The re-release poster of this cartoon.
|Directed by||William Hanna|
|Produced by||Fred Quimby (unc. on original issue)|
|Written by||Mark S. Bernthal|
|Story by||William Hanna|
|Starring||Harry E. Lang|
|Music by||Scott Bradley|
|Animation by||Ray Patterson|
Kenneth Muse (original credited as Ken Muse)
Barney Posner (uncredited)
|November 23, 1944|
December 12, 1951 (re-release)
Mouse Trouble is a 1944 American one-reel animated cartoon short and is the 17th Tom and Jerry short produced by Fred Quimby. It was directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with music direction by Scott Bradley The cartoon was animated by Ray Patterson, Irven Spence, Ken Muse and Pete Burness. Mouse Trouble won the 1944 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, the second consecutive award bestowed upon the series. It was released in theatres on November 23, 1944 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer and reissued on December 12, 1951.
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After the postman puts a gift into Tom's mailbox, Tom opens the box and finds a book on how to catch mice and for the rest of the cartoon, he takes its advice to attempt to catch Jerry.
The first thing the book suggests is to locate the mouse. Tom finds Jerry reading the book with him, but when he tries to grab Jerry, the mouse steps off the book and slams Tom's nose in it.
Tom sets out a simple mouse trap. Jerry, however, succeeds in freeing the cheese without setting the trap off. Shocked at the trap's failure, Tom tests it, and the trap snaps Tom's finger, which causes the cat to yell in pain as soon as he touches it. Tom then sets a snare trap around a piece of cheese and gets ready to pull the string but is distracted by a bowl of cream substituted for the cheese by Jerry, who activates the trap, sending the cat out to the tree himself.
Practicing the "A Curious Mouse is Easy to Catch" chapter, Tom sits outside Jerry's mousehole reading the book and loudly laughs at it but denies Jerry any chance to see it. When Jerry climbs onto the book to see it, Tom slams it shut on him. But when Tom grabs him, Jerry pretends to look inside his fists to show Tom that he has something in and when Tom looks into his fists, Jerry punches him in the eye. Tom corners Jerry and, after reading the passage in the book "A cornered mouse never fights", pounces on him and the two engage in a violent brawl. Tom sticks his head around the corner, moderately bruised and battered, and eerily drones "Don't you believe it!" - a cultural reference to a jingle on the 1940s radio show Don't You Believe It!.
At this point, Tom stops reading from chapter-to-chapter and tries suggestions he thinks will work. Upon reading Chapter VII: "Be scientific in your approach", Tom uses a stethoscope to listen for Jerry within the walls of the house. This backfires when Jerry screams into the stethoscope, almost deafening Tom. Tom then forces a double-barreled shotgun into Jerry's mousehole. However, the barrels protrude out of the wall and point straight at Tom's head as the cat fires and he ends up shooting himself in the head, rendering himself bald. In the next scene, Tom (now wearing a dodgy orange toupee for the rest of the cartoon) sets a bear trap and slides it into the mousehole. But Jerry walks outside from another hole behind Tom and puts the trap behind him, which triggers as Tom sits down and sends him flying into the ceiling in pain. Tom then tries to use a mallet to flatten Jerry, but Jerry pops out of a hole behind a picture right above Tom, grabs the mallet, and hits him. After reading the chapter 'Slip him a surprise package', Tom attempts to disguise himself in a gift box. Jerry, seeing the box, knocks on it, hearing no response. Inexplicably, Jerry proceeds to impale the box with pins while Tom whimpers and groans in pain before sawing the box in half. Still hearing nothing, Jerry eagerly looks inside the box but just as quickly pulls his head out. Horror-stricken, he gulps and displays a sign reading "IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?".
Now covered in bandages, Tom winds up a female toy mouse which repeatedly says "come up and see me some time" (a quote from Mae West). Jerry, noticing the toy, walks with it. Tom attempts to lure Jerry into a mouse-sized pretend hotel which is named "cozy arms", the door of which leads into Tom's open mouth. Jerry ushers the toy mouse into the hotel first, which causes Tom to eat it (shattering his teeth in the process). After inspecting his ruined teeth in a mirror, Tom smashes it in rage and brutally tears the book to shreds, all the while hiccupping "come up and see me some time" since the toy's voice box is stuck in his throat.
Having gone mad with revenge, Tom attempts to blow away Jerry with dozens of explosives (TNT, gunpowder, dynamite and a massive block buster). When Tom ignites a piece of dynamite, it doesn't start the fuse enough, so he blows the fuse too hard. This causes the fuse to be fired immediately and the explosives erupt, killing Tom. Nothing but Jerry (who survived the explosion) and his mousehole remains of the house while a fed-up Tom (who was seen by Jerry), now in spirit form, is seen on a cloud floating to heaven, repeatedly hiccuping "come up and see me some time" as the short irises out.
- Directed by: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
- Story: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
- Animation: Ray Patterson, Irven Spence, Kenneth Muse, Pete Burness
- Assistant Animation: Barney Posner
- Layouts: Harvey Eisenberg
- Music: Scott Bradley
- Co-Producer: William Hanna
- Produced by: Fred Quimby
- Tom and Jerry's Greatest Chases, Vol. 2
- Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection Vol. 1, Disc One
- Tom and Jerry Golden Collection Volume One, Disc One
- "The 17th Academy Awards (1945) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
- Sample audio: introduction to an episode of Don't You Believe It, 4 January 1947 (mp3 audio)
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