165. The Yankee Doodle Mouse – William Hanna, Joseph Barbera

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SUMMARY: Tom and Jerry stage a microcosm of WWII when their chase takes them into the basement.

WHY IT’S HERE: MGM’s ‘The Yankee Doodle Mouse’ was the third Tom & Jerry cartoon to be nominated for the Oscar and the first to win. The first of many, as the cat and mouse duo would dominate the awards for the next decade. ‘The Yankee Doodle Mouse’ is another war themed cartoon in which Tom and Jerry stage their own microcosm of war in a basement. During this battle, a number of household objects ingeniously stand-in for grenades, helmets, planes, jeeps and gas. It’s beautifully conceived and executed and was a clear sign of how quickly the hugely popular series was developing in quality. Six further Oscar wins would confirm this. The wartime theme, aside from the rousing patriotic ending, is mostly played for laughs and while it was this theme probably helped guide the wartime Academy members hands in choosing it as the year’s winner, it was a more than deserving choice. ‘The Yankee Doodle Mouse’ remains one of the most impressive cartoons in a series packed with amazing films.

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