How many reactions can you get from one routine? If you’re Joe Barbera coming up with a story in the glory days of Tom and Jerry, you can get a bunch of them.
Take “Mouse Cleaning” (1948) for instance. It’s another one of those shorts where the housekeeper threatens to toss Tom out of the house if something happens and Jerry ensures that something happens. In this case, it’s messing up the house. Jerry puts fountain pen ink in a bucket of water Tom’s using to clean the last mess. Tom then realises what’s happening.
Leonard Maltin used a drawing just before the last one in Of Mice and Magic to show Tex Avery’s influence on the Hanna-Barbera unit.
Unfortunately, there seems to have been a deliberate decision NOT to release this cartoon in the coming chronological Tom and Jerry DVD set for collectors. Presumably, it’s because the cartoon has a Stepin Fetchit routine at the end. As usual, Thad Komorowski ably and succinctly sums up the situation on his blog.