292. Johann Mouse – William Hanna, Joseph Barbera

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SUMMARY: Set in Vienna, Johann Mouse tells the story of a mouse called Johann (Jerry) who is mesmerized by piano music, and the cat (Tom) who learns to play the piano in order to exploit this.

WHY IT’S HERE: For the course of about a decade, Tom and Jerry owned the Oscars, winning the Animated Short Oscar seven times, including a run of four consecutive years. ‘Johann Mouse’ marked the last time the cat and mouse duo won the Oscar. Although some Tom & Jerry fans dislike it for its slower pacing and different approach, ‘Johann Mouse’ is an absolutely wonderful cartoon. Transplanting the duo to Vienna, the cartoon is based on the music of Johann Strauss and is told in a storybook style, complete with a narrator. It trades in the usual wham-bam slapstick antics for a slow, considered musical story which is pitch perfect. The scene in which Tom learns to play the piano is a classic belly laugh.

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