Thursday, 12 April 2018


Why, oh, why, didn’t background artists get credit on cartoons from the beginning? Mouse in Manhattan (MGM, 1945) has some beautiful background paintings but whoever was responsible never got their name on the screen.

Joe Barbera and his gag writer plopped Tom and Jerry in the countryside for the sake of the plot in this cartoon (Mark Kausler suggests a reason in the comment section). The mailbox is on an overlay.

Then come these drawings of Grand Central Station and then the mouse-eye view of the streets of the city. Oh, if the long pan painting of the interior of the station had survived! You’ll notice how Loew’s State in Times Square is promoting a certain MGM cartoon duo.

Harvey Eisenberg, as best as I know, was still in the Hanna-Barbera unit at this time and may have been responsible for the layouts.

Some time ago we posted frames from a later scene where the city turns vicious and cats are ready to pounce on Jerry.

Scott Bradley and his arranger did a beautiful job of incorporating “Manhattan Serenade” into the score. This remains one of my favourite Tom and Jerry cartoons.


  1.'s one of mine, even if it goes on a bit too long (Tom and Jerrys tended to go a bit longer in length..:). Nice (or "Mice") attempt at a mini-"epic Jerry solo cartoon.

  2. As with A Boy Named Charlie Brown, the streets of New York in MiM are uncharacteristically deserted after dark - almost eerily so.

  3. Mouse In Manhattan is Bill and Joe's salute to Walt Disney's "The Country Cousin" which was an early influence on "Tom and Jerry" or should I say "Jasper and Jinx". When "The Country Cousin" was in theatrical release in Los Angeles, Bill and Joe attended nearly every showing. The staging of the city mouse's home, a hole in the baseboard of the house, really hit a responsive chord in the imaginations of Barbera and Hanna, and started a trend in cartoons.