Monday 16 November 2020

Cinemascope Scare

Former assistant animators Lew Marshall and Bill (Victor O.) Schipek have been promoted and add to some of the weird shapes in the Tom and Jerry cartoon Timid Tabby (1956), joining ex Lantz animator Ken Southworth, along with Ken Muse and Irv Spence (who would leave MGM later this year).

The premise is straight-forward. Tom’s hitherto-unknown cousin who is afraid of mice pays a visit. Among other things, he tries hiding from Jerry behind a window blind.

Jerry trying to be scary.

The cartoon’s basic premise was reused by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera in the Pixie and Dixie cartoon Scaredycat Dog.


  1. Was interesting to hear Bill Thompson's Droopy voice coming out of Tom's cousin here, which either showed how much respect Bill & Joe had for the wimpishness of the voice, or how little they cared that Michael Lah was using the same voice for the lead character on MGM's other series (Bugs, Daffy, Sam and Sylvester's voices do turn up on characters other than Bugs, Daffy, Sam and Sylvester, but those were pretty much just when the characters were getting established and not 15 years down the road).

    This also being the final season of MGM cartoons, the backgrounds also created a pretty stark contrast to just 1-2 years earlier, as they went from being far more lush and detailed than those of Warners and other studios to being in some cases less detailed than some of the background Hanna-Barbera would use for their early made-for-TV efforts.

  2. Boomerang's copy of Timid Tabby ruins what is arguably the best gag in the cartoon (such as it is)--When Tom and cuz pretend to be one elongated cat by respectively hiding their front and back ends in distant doorways, there is a close up of the cousin after Jerry attempts to boot Tom's rear,instead of showing the entire length of the wall as in the CinemaScope version. Even in the Seventies' pan-and-scan version I grew up with, they panned from the cousin to Tom so the viewer got the gist of the situation.

    Come on, Warner Archives, release the CinemaScope T & J's in their proper screen ratios.

    1. I think that same copy used to pop up on Cartoon Network's airings as well.

    2. The Cinemascope T & J shorts were released on DVD in their prosper aspect ratios, enhanced for 16 x 9 sets