Tom and Jerry are celebrating 80 years of cat and mouse high jinks. Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the duo debuted in the short “Puss Gets the Boot” in 1940, though at the time they were called Jasper and Jinx. They went on to star in 164 animated shorts produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Film Co, winning seven Academy Awards for Animated Short Film.
The series features comic fights between an iconic pair of adversaries, a house cat (Tom) and a mouse (Jerry). The plots of usually centre on Tom and Jerry’s numerous attempts to get one over on each other and the mayhem and destruction that follows. Tom rarely succeeds in getting the best of Jerry, mainly because of Jerry’s cleverness, cunning abilities and luck. However, on several occasions, they have displayed genuine friendship and concern for each other’s well-being. At other times, the pair set aside their rivalry in order to pursue a common goal, such as when a baby escapes the watch of a negligent babysitter, causing Tom and Jerry to pursue the baby and keep it away from danger. Despite their endless attacks on one another, they have saved each other’s lives every time they were truly in danger.