“Personality animation” is one of those terms that gets batted around that doesn’t quite mean what it says. Felix the Cat had a personality, expressed through animation, but no one ever calls the action in the Felix silents “personality animation.”
So let’s set aside the term altogether for now, and look at some of the drawings one of Joe Barbera’s favourite cartoons from his MGM unit, ‘Cat Concerto.’ One of the reasons it succeeds so well—and certainly did with the Academy of Motion Pictures—is due to the personality exhibited by Tom and Jerry. Like good silent film actors, you know what they’re thinking. Here are just a few of the emotions they display in the cartoon, thanks to animator Ken Muse.
And to counter-balance the intricate posing above, there’s a take that must be by Irv Spence.
Dogs and humans excepted, all the characters seem to have similarities in head construction. Occasionally, that posed problems. Here, Tom looks more like a giant mouse than a cat.
Only three animators are credited in this cartoon; Ed Barge is the other.