Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Tom's Final Shriek

Some drawings from a take by Tom at the start of the final Tom and Jerry cartoon, “Purr-Chance to Dream” (1967), directed by Ben Washam.

Sorry, but the Tom and Jerrys produced by Chuck Jones just aren’t funny. This one is no exception, despite dogs that look like ones Jones came up with at Warners in the ‘50s and animation by Ken Harris, Dick Thompson, Tom Ray, Don Towsley and Phil Roman.


  1. Irv Spector gets story credit here, and ironically received credit on the first official cartoon of Paramount's Herman & Katnip series, 1952's "Mice-Capades" -- which is kind of fitting, because the mini-bulldog turning Tom's body into sausages is almost as painful a gag as those in the H&K series. But the gag was actually re-used from "The Cat's Me-Ouch", which was co-written by Jones and Mike Maltese. Spector's version actually has a little better ending (Tom's nightmare at the start of the cartoon is now a sweep dream compared with real life), but the whole premise of a tiny bulldog destroying Tom was marginally funny to begin with, and certainly not worth a sequel.

    (As Leonard Maltin noted over 30 years ago, the one Jones T&J that worked was "The Cat Above and the Mouse Below", with story by Mike Maltese that borrowed its basic format from their "Long-Haired Hare" and from Hanna-Barbera's "The Cat Concerto" and "Tom and Jerry at the Hollywood Bowl". Chuck could deal with a Jerry cast in the Bugs role and Tom as Giovanni Jones -- he really didn't have much desire to use them the way Bill & Joe had used them.)

  2. I notice that the frames selected show a lot of "twinning" in the drawing (in particular the final two). That is to say that the poses are mirror images left to right. I always wondered why a lot of the animation in these MGM cartoons had a different feel to the Warner animation. These examples typify part of what the weaknesses were, even though the drawings have the cosmetic appearance of being polished, partly due to the excellent hand inking.

    1. Interesting, Anon. I never thought about that. Would that have come from Washam or Don Morgan's layouts or would the animator simply decided to draw that way on his own?