The Vanishing Duck

The Vanishing Duck
Tom and Jerry series

Title card
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Produced by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Story by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices by Red Coffey
George O'Hanlon
June Foray
William Hanna (Tom's Screams)
Music by Scott Bradley
Animation by Lewis Marshall
Kenneth Muse
Carlo Vinci
James Escalante
Layouts by Richard Bickenbach
Backgrounds by Robert Gentle
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) May 2, 1958
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:04
Language English
Preceded by Royal Cat Nap
Followed by Robin Hoodwinked

The Vanishing Duck is a 1958 one reel animated Tom and Jerry short, directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with music by Scott Bradley. The cartoon was animated by Lewis Marshall, Kenneth Muse, Carlo Vinci and James Escalante, with backgrounds by Robert Gentle and layouts by Richard Bickenbach. Red Coffey, June Foray and George O'Hanlon provided the voices for this film. It was released on 2 May, 1958 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and marks the final appearance of Quacker, who appeared in seven previous Tom and Jerry shorts. As such, The Vanishing Duck is the antepenultimate Tom and Jerry short of the Hanna and Barbera era. O'Hanlon would go on to star as the voice of George Jetson on the ABC-TV animated series, The Jetsons, also produced by Hanna-Barbera in four years later. The cartoon title is a similar in 1947's film The Invisible Mouse.

This short is one of the select few in which Tom emerges victorious over Jerry.


Quacker is a singing duck whom George has bought for Joan for her birthday. They leave the house for dinner and a show, with Joan wondering if Quacker will be all right with Tom around. George assures her that he will be fine, since Tom is outside and the house is locked up tight. But Tom manages to sneak in, anyway, and immediately goes to look for Quacker.

After being swallowed by Tom, Quacker escapes to Jerry's mouse hole, where the two become friends. When Tom catches Quacker, Jerry trips Tom up with some extension cord, causing Tom to lose his grip on Quacker, sending him straight into a tub of vanishing cream. An invisible Quacker is able to come to Jerry's rescue, where he shows him the secret of the vanishing cream. Thus invisible, the two decide to have fun tricking Tom, and they annoy him by spitting watermelon seeds at him, shove aspirin down his throat, vanish and cut his tail short, and fool him by cutting off a tail from a coat with a pair of scissors that resembles his own tail to make him look like a Manx cat. All this bamboozles poor Tom, who thinks that the house is haunted. After Tom hears Quacker's voice of singing the same birthday song coming from his supposed tail, he immediately realizes what is actually going on and tries to catch them while Jerry and Quacker run under the mat. They finally make him leave the house using some tongs and a coal shovel.

As Jerry and Quacker celebrate their victory, Tom sees through the window how they tricked him and retrieves the vanishing cream. After testing it on himself, he decides to get his own back by being completely invisible. Jerry and Quacker are certain that Tom is gone, until the invisible cat comes up behind them and hits them with the coal shovel, having enough of Jerry, Quacker, and their playing and bullying. Jerry and Quaker run off while Tom chases them around the house, still hitting them alternately with the coal shovel.

Alternate versions

Like a number of early widescreen animated films (several other cartoons and Disney's Lady and the Tramp, for example), The Vanishing Duck was produced in both the Academy and CinemaScope aspect ratios. The same animation cels were used. For some, television broadcasts, however a pan and a scan copy was prepared from the CinemaScope version (which is reframed from the Academy version). Compared to the CinemaScope version, the Academy version is missing information present at the left and right side of the frame in many shots from the CinemaScope version.



External links

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