I had a revelation watching this 1946 Tom and Jerry short on Youtube. For years, watching these cartons as a child, I had always thought of Jerry, the mouse, as the hero, and Tom, the cat, as the bad guy. I think this is largely to do more with my own personal deep hatred of cats (I won’t go into it) than any context of the cartoons, but watching this (and subsequently Mice Follies, a personal favourite), my groundbreaking, life changing epiphany is this: Jerry’s a jerk. Seriously, the mouse is a dick. Think about it, Tom is playing a piano solo in a large, important concert, but his playing awakens Jerry, who has chosen the piano as an optimal sleeping venue. Yes, that’s right; he’s sleeping in a piano. You know; a musical instrument? Something designed to make noise and do nothing else? And upon being woken up he has the audacity to be pissed off, and sets out to sabotage the rest of Tom’s performance.
Utilising physical comedy, slapstick (the troublesome cummerbund) and surreal inflections (Tom’s extendable finger able to reach the extra high notes), this is beautifully choreographed, tightly controlled comic perfection that never misses a note.
Choose film 8/10