Have a laugh, wear a smile! Our beloved and most cherished cartoon duo – Tom and Jerry – turn 82 today. The duo gave us endless laughs with their chase comedy and made sure that we get our life lessons on love, relationship, fight, and enmity. This show kept entertaining audiences of many generations, and when we think about our childhood memories, there will definitely be traces of the Tom and Jerry show.
Tom and Jerry started their journey under the names Jasper and Pee-Wee in an animated short film Puss Gets the Boot created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera on 10 February 1940. The characters started to gain popularity as the short received its first Oscar nomination. However, the names ‘Tom’ and ‘Jerry’ were first established in The Midnight Short. And in 1943, The Yankee Doodle Mouse, an animated short which features Tom and Jerry chasing each other in a pseudo-warfare style and makes numerous references to World War II technology, won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. And finally, The Tom and Jerry Show first appeared on Television in 1975.
For the past 80 years, Tom and Jerry kept everyone hooked up with its immersive storyline and misadventures. From animated shorts to series to movies, the classic cartoon combined action and humour making it a slapstick that always featured comedy and not cruelty even if their storyline is depicted towards Cat Vs. Mouse. Even the injuries were depicted as momentary setbacks and not realistic wounds. The creative story themes depicting Tom and Jerry as globetrotter buddies confronting villains and solving mysteries (in 1975 The Tom and Jerry Show) or helping a young girl escape an abusive home (in 1992 Tom and Jerry: The Movie) entertained kids, youth, and families alike. Over the years, the diversity and diversion of these stories ensured that characters and audiences get a full meal of mayhem.
There are so many instances and episodes of the classic animated series that still have the same hype and rhythm which makes the viewers ROFL (roll on the floor laughing). Their charm and cheekiness remain unmatched in cartoon rivalries due to the heart of their relationship being a playful bond that signifies unity for mutual fun.
With the show’s universal appeal, its success has been observed in different parts of the world including India where it’s aired on Cartoon Network. To connect more with the Indian audience, in 2020, for the first time ever, Tom and Jerry got a commentary version which got dubbed in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu. The commentary added another layer of immersive storytelling and presented the legendary tales of the duo to Indian kids in a more relatable way.
Commenting on the show’s success and reach among Indian kids, South Asia Network head for Cartoon Network and POGO Abhishek Dutta added, “An inseparable part of Cartoon Network’s legacy, Tom and Jerry‘s legendary tales became an ever-dependable source of entertainment, fun, and mayhem for everyone for more than eight decades. In India, we broke new frontiers with a ‘glocalized’ rendition of The Tom and Jerry Show in 2020 with thought-over commentaries dubbed in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. Bringing the iconic show for Indian kids in a more relatable way garnered tremendous success and achieved a number one rank rating in its launch week, reiterating its impact and following. The quintessential slapstick animation comedy continues to be in the top five highest-rated slots of Cartoon Network India. For Tom and Jerry’s 82nd birthday this year, we are bringing brand new episodes of Tom and Jerry Tales to celebrate the notorious duo and their gleeful banter.”
Celebrating the 82nd anniversary of Tom and Jerry, Cartoon Network India started airing new episodes of Tom and Jerry Tales from 7 February from 10:30 am onwards. It will continue to air till 11 February. Also, Cartoon Network asked kids to share greeting cards with their birthday messages for Tom and Jerry. The lucky winners will win Tom and Jerry merchandise.
With more than 1,000 SKUs of Tom and Jerry consumer products across different categories available in India, the animation IP remains the favourite and popular consumer products for WarnerMedia.
Commenting about the franchise’s consumer products reach and popularity WarnerMedia India head of consumer products, advertising, and partnerships Southeast Asia and Korea Vikram Sharma said, “A testament to the widespread admiration of Tom and Jerry is that it remains the most popular Kids Consumer Products animation IP for WarnerMedia. Young and adult fans of the franchise in India have more than 1,000 SKUs of Tom and Jerry consumer products to love and own. The sheer diversity of the products available spread across verticals such as fashion, accessories, toys, collectibles, puzzles, and stationery, proves the global phenomena that the characters are. In India alone, there are several key partnerships including Reliance Retail, Myntra, Flipkart, TheSouledStore.com, Bewakoof.com, Campus Footwear, Funskool, Bata (Pak), Hamilton, amongst others, that offer Tom and Jerry collection, reinforcing the IP’s fan-following.”
The franchise also released the animated movie with a live-action twist, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, which was seen across 1,000 screens in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telegu in India.
Talking about how the film gained success at the Indian box office, Warner Bros. Pictures, India managing director Denzil Dias commented, “A blend of classic animation and live-action, Tom & Jerry: The Movie outperformed at the Indian box office with its theatrical release across 1,000 screens. Despite the pandemic, the world’s most famous frenemies romped on the big screen, attracting over half a million people to the cinema screens in 2021. The reimagined tale grossed nearly eight crores rupees in ticket sales, reigniting its fandom. It became the number one Hollywood family film/animation film and the 10th highest-grossing Hollywood film in India last year.”
For all the Tom and Jerry lovers there is an exciting announcement! Cartoon Network is also planning to release a brand new series, Tom and Jerry in New York, in Q2 during the summer holidays.