Tom the Cat -
Tom the Cat - The feline half of the popular cat and mouse team Tom
& Jerry created for M-G-M by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera that
debuted in the animated cartoon Puss Gets The Boot (1939). During
his Keystone Cop like chases of Jerry the mouse (brown in color),
Tom (a grey cat with a round face) routinely got chopped, sliced,
diced (run over by lawnmowers or blown up) but still he kept on
going. In 1965, new cartoon adventures were created by Chuck Jones
for THE TOM AND JERRY SHOW/SYN/1965. Later shows included THE NEW
TOM AND JERRY/GRAPE APE SHOW/ABC/1975 and THE TOM AND JERRY/GRAPE
TRIVIA NOTE: Tom the Cat was originally called "Jasper." On August
21, 2006, the Reuters News Service reported that "Turner
Broadcasting is scouring more than 1,500 classic Hanna-Barbera
cartoons, including old favorites Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones and
Scooby-Doo, to edit out scenes that glamorize smoking."
A Classic 'Tom and Jerry' Chase
The push to censor the cartoons were prompted by Ofcom, the British
version of the FCC when "one" viewer saw the offensive material
while watching the Boomerang Channel and thought they were not
"appropriate in a cartoon aimed at children." About 56 percent of
Boomerang's audience is aged four to 14 years old.
The two cartoons that sparked the controversy were "Texas Tom"
(where Tom rolls and lights a cigarette with one hand), and "Tennis
Chumps" (where Tom's opponent in a tennis match smokes a big cigar).
Yinka Akidale, the spokeswoman for Turner in Europe said "We are
going through the entire catalogue." She qualified her remarks
saying that the cartoons would only be modified "where smoking could
be deemed to be cool or glamorized."
Although there are many who deem this form of "political
correctness" as blatant historical revisionism, there can be
positive side to such changes.
For example, in 1988, The World Health Organization awarded Belgian
cartoonist Maurice de Bevere with an award when he decided rework
the image of his popular character Lucky Luke and replace his
ubiquitous cigarette with a blade of grass. See also -
MICE:"Jerry the Mouse"
Back to Top