Puss Gets the Boot

Puss Gets the Boot
Tom and Jerry series

Title card
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera (both uncredited)
Produced by Rudolf Ising
Fred Quimby (uncredited)
Story by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices by Clarence Nash
William Hanna
Lillian Randolph (original)
June Foray (1966 edited)
Thea Vidale (1989 edited)
Music by Scott Bradley
Animation by Don Williams
Michael Lah
Jack Zander
Peter Burness
Rudy Zamora
Layouts by Harvey Eisenberg
Backgrounds by Robert Gentle
Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Distributed by Loew's Inc.
Release date(s)
  • February 10, 1940 (1940-02-10)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 9:08
Language English
Followed by The Midnight Snack

Puss Gets the Boot is the first film in the Tom and Jerry animated short subject series.


In this short cartoon, Tom (named here as Jasper) takes great pleasure in tormenting Jerry (here called Jinx). Jerry is trying to run away from Tom but the cat keeps grabbing the mouse's tail to keep him from running anywhere. Eventually Jerry breaks free but goes into Tom's mouth, narrowly escaping. Tom then draws a mousehole on the wall to trick Jerry into entering it. Jerry bangs against the wall so hard that it knocks him silly. Tom revives him using water and picks him up. Having slowly realized the situation, Jerry punches Tom in the eye, making him yelp in pain. The incensed cat chases the mouse and accidentally bumps into a flower stand, where it explodes. Mammy Two Shoes enters the room and scolds Tom for his unacceptable behavior, issuing him an ultimatum that if she catches him making one more mess, he will get kicked out of the house for good. The cat sulks off, Jerry chuckles at him and this causes the cat to chase him, but when the mouse holds a glass over the edge of the table, the cat backs off after seeing a furious Mammy walking away with the remains of the broken flowerpot, afraid that he will get himself into trouble again.

After Jerry puts the cup down, seeing his chance, Tom rushes at the mouse, but the mouse holds back the cat by threatening to drop the glass again. The mouse then drops the cup and Tom rushes to catch it. Jerry throws more cups, making it very hard for Tom to catch them all. As Jerry walks away with the last cup, the angry cat drops a bunch of pillows on the ground. When the mouse tries to humiliate the cat by dropping the cup, it stays intact when it lands on the soft surface of one of the pillows. The mouse tries to escape but Tom catches him by the tail. The cat inadvertently throws the mouse onto a shelf, where he escapes and begins pelting the cat with several dishes, making sure that in order to blackmail the cat, he will force the victim to immediately "get the boot" once and for all. Tom begins to tire of holding all the dishes, after which, in humiliation, the cat tries to stop the mouse from dropping one last dish on the ground, but it is too late.

Mammy once again enters the room in frustration just as Jerry swims in Tom's milk bowl, uses the cat's tail as a towel and finally kicks the cat, causing Tom to drop all of the dishes, creating a huge mess and forcing him to take the blame. Enraged, Mammy throws Tom out of the house and shuts the door. As soon as the cat is expelled from the house, Jerry waves to Tom, sticks his tongue out, puts a HOME SWEET HOME sign in front of his hole, and enters it.

Voice cast



Puss Gets the Boot marked the debut of Tom and Jerry. In 1939, Joseph Barbera and William Hanna teamed up together in animation. Their first idea together was a cartoon series about a cat and a mouse. They built the cartoon but just as they were making the cartoon series theme, after releasing the short, the boss of MGM's cartoon studio, Fred Quimby, asked them to pursue other themes, believing that cat-and-mouse cartoons were old and boring. However, after the success of the cartoon, the first nomination for an Academy Award and a letter for a very important distributor in Texas asking for "more of the wonderful and delightful cat and mouse cartoons",[2] Fred Quimby changed his mind.

Puss Gets the Boot was directed, drawn and written out by Hanna and Barbera but they gave sole credit to their close friend: animation teacher Rudolf Ising, who actually just looked it over and permitted release of the short.

Originally produced as a stand-alone cartoon, the entry was so popular with audiences that MGM commissioned additional cartoons from Hanna and Barbera. It was with the second release, The Midnight Snack, that the characters were explicitly named Tom and Jerry. Puss Gets the Boot was nominated for an Oscar, losing to The Milky Way.[3]

At over nine minutes, Puss Gets the Boot has the longest running time in the series.






  1. "From Homer to the Top Cat". Irish Independent. 1 March 2005. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  2. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xqgp3s_how-bill-and-joe-met-tom-and-jerry_shortfilms Archived July 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Adams, T. R. (1991). Tom and Jerry: Fifty Years of Cat and Mouse. New York, New York: Crescent Books. ISBN 0-517-05688-7.
  4. "..:: The Tom and Jerry Online :: An UnOfficial Site Site : TOM AND JERRY DVD/VHS ::..". Retrieved 2012-09-28.
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