Spike and Tyke (characters)

Spike & Tyke
Tom and Jerry (WB/Turner Entertainment) character
First appearance Spike: Dog Trouble
April 18, 1942
Tyke: Love That Pup
October 1, 1949
Created by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voiced by Spike: below
Tyke: below
Species Canines
Gender Both males

Spike and Tyke are fictional characters from the Tom and Jerry animated film series, created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Spike (who goes by different names in a few episodes - Killer for four episodes, Butch for two episodes, and Bulldog for one) is portrayed as an American bulldog, who is generally friendly and amiable, and a loving father to his son Tyke in several episodes. However, Spike's character also has a very stern, and fierce side, for occasions such as when he is defending his son Tyke.

Spike made his first appearance in the 1942 Tom and Jerry cartoon Dog Trouble, and his first speaking role was in 1944's The Bodyguard, where he was voiced by Billy Bletcher up until 1949, from which point he was voiced by Daws Butler.

Spike's son, Tyke is shown as a cute, sweet, happy and innocent puppy. Spike does not speak for most of the earlier series. Spike and Tyke's characters, provide a model of father and son behavior, with Spike spending much of his free time taking Tyke on father-son outings, teaching him the facts of life for dogs and guarding him diligently when they are sleeping. In Tom and Jerry Kids, Tyke has a speaking role for the first time, aside from traditional dog noises he expressed in the prior films.

Spike's relationships with Tom and Jerry have varied from time to time, but essentially Spike has little affection for Tom Cat, who seems always to be disrupting his life, causing trouble, antagonizing Tyke or all of the above. The Truce Hurts (1948) and Pet Peeve (1954) are so far the only cartoons where Spike actually cares about and shows affection for Tom; these relationships often dissolve and usually end with them fighting. Tom does not usually antagonize Spike intentionally, but Spike often ends up in the middle of a Tom and Jerry chase, (as they are all seemingly living together) which ends up waking Spike up, ruining his new dog house, wrecking his and Tyke's picnic, etc. Spike has a few weaknesses that Tom tries to capitalize upon: his possessiveness about his bone and his ticklishness.

Spike's fiercest behavior is reserved for anyone who interferes with Tyke, but also, Spike's generally well-intentioned brain is at times easily outwitted by Tom and/or Jerry. Jerry also arranges to get Tom in trouble with Spike, provoking a chase, and/or a pounding from the bulldog. and Spike will keep Tom's attention off Jerry for a while. Several stories also have Jerry taking advantage of Spike and Tyke's size and proximity, as he often tries to hide or sleep with or near Spike and Tyke for protection.

Early appearances

In his very first appearance, Dog Trouble, Spike is the main antagonist, chasing and attacking both Tom and Jerry on sight, even trying to eat Jerry, which forced the two to work together to defeat him. However, in his next appearance The Bodyguard, after Jerry willingly saved him from being poached, he became Jerry's protector whenever needed. In all subsequent shorts, Spike becomes typecast as the stereotypical dumb brute who is always duped into becoming a shield for Jerry from Tom. It is only in two episodes where Jerry gets Spike out of a jam and the dog willingly protects him from Tom in well-earned gratitude (The Bodyguard and Fit to Be Tied). On most occasions, Jerry causes trouble for Tom by luring him near Spike and harming him to get him angry, and in some cartoons when it's perfectly obvious that Tom is not responsible, as seen in The Invisible Mouse, Spike still blames Tom and hurts him instead of Jerry.

Spike, however, is not without a softer and sympathetic side: in the episode Pet Peeve, after believing that Tom is willing to leave the house in Spike's favour, Spike feels sorry for him to the point that he offers to leave instead, which Spike does until he realises that Tom is only using reverse psychology to trick him into leaving. In The Truce Hurts, Spike is portrayed as a very intelligent and equilibrated character when he convinces Tom and Jerry to stop the fighting among the three of them and sign a Peace Treaty, but their newfound friendship comes to an end when they argue over how to share a big steak, symbolised when Spike tears the truce contract to shreds and they go back to fighting again after Tom accidentally threw the steak into the sewer drain. From the 1942 cartoon Dog Trouble to 1948 cartoon Heavenly Puss he was voiced by Billy Bletcher. His first name is Bulldog in Dog Trouble, His name also varies in some shorts: in Puttin' On The Dog, Solid Serenade and Cat Fishin' he is named "Killer", and in The Truce Hurts he signs his name "Butch" on the treaty peace paper and his name were Butch or Killer in The Invisible Mouse, He is also a Devil Dog in Heavenly Puss.

Spike's later years and Tyke's debut

In Tom's later attempts to catch Jerry, he has to deal with Spike for bothering his son. In 1949's Love That Pup, Spike was given a puppy son, Tyke, who became another popular supporting character in the Tom and Jerry cartoons. His voice was taken over by Daws Butler, who styled Spike's voice after Jimmy Durante taking after his 1940s radio series with Garry Moore. He is named Spike from then on and is not changed again. When Tyke is introduced, Spike is given a softer approach (mainly towards his son) and is kinder and less aggressive, but is still portrayed as a dumb animal on more than one occasion. Spike's love and affection towards Tyke becomes Jerry's newest weapon against Tom, as his strategy goes from luring Tom towards Spike to inflicting harm on Tyke, and even when it is perfectly obvious that Jerry is responsible and not Tom, as seen in Love That Pup. Spike fails to notice this and still blames Tom. (although this can be partially due to Spike's dislike of Tom).

A short-lived Spike and Tyke cartoon series was produced by MGM in 1957; only two entries were completed. Within a year, the MGM cartoon studio had shut down, and Hanna and Barbera took Spike and Tyke and retooled them to create one of the first television successes for Hanna-Barbera Productions, Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy. Spike and Tyke would not appear in new Tom and Jerry cartoons, until the 1970s The Tom and Jerry Show, the 1980s The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show, and 1990's Tom & Jerry Kids (in which Tom and Jerry themselves were made younger, but Spike and Tyke remained the same age, and appeared both with Tom and Jerry, and in new episodes of their own with a girlfriend for Tyke). He had also made a cameo in the 1967 MGM Animation/Visual Arts production Matinee Mouse, which reused footage from Love that Pup and The Truce Hurts, and added some new animation in the final punchline. Spike would continue to appear in Tom and Jerry full-length features released in the early 2000s and finally, Tom and Jerry Tales.

Spike and his son Tyke also appear as regulars in the recent reboot series.




Featured cartoons

Hanna-Barbera era

Turner Entertainment/Warner Bros. Animation

Tex Avery/Hanna-Barbara

Spike and Tyke

The Tom and Jerry Show (1975)

The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show

Tom & Jerry Kids

Tom and Jerry Tales

Direct-to-video films

Voice actors



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