Dubai: The phrase “cat and mouse” has been part of our daily lexicon. In the world of entertainment, there’s no cat-and-mouse cult duo more famous than Tom and Jerry.
This year, Tom and Jerry — the iconic cartoon series — turns 80.
It was in 1940 when the first episode was ever aired of the animated franchise and series of comedy short films. The cat-and-mouse duo were created by William Hannah and Joseph Barbera.
The series first appeared in one Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) cartoon “Puss Gets the Boot”. The pair was then introduced with their current names in the subsequent 1941 short film “The Midnight Snack”.
The animation has proven its popularity among kids and consistent staying power over the years.
By 1958, Tom and Jerry appeared in 114 short films directed by Hannah and Barbera and received seven Oscars.
The series features comic fights between the adversaries — a house cat (Tom) and a mouse (Jerry).
The plots of each clip usually center on Tom and Jerry's numerous attempts to have the best of each other, along with the mayhem and destruction that follows.
The series is also known for some of the most violent cartoon gags ever devised in theatrical animation: Tom may use axes, hammers, firearms, firecrackers, explosives, traps and poison to kill Jerry.
And in every cartoon, Tom gets in the way in his increasingly daring attempts to catch Jerry. Tom rarely succeeds in getting the best of Jerry, mainly because of the latter's cleverness — and luck.
There had been occassions, however, when they duo did demonstrate selflessness and mutual concern, setting aside their rivalry for a common goal.
One episode shows a baby escaping the watch of a negligent babysitter, causing Tom and Jerry to pursue the baby and keep it away from danger.
And despite their endless attacks on one another, they have saved each other's lives every time they were truly in danger.
This year, a film will be released based on the banner of the confrontation between cat and mouse, with the premiere set for December 23, 2020.
Besides the cartoon, Tom & Jerry's franchise holders have created a thriving merchandise industry. A Tom & Jerry silver coin is being minted to mark the show’s 80th anniversary this year.
Reebok, the German brand, is also unveiling new footwear collection based on the series.