352. Scat Cats – William Hanna, Joseph Barbera

song-of-the-prairie

SUMMARY: When Spike is put in charge of the house while his owners are out, her must prevent a gang of cats from using it as a venue for their party.

WHY IT’S HERE: With Hanna-Barbera’s Tom and Jerry series winding down, the pair experimented with spinning off some of the other characters. In 1957 they made two cartoon starring Spike the bulldog and his son Tyke, who had acted as an effective foil for the cat and mouse duo in several classic shorts. After the first of these cartoons, ‘Give and Tyke’, it became apparent that this duo did not have the star quality to carry a whole series. Nevertheless, the second cartoon ‘Scat Cats’ is interesting in that it also features Butch and his alley cat friends, who played regular supporting roles in Tom and Jerry cartoons too. The simple premise of Spike guarding the house against the cats attempts to enter and have a wild party essentially plays out like a weaker Tom and Jerry cartoon and Tom could easily have been substituted with any of them to the same effect. Ultimately, ‘Scat Cats’ is a so-so experiment which is worth seeing for any fans of classic animation interested in seeing supporting characters given their 15 minutes of fame.

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