10 Feb: Meet Tom and Jerry

Hanna-Barbera’s classic cat-and-mouse cartoon series Tom and Jerry kicked off when their debut short, ‘Puss Gets The Boot’, was released by MGM on 10th February, 1940. 

But, at that time, the stars of the film were known as ‘Jasper and Jinx’. And studio bosses very nearly canned the whole concept – until the audience feedback, and awards nominations, started rolling in…

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain why the chase-based slapstick of this hilariously violent double act empowered MGM to rival the might of Disney and Warner Bros; reveal how Tom and Jerry got their names; and explain how the racist depiction of ‘Mammy Two Shoes’ evolved from an African-American caricature into an Irish one… 

Further Reading:

• ‘The 50 MGM Films that Transformed Hollywood – Triumphs, Blockbusters, and Fiascos, By Steven Bingen’ (Lyons Press, 2022):


• ‘The Untold Truth Of Tom And Jerry’ (Looper, 2020): https://www.looper.com/196800/the-untold-truth-of-tom-and-jerry/

• ‘Puss Gets the Boot’ (MGM, 1940):

#40s #Hollywood #Animation #racism