocal effects in the Hanna-Barbera era (1940–1943) shorts and Mouse in Manhattan (1945) as the alley cats
- Harry E. Lang (1941–1953): Vocal effects in the Hanna-Barbera era (1941–1953) shorts, speaking in the shorts: The Million Dollar Cat, Mouse Trouble, The Mouse Comes to Dinner, Quiet, Please!, Trap Happy, Part-Time Pal and The Missing Mouse
- William Hanna (1941–1958): Vocal effects in the Hanna-Barbera era (1940–1958) shorts, Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers (archival recording from classic shorts), The Tom and Jerry Show (2014 TV series) (archival recording from classic shorts) and speaking in the shorts: The Lonesome Mouse, The Zoot Cat, The Million Dollar Cat, Quiet, Please!, Trap Happy and Solid Serenade
- Jerry Mann (1944; 1946): speaking in the 1944 short: The Zoot Cat, speaking in the 1946 short: Solid Serenade
- Billy Bletcher (1944; 1946): speaking in the 1944 short: The Bodyguard, laugh in the 1946 short: Solid Serenade
- Ira "Buck" Woods (1946): singing in the 1946 short: Solid Serenade
- Stepin Fetchit (1948): speaking in the 1948 short: Mouse Cleaning
- Ken Darby (1950): "singing" in the 1950 short: Texas Tom
- Daws Butler (1950–1957): speaking in the 1950 short: The Framed Cat, speaking in the 1957 short: Mucho Mouse
- Gene Deitch (1961–1962): vocal effects in the Gene Deitch era (1961–1962) shorts
- Mel Blanc (1963–1967): vocal effects in the Chuck Jones era (1963–1967) shorts
- Terence Monk (1964, 1967): The Cat Above and the Mouse Below, singing in the 1967 short: Cat and Dupli-cat
- Chuck Jones (1965-1967): vocal effects in the Chuck Jones era (1963–1967) shorts
- June Foray (1966): Duel Personality vocal effects
- John Stephenson: The Tom and Jerry Show
- Lou Scheimer: The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show
- Frank Welker: Tom & Jerry Kids
- Richard Kind (1992): speaking and singing in Tom and Jerry: The Movie
- Jeff Glen Bennett: Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring
- Bill Kopp: Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars and Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry
- Spike Brandt: The Karate Guard, Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale, Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes, Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz, Tom and Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse, Tom and Jerry's Giant Adventure, Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon, Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest, Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz and Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
- Don Brown: Tom and Jerry Tales
- Alan Marriott: Tom and Jerry in Fists of Furry
- Marc Silk: Tom and Jerry in War of the Whiskers
- Rich Danhakl: The Tom and Jerry Show (2014 TV series)
- Tom Kenny: The Tom and Jerry Show (2014 TV series)
- Dave B. Mitchell: The Tom and Jerry Show (2014 TV series)
- Rene Mujica: The Tom and Jerry Show (2014 TV series)
Tom has had a number of different voice actors over the years. When the character debuted in Puss Gets the Boot, Clarence Nash (best known as the voice of Donald Duck) provided the screeches and meows for Tom. He would continue to do so until Sufferin Cats (1943). Beginning with the short The Night Before Christmas (1941), co-creator William Hanna provided the vocal effects for the character until the last Hanna-Barbera short Tot Watchers (1958). During this time period, voice actor Harry E. Lang also did some vocal noises for Tom between 1941–1953. Billy Bletcher also voiced him in a few shorts between 1944–1947. Stepin Fetchit also voiced him in a sequence in the short Mouse Cleaning (1948). In 1961–1962, when Gene Deitch took over as director after the MGM cartoon studio shut down in 1957, he did vocal effects for Tom throughout that time period. When Chuck Jones took over during 1963–1967, he and Mel Blanc (best known for voicing Bugs Bunny and other characters) voiced Tom.
In The Tom and Jerry Show (1975), Tom was voiced by John Stephenson. Lou Scheimer voiced him in The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show in 1980–1982. Frank Welker voiced him in Tom and Jerry Kids in 1990–1993. Other voice actors include Richard Kind (in Tom and Jerry: The Movie), Jeff Bennett (in Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring), Bill Kopp (in Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars and Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry), and Spike Brandt (in The Karate Guard, Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale, Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes, Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz, Tom and Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse, Tom and Jerry's Giant Adventure, Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon, Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest, Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz and Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), Don Brown (in Tom and Jerry Tales), Alan Marriott (in Tom and Jerry in Fists of Furry), and Marc Silk (in Tom and Jerry in War of the Whiskers). In The Tom and Jerry Show (2014), his vocal effects are provided by sound designer Rich Danhakl and archival recordings of William Hanna from the original theatrical shorts.
In popular culture
- Mark Christopher Carnes (2002), American national biography, ISBN 978-0-19-522202-9
- "Jerry Mann". Youp. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
- "Tom and Jerry in “The Zoot Cat” (1944)". Retrieved 2019-11-29.
- "Tom". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
- Davis, Lauren (12 May 2014). "See The Toons Who Would Have Appeared In Roger Rabbit's Deleted Funeral". io9. Retrieved 7 July 2019.