Just for Fun: We’ve Chased Down Our Favourite Facts About Tom & Jerry
Today marks the 83rd anniversary of the first ever Tom and Jerry cartoon. So, we’re celebrating everyone’s favourite cat and mouse with our favourite facts about the furry duo. Plus, find out how Stikins ® name labels can help you chase down your kids’ kit – even if it’s at the bottom of the lost property box.
Our Favourite Facts About Everyone’s Favourite Cat & Mouse
William Hanna and Joseph Barbera created Tom and Jerry in 1940. Hanna-Barbera produced many famous cartoons, including The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs, Wacky Races, and Yogi Bear.
Both men joined MGM’s cartoon studio in the 1930s (as animator/director and animator/storyman). When the studio’s series Captain and the Kids fared poorly, Hanna and Barbera were asked to create something together. Barbera suggested a comedy based on two equal characters in conflict. An early pitch featured a fox and dog pairing, before they settled on cat and mouse.
Puss Gets The Boot featured Jasper the cat and an unnamed mouse (nicknamed Jinx by the animators). Released on 10th February 1940, it is the longest Tom and Jerry short at nine minutes, eight seconds. Despite MGM dismissing the “unoriginal” concept, the short was extremely popular and was Oscar nominated in 1941 for Best Short Subject (Cartoons).
So, MGM asked Hanna and Barbera for a complete series. They made 113 more shorts, with Hanna providing vocals for the cartoon duo. Each cartoon cost around $50,000 and took six weeks to make. Thirteen received Oscar nominations and seven won – The Yankee Doodle Mouse (1943), Mouse Trouble (1944), “Quiet Please! (1945), The Cat Concerto (1946), The Little Orphan (1948), The Two Mouseketeers (1952), and Johann Mouse (1953).
Hanna and Barbera’s series appeared in cinemas from 1940-1958. MGM revived the franchise in 1961-62 with 13 shorts. Made in Czechoslovakia with a smaller budget ($10,000), the series had a darker, more surreal tone but became the highest grossing animated short film series of 1961 and 1962. A third series of 34 shorts aired from 1963-1967. Three TV specials appeared in 2001, 2005, and 2014 (a Children in Need special).
In 1965, the first series aired on television and various spin-offs followed, including The Tom and Jerry Show (1975), The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show (1980–82), Tom and Jerry Kids (1990–93), Tom and Jerry Tales (2006–08), The Tom and Jerry Show (2014–21), Tom and Jerry Special Shorts (2021), and Tom and Jerry In New York (2021-).
Tom and Jerry have also appeared in films in both cameo roles (like 1945’s Anchors Aweigh where Jerry performed with Gene Kelly) and their own feature films, including two theatrical releases (1992 and 2021) and 15 direct to video films.
Did you know:
- MGM held an employee competition to rename the characters. John Carr, an animator, received $50 for the winning suggestion of Tom and Jerry, inspired by a Christmas cocktail named after a 19th To promote Life in London; or, The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn, Esq., and his elegant friend, Corinthian Tom, Pierce Egan created a variation of eggnog, called the “Tom and Jerry”. Last year, Warner Bros published MultiVersus, a video game, which listed their names as Thomas Jasper “Tom” Cat, Sr and Gerald Jinx “Jerry” Mouse.
- Tom originally walked on all fours and had thick fur, wrinkles, and eyebrow markings. By 1944, he walked on two legs and had a much more polished look. Jerry, meanwhile, has remained virtually unchanged!
- While Tom and Jerry are famously enemies, they became friends in The Tom and Jerry Show (1975).
- Tom and Jerry have so few lines, many assume they are silent cartoon characters. However, in their first feature film, they speak at length, while in Solid Serenade (1946), Tom sings “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby”. Tom even has a catchphrase (“Don’t you believe it”), which he utters several times to camera after being defeated (usually in an impossible fashion) by Jerry.
- In 2002, NASA launched two satellites to map Earth’s gravity field. They travelled just 200km/120 miles apart (effectively chasing each other around the Earth) so NASA named them Tom and Jerry.
Chase Down Your Kids’ Kit With Stick On Name Labels
Name labels make it simple to retrieve your kids’ kit from anywhere – even the lost property box. With Stikins ® stick on name labels, it’s even easier – as you can get everything labelled in seconds.
We use a unique adhesive to make our multipurpose name labels. You can use the same name labels on almost everything, from school uniform to P.E. kit and everything in between.
Each label is bright white in colour and printed with a bold black font. This means kids (and adults) of ALL ages can easily read your labels. You can personalise your labels with one or two lines of text. Each line can take up to 22 characters; we recommend 15-20. In closed environments, like schools, adding a simple name is all it takes to make sure your kids’ school kit is always returned to the rightful owner (or to help retrieve the right items from the lost property box).
For open environments, or just to make absolutely sure their kit comes home, you can add extra information. This could be a piece of contact information. We recommend a (mobile) phone number, although (very) short emails work well too.
Our online order form includes a print preview so you can try out a few options and see which format works best for you.
Stikins ® name labels are available in four pack sizes of 30, 60, 90, and 120 name labels. Orders for three or more packs qualify for a 10% discount. You can order at any time online or by phone during office hours (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri). We despatch all orders same or next working day via Royal Mail’s first class service.