Tom and Jerry Original and Limited Edition Art (1940-2013)
Tom and Jerry is an American animated series of short films created in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. It centers on a rivalry between its two main characters: Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse, and many recurring characters. The humor of the series is based around slapstick comedy, most often inflicted on Tom. Tom and Jerry has gained a worldwide audience and is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed cartoon series. In its original run, Hanna and Barbera produced 114 Tom and Jerry shorts for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1940 to 1957. During this time, they won seven Academy Awards for Animated Short Film, tying first place with Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies with the most awards in the category. After the MGM cartoon studio closed in 1957, MGM revived the series with Gene Deitch directing an additional 13 Tom and Jerry shorts for Rembrandt Films from 1961 to 1962. Chuck Jones then produced another 34 shorts with Sib-Tower 12 Productions between 1963 and 1967. A number of spin-offs have been made, including the television series The Tom and Jerry Show (1975–77), The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show(1980–82), Tom & Jerry Kids (1990–94), Tom and Jerry Tales (2006–08), and The Tom and Jerry Show (2014). The first feature-length film based on the series, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, was released in 1992 before ten direct-to-video films were produced between 2002 and 2013. Tom is a gray and white domestic shorthair cat, while Jerry is a small brown house mouse that generally lives in close proximity to Tom. Jerry possesses surprising strength for his size, lifting items such as anvils with relative ease and withstanding considerable impacts with them. Despite the typical cat-eats-mouse scenario, it is surprisingly quite rare for Tom to actually try and consume Jerry; most of his attempts are just to torment or humiliate Jerry. Despite being very energetic and determined, Tom is no match for Jerry's brains and wits. By the final "fade-out" of each cartoon, Jerry usually emerges triumphant, while Tom is shown as the loser. However, other results may be reached; on rare occasions, Tom triumphs, usually when Jerry becomes the aggressor or when he crosses some sort of line (the best example of which occurs in "The Million Dollar Cat" where, after finding out that Tom's newly acquired wealth will be taken away if he harms any animal, including a mouse, he torments Tom until Tom finally loses his temper and attacks him). Sometimes, usually ironically, they both lose, usually when Jerry's last trap potentially backfires on him after it affects Tom (An example is in Chuck Jones' Filet Meow short where Jerry orders a shark to scare Tom away from eating a goldfish. Afterwards, the shark scares Jerry away as well) or when Jerry overlooks something at the end of the course. Sometimes, they both end up being friends (only for something to happen so that Tom will chase Jerry again). Both characters display sadistic tendencies, in that they are equally likely to take pleasure in tormenting each other. However, depending on the cartoon, whenever one character appears to be in mortal danger (in a dangerous situation or by a third party), the other will develop a conscience and save him. Sometimes, they bond over a mutual sentiment towards an unpleasant experience and their attacking each other is more play than serious attacks. Multiple shorts show the two getting along with minimal difficulty, and they are more than capable of working together when the situation calls for it, usually against a third party who manages to torture and humiliate them both. Sometimes this partnership is forgotten quickly when an unexpected event happens or when one character feels that the other is no longer necessary. (Example is when in Posse Cat, when Jerry decides to pretend to get chased by Tom in exchange for half his food. Tom agrees to this, but then he goes back on his word later.) Other times however, Tom does keep his promise to Jerry and the partnerships are not quickly dissolved after the problem is solved.
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