Little School Mouse

Little School Mouse
Tom and Jerry series

The title card of Little School Mouse
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Produced by Fred Quimby
Story by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Music by Scott Bradley
Animation by Irven Spence
Ed Barge
Backgrounds by Robert Gentle
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) May 29, 1954
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:11
Language English
Preceded by Hic-cup Pup
Followed by Baby Butch

Little School Mouse is a 1954 the 83rd one-reel animated Tom and Jerry short, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and produced by Fred Quimby with music by Scott Bradley. The cartoon was animated by Irven Spence and Ed Barge, with backgrounds by Robert Gentle, and released on May 29, 1954 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Little School Mouse features Jerry trying (and failing) to instruct Tuffy in cat evasion, with Tuffy befriending Tom in the end. It is one of the very few shorts in which Tom emerges victorious over Jerry.


Jerry begins teaching Tuffy the basics of outwitting a cat by way of a couple of cartoon strips on the chalkboard. The first one demonstrates how the cat chases the mouse and, if he catches the mouse, will eat him. Tuffy is very unhappy about this and starts to cry. Jerry directs his attention to the other picture sequence, which shows the mouse reaching his hole and the cat saying "bad words." Tuffy couldn't stop laughing.

For the next lesson, Jerry shows Tuffy an imitation cat's paw in front of a mousehole facade. He demonstrates the procedure and Tuffy goes into the hole, where he makes a show of looking for danger, walks straight out of the hole and ends up walking on the spot with his tail getting caught in the cat's paw. Jerry isn't pleased, so he has Tuffy work the cat's paw while he gives another demonstration. Tuffy winds the crank with such enthusiasm that Jerry can't get away and ends up flat on the floor like a carpet before the little mouse realises what he's doing. He looks under the paw and twinges with embarrassment, then rushes into the classroom and puts up a CLASS DISMISSED sign. However, as he is leaving the mousehole, he is caught by Jerry by the diaper. Tuffy immediately retreats to the stool in the corner and dons the dunce cap.

Following a lesson book, the mice are hidden behind a sofa, as Jerry attempts to show Tuffy how to pluck a whisker from the cat without waking him up. Using the furniture and the rug as cover, he succeeds in obtaining one of Tom's whiskers (without awakening him and actually pulling off one-half of one whisker) and makes it back to the sofa to show Tuffy. To Jerry's annoyance, Tuffy approaches Tom directly, instead of stealthily. His annoyance quickly turns to horror when his young charge returns not only with a whisker, but with a very bemused Tom still attached. Jerry grabs Tuffy and flees back to the hole with an enraged Tom in pursuit. Tuffy reaches the hole first and slams the door; despite Jerry desperately banging on the door to be let in to safety, when Tuffy finally opens the door again, Tom has beaten up Jerry, who tumbles in with a black eye and wearing the lesson book around his neck, making Tuffy realizes what he has done; letting Tom beat Jerry up.

Later on, Jerry having recovered from the beaten demonstrates the next lesson in the (now-intact) book: how to obtain cheese without waking up the cat. Using the blinds as an elevator, a cup and spoon as a rowboat, and a broom as a slide, he succeeds in climbing onto the countertop and reaching a plate with some cheese on it, but narrowly avoids waking Tom when he drops his piece of cheese on his head. Acting quickly, he pulls Tom's eyes shut and soothes him back to sleep. Once back at the hole, Jerry shows his prize to Tuffy before eating it. The little mouse goes out himself and looks up at the plate of cheese on the countertop and then wakes Tom, who looks at him sleepily and helpfully gives him the cheese, too tired to begin a chase. Jerry is dumbfounded as Tuffy returns with the whole cheese, shows it off, and swallows the whole lot at once, causing his stomach to assume a large wedge shape.

Jerry tries to teach Tuffy how to bell the cat in a last effort. By now, Tom is waiting for him, but fakes being asleep. Playing along with Jerry as he ties on the bell, he even conveniently lifts his head up and puts a finger on the knot as Jerry ties it. Jerry signals his thanks before realising his folly and flees. Tom catches him easily, proceeds to beat him up again and Jerry later makes it back to the hole with the string and bell wound many times around his neck. Tuffy is holding a package wrapped as a present. Tuffy looks out nervously and gulps. He cautiously approaches Tom, who is now fully awake and grumpy and offers him the present. Tom opens it and finds it to be a bell on a string. Delighted at the gift, he points to himself in a "For me?" manner. Tuffy smiles and nods assuredly. Tom puts the bell on himself and thanks Tuffy by gently patting him on the head. Jerry, having ultimately failed, storms off in enragement and throws his diploma in the garbage.

In the final moment of the episode, Tuffy is teaching. He points to the board, which reads, "Cats And Mice Should Be Friends." Jerry, who is now the pupil and wearing the dunce cap, madly shakes his head as if to say, "Not a chance." Tom, sitting next to Jerry, nods his head enthusiastically at the idea. It makes his bell ring while doing so. He removes the dunce cap from Jerry and kisses him, much to Jerry's chagrin. He then jingles his bell.





  1. Ben Simon (July 14, 2003). "The Art Of Tom And Jerry: Volume Two - Animated Reviews". Retrieved October 17, 2016.

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