Sunday, October 14, 2007

WW2 In Cartoons: Yankee Doodle Mouse

From wikipedia:
"The Yankee Doodle Mouse is a one-reel animated cartoon short subject in the Tom and Jerry series, produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on June 26, 1943 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. It was produced by Fred Quimby and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with musical supervision by Scott Bradley and animation by Irven Spence, Pete Burness, Kenneth Muse and George Gordon.
The short features Tom and Jerry chasing each other in a pseudo-warfare style, making numerous references to World War II technology such as Jeeps and dive bombers. The Yankee Doodle Mouse won the 1943 Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons, making it the first of seven Tom and Jerry cartoons to receive this distinction.
In a cellar, Jerry is pursued by Tom, rushing into his Cat Raid Shelter, or mouse hole. Tom peers into the hole, in frustration. Jerry launches a tomato from a mousetrap, which goes splat into Tom's face. Jerry climbs up the wall and grabs a handful of Hen Grenades, or, to the uninitiated, eggs. As Tom wipes the tomato off his face, he is promptly covered in egg. Jerry reaches a case of champagnes and shoots off the corks, hitting Tom in the face and sending him into a tub of water, floating in a pot. Jerry launches a brick from a spatula, which crashes into the pot, sinking the cat. A communique reads "Sighted cat - sank same. Signed, Lt. Jerry Mouse."
Jerry uses a brassiere as a makeshift parachute in The Yankee Doodle Mouse.
Later on, Jerry observes Tom through a makeshift plumbing pipe acting as a periscope. Tom approaches Jerry's hole, mallet in hand. Jerry opens the ironing board cupboard, and the board wallops Tom. The mouse charges down the board in a jeep/cheese grater, tearing Tom's fur as the grater speeds past him. However, Jerry's jeep crashes into a wall, sending a sack of flour tumbling down. Jerry grabs the sack and runs across the room, with flour billowing out behind him, as a smokescreen. Tom can barely see through the thick smoke, and Jerry, who can see (as the flour begins just above his head), repeatedly smacks Tom in the rear with a board.
Tom, wearing a bowl for a helmet, throws a stick of dynamite towards Jerry, who immediately throws it back to Tom. The lit firecracker exchanges hands repeatedly until Jerry tricks Tom into wanting it. The cat snatches the dynamite back, proudly holding it in his hand, until it explodes. Jerry jumps into a kettle, which Tom approaches and throws another firecracker in. Jerry panics and escapes through the spout. Tom opens the kettle lid and sticks his entire head in. The explosive device goes off, leaving Tom in blackface, with a flower appearance.
Tom launches a paper aeroplane with a firecracker hidden inside, but Jerry blows it back and it lands beneath Tom, exploding once again. Later, Jerry plants an enormous stick of dynamite behind Tom. Tom sees the bomb and screams. However, the firecracker splits into half, to reveal a smaller one, which peels away, and pops open harmlessly to reveal successively smaller sticks of dynamite, leaving behind a minuscule replica of the original firecracker. Tom picks it up, believing it to be harmless, but the dynamite explodes powerfully.
Jerry tricks Tom to tie his own paws to his rocket in The Yankee Doodle Mouse.
Jerry jumps into his plane, which is fashioned from a box. He drops a succession of light bulbs onto an unsuspecting Tom, which explode on his head. He then launches a banana torpedo into the cat's face. Tom grabs a firecracker launcher and skillfully shoots down Jerry's 'plane.' Jerry hurtles towards the floor, but then his parachute, a brassiere, opens up, and he floats down gently. He races into his hole, and Tom pushes the cannon into the same hole, as the mortars chase after Jerry through the cellar, into a hose, which Jerry targets towards Tom, watching confidently from inside a barrel. The barrel explodes, leaving Tom riding the remaining parts of the exploded barrel as a bicycle, crashing into the wall.
Tom then fires a dart gun at Jerry, catching him by the tail as he attempts to dive into his mouse hole. Tom grabs Jerry and ties him to a rocket, which he lights up. However, Jerry ends up helping Tom to tie himself up. Jerry emerges from the ropes and waves to Tom as the rocket shoots up with a helpless Tom, and explodes in the air, provoking a set of fireworks overlooking the American flag. Jerry proudly salutes the flag, and we see another war communique: "Send more cats!"

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