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Joe Barbera died Tuesday at the age of 95. Tom and joined Jerry in that big cartoon puff in the sky. Bill Hanna died in 2001 at the age of 90. Bill was the detailed brain of the outfit who’s musical background attributed to the brilliant timing of Tom and Jerry and Joe was the story artist and gag man who gave us the visuals that kept us in stitches and the Oscars coming. So to me, Bill as Jerry and Joe was Tom. Tom must have been lonely with out Jerry.
This brings to mind the short, “Heavenly Puss” where Tom actually dies and Saint Peter stops him at the gate and decrees that he get an apology from Jerry in order to be admitted into Cat Heaven. It was a great cartoon with a touching scene of affection towards a clueless Jerry at the end. However, Saint Peter referred to Jerry as a innocent little mouse—we all know that most of the time Jerry provoked Tom!
Most Tom and Jerry fans do not like the shorts where Tom and Jerry are friends. I however, do not mind this. Two of my favorite Tom and Jerry Shorts are Puppy Tale and the one where Tom and Jerry are on holiday in Italy and meet up with a little mouse named Giermo. Giermo sets up a universe where Tom and Jerry are simply two actors who have an ongoing series in Hollywood cinema like Abbot and Costello. A highlight of the cartoon are two scenes: one when Jerry swallows a round of gouda whole and later when the gouda cheese aid in beating up 3 bullies who harass Tom, Jerry and Giermo.
HannaBarbara created subsequent cartoon series to Tom and Jerry that received less than critical acclaim. However, they did help save the industry if animation and furthermore contributed to an American tradition we all know as the Saturday Morning Cartoon block from 7-11 with the ABC Weekend specials rounding off the block until noon. Then all kids were free to go out and play!
Thank you, Joe Barbara, for your work and wisdom. It’s going to be VERY HARD for those of us in the animation community to continue without you.