I ve been working on a 3d animated short film which was inspired by the old tom and jerry and looney tunes cartoons. So i thought i should start a blog in tribute of those old timeless classics.
Tom and jerry has always been my favorite sunday morning cartoons. I still watch them when i wanna have a laugh. And its amazing how even after having watched each and every episode of the show a gazillion times i still get laughs. It seems that they had achieved the mastery of squash and stretch. They employed one of the biggest principle of animation in the best way possible.
For me Hanna-Barbera era was the best era of tom and jerry. It saw them win 7 academy awards and 6 academy nominees. The character design was fabulous in this era. The timing, use of squash and stretch, gags, storytelling, posing and every other possible thing in the animation world were used to its best in this era. Its such a pity when this era ended Gene Deitch just blew whatever Hanna-Barbera had created. He created the worst possible design of tom and jerry. all the shorts in this era were horrendous. This era was shortlived and then Chuck Jones came to try to achieve what Hanna-Barbera had achieved. He failed in doing so but he managed to achieve atleast some of what Hanna-Barbera had done. I found the following article on wikipedia :
Hanna-Barbera era (1940 – 1958)
Willliam Hanna and Joseph Barbera were both part of the Rudolf Ising unit at the MGM cartoon studio in the late 1930s. Barbera, a storyman and character designer, was paired with Hanna, an experienced director, to start directing films for the Ising unit; the first of these was a cat-and-mouse cartoon called Puss Gets the Boot. Completed in late 1939, and released to theatres on February 10, 1940, Puss Gets The Boot centers on Jasper, a gray tabby cat trying to catch an unnamed rodent, but after accidentally breaking a houseplant and its stand, the African-American housemaid Mammy (Later Tom's owner) has threatened to throw Jasper out ("O-W-T, out!" [as Mammy spells it]) if he breaks one more thing in the house. Naturally, the mouse uses this to his advantage, and begins tossing wine glasses, ceramic plates, teapots, and any and everything fragile, so that Jasper will be thrown outside. Puss Gets The Boot was previewed and released without fanfare, and Hanna and Barbera went on to direct other (non-cat-and-mouse related) shorts. "After all," remarked many of the MGM staffers, "haven't there been enough cat-and-mouse cartoons already?"
The pessimistic attitude towards the cat and mouse duo changed when the cartoon became a favorite with theatre owners and with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which nominated the film for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons of 1941. It lost to another MGM cartoon, Rudolph Ising's The Milky Way.
Producer Fred Quimby, who ran the MGM animation studio, quickly pulled Hanna and Barbera off the other one-shot cartoons they were working on, and commissioned a series featuring the cat and mouse. Hanna and Barbera held an intra-studio contest to give the pair a new name by drawing suggested names out of a hat; animator John Carr won $50 with his suggestion of Tom and Jerry. The Tom and Jerry series went into production with The Midnight Snack in 1941, and Hanna and Barbera rarely directed anything but the cat-and-mouse cartoons for the rest of their tenure at MGM.
Tom's physical appearance evolved significantly over the years. During the early 1940s, Tom had an excess of detail—shaggy fur, numerous facial wrinkles, and multiple eyebrow markings—all of which were streamlined into a more workable form by the end of the 1940s- and looked like a realistic cat; in addition from his quadrupedal beginnings Tom became increasingly, and eventually almost exclusively, bipedal. By contrast, Jerry's design remained essentially the same for the duration of the series. By the mid-1940s, the series had developed a quicker, more energetic (and violent) tone, due to the inspiration from the work of the colleague in the MGM cartoon studio, Tex Avery, who joined the studio in 1942.
Even though the theme of each short is virtually the same - cat chases mouse - Hanna and Barbera found endless variations on that theme. Barbera's storyboards and rough layouts and designs, combined with Hanna's timing, resulted in MGM's most popular and successful cartoon series. Thirteen entries in the Tom and Jerry series (including Puss Gets The Boot) were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons; seven of them went on to win the Academy Award, breaking the Disney studio's winning streak in that category. Tom and Jerry won more Academy Awards than any other character-based theatrical animated series.
Tom and Jerry remained popular throughout their original theatrical run, even when the budgets began to tighten somewhat in the 1950s and the pace of the shorts slowed slightly. However, after television became popular in the 1950s, box office revenues decreased for theatrical films, and short subjects. At first, MGM combated this by going to all-CinemaScope production on the series. After MGM realized that their re-releases of the older shorts brought in just as much revenue as the new films, the studio executives decided, much to the surprise of the staff, to close the animation studio. The MGM cartoon studio was shut down in 1957, and the final of the 114 Hanna and Barbera Tom and Jerry shorts, Tot Watchers, was released on August 1, 1958. Hanna and Barbera established their own television animation studio, Hanna-Barbera Productions, in 1957, which went on to produce famous TV shows and movies.
Have fun guys. I am now gonna go and watch soem and TOM AND JERRY!!!!!!