There are some neat bits of acting by Jerry in the early Tom and Jerry cartoon “The Bowling Alley-Cat” (1942) is one of them where the mouse is almost balletic in the opening few minutes. And Joe Barbera pulls off a nice gag with Tom where Jerry twirls and throws the cat by the tail from the slippery bowling lane into an ash tray which forms a volcano over him.
Tom pops up from the top of the “volcano” then spits up a pipe.
Tom gives a head shake take that takes up almost a foot of film. 14 drawings; a little over half a second.
And then a one-eyed look.
Unfortunately, no animators are credited on this cartoon, nor is the fine background artist.
Tom and Jerry were at their peak in the 1940s. Once the designs started flattening out and becoming cheaper looking, the characters lost a lot of their personality. Adding little ducks, little mice, little birds and a suburban couple didn’t really help.