287. The Dog House – William Hanna, Joseph Barbera

song-of-the-prairie

SUMMARY: Spike the Dog is building his dream dog house but it is repeatedly destroyed in the chase between Tom and Jerry.

WHY IT’S HERE: ‘The Dog House’ is another example of a later Tom and Jerry that reworks the plot of an earlier cartoon, in this case ‘Quiet Please’. That cartoon saw Spike threaten Tom with violent consequences if he was woken once more by his antics. ‘The Dog House’ sees the same threat issued, only this time the warning is against destroying the dream kennel that Spike is building. Although it is not a patch on its Oscar-winning predecessor, ‘The Dog House’ shows that the Tom and Jerry series was still very funny even when it was showing signs of running out of steam. In ‘Quiet Please’ Hanna and Barbera played with the comedy of aural contrasts between loud and quiet. Here they plump for the more time-honoured hilarity of abrupt destruction (a theme that also ran through the very first Tom and Jerry outing, ‘Puss Gets the Boot’). ‘The Dog House’ is also notable for placing greater emphasis on the character of Spike. Though it ultimately only lasted two cartoons, Spike and his son Tyke were given their own series a few years after ‘The Dog House’, so perhaps this served as one of Spike’s audition tapes for that abortive project.

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