|Tom and Jerry series|
The re-release poster of this cartoon.
|Produced by||Fred Quimby (unc. on original issue)|
Harry E. Lang and William Hanna|
|Music by||Scott Bradley|
Kenneth Muse (original credited as Ken Muse)
November 23, 1944 (original release) (Thanksgiving Day)|
December 12, 1951 (re-release)
|Language||none (text in English)|
|Preceded by||Puttin' on the Dog|
|Followed by||The Mouse Comes to Dinner|
Mouse Trouble is a 1944 American one-reel animated cartoon and is the 17th Tom and Jerry short produced by Fred Quimby and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with music by Scott Bradley (the music is actually based on the popular jazz song "All God's Children Got Rhythm"). The cartoon was animated by Ray Patterson, Irven Spence, Ken Muse and Pete Burness. The cartoon won the 1944 Academy Award 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.
A mailman delivers a box in the 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 the mouse (Jerry).
The first thing the book suggests is to locate the mouse. Tom "locates" the mouse, 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 and tests it by snapping it by touching it with a feather. Jerry, however, succeeds in freeing the cheese from it without setting off the trap. Shocked at the trap's failure, Tom tests it, and the trap snaps as soon as he touches it, causing him to scream in pain.
Tom then sets a snare trap around a piece of cheese and gets ready to pull the string but Jerry sneakily replaces the cheese with a bowl of milk. When Tom peeks back at the trap, he sees the milk and drinks it, completely distracted by it as Jerry activates the trap, sending the cat out to the tree himself. Tom's next attempt at catching Jerry is to guffaw while reading the book. A curious Jerry ventures out of his hole and Tom eventually captures Jerry by shutting him into the book. But when Tom grabs him, Jerry pulls the same trick on him with his fists. Tom inspects them only to get punched in the eye and leaving Jerry to escape. (This trick was pulled again in Safety Second.) After reading in the book that A Cornered Mouse NEVER FIGHTS, Tom pounces onto Jerry. But Jerry fights back and beats Tom offscreen. Afterwards, Tom, now bruised and battered, drones "Don't you believe it!" - a cultural reference to the distinctive jingle on the 1940s radio show Don't You Believe it! (Voiced by Harry E. Lang.) (This was repeated at the conclusion of the episode The Missing Mouse).
At this point, Tom stops reading from chapter-to-chapter and skims the book, trying suggestions that he likes or 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 microphone, which almost deafens Tom. Tom then forces a double-barrelled shotgun into Jerry's mousehole. However, the barrels of the gun bend upwards, protrude out of the wall and point straight at Tom's head as the cat fires and ends up shooting himself in the head, rendering himself bald. In the next scene (and every scene after that until the end), Tom wears a dodgy, orange toupée.
Tom sets a bear trap and sticks it inside Jerry's hole. Jerry walks outside from another hole behind Tom and puts then trap behind him. Just as Tom sits down, the trap triggers. Tom screams in pain and is sent up into the ceiling. Tom then tries to use a mallet to flatten Jerry. Jerry pops out of a hole behind a picture right above Tom, grabs the mallet, and hits him, knocking him out.
Tom then attempts to hide inside a large gift box before knocking on Jerry's wall. Jerry, seeing the box, knocks on it. With no response, Jerry returns with a bunch of pins and sticks them inside the box while Tom whimpers in pain before sawing the box in half. Hearing nothing inside, Jerry looks inside the box, and in horror, he gulps and displays a sign reading "IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?"
Tom, now covered in bandages (including one wrapped around his bisected torso), reads the twelfth chapter of the book, Mice are Suckers for Dames, which makes him wind up a female toy mouse which repeatedly says "come up and see me some time". 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, but to Tom's dismay, Jerry ushers the toy mouse into the hotel first, which causes Tom to eat it (shattering his teeth in the process). After hiccuping twice (which triggers the swallowed toy's voicebox), Tom looks at his decrepit teeth in a mirror, this infuriates the cat as he shatters the mirror and angrily rips off the book before goes insane and gets revenge and attempts to blow away Jerry with dozens of explosives (TNT, gunpowder, dynamite and a massive block buster that resembles the atom bomb Fat Man). When Tom lights a piece of dynamite, he blows the fuse much too hard. This causes all of the explosives to erupt, which kills Tom. Nothing at all remains of the house except Jerry (who remains unharmed after the explosion) and the part of his mousehole, while a fed-up Tom, this time with a spirit form, is seen on a cloud floating to heaven, with a harp and a halo, all the while, repeatedly hiccuping "come up and see me some time" ad infinitum.
- 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)