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Tom the CatTom 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 APE/MUMBLY SHOW/ABC/1976. 

Tom & Jerry
A Classic 'Tom and Jerry' Chase Scene

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."

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"


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