117. Puss Gets the Boot – Joseph Barbera, William Hanna

puss-gets-the-boot

SUMMARY: When a cat named Jasper is told by his owner that he will be thrown out of the house if he causes one more breakage, a little mouse decides to take advantage of this.

WHY IT’S HERE: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera would go on to become two of the biggest names in animation, creating a barrage of beloved TV characters including The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear. Much as I loved these later creations, it was undoubtedly with their early theatrical work as a team that Hanna and Barbera created their masterpieces. Teaming up to direct ‘Puss Gets the Boot’, they inadvertently created two of American animations most enduring characters. Although here the cat was called Jasper and the mouse was nameless, with their second appearance in a cartoon called ‘The Midnight Snack’ they became known as Tom and Jerry.

‘Puss Gets the Boot’, the official first appearance of Tom and Jerry, is a bit rough around the edges compared to later efforts but it is still extremely entertaining beyond its historical importance. Tom, as Jasper, has a slightly different, more scraggly and less handsome design, while Jerry is far more similar to the character we all know. But right from the start the relationship is established clearly and a chase that would last decades begins.

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