Blue Cat Blues

Hanna-Barbera (1956)

Blue Cat Blues is the 103rd one-reel animated Tom and Jerry short, created in 1956, directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with music by Scott Bradley. The cartoon was animated by Ed Barge, Irven Spence, Lewis Marshall, and Kenneth Muse, with layouts by Richard Bickenbach and backgrounds by Robert Gentle.

Unusually for a Tom and Jerry short, Jerry “speaks”, narrating the story in voice-over via Paul Frees. Since Jerry narrates through inner monologue, the short does not break the “cardinal rule” of not having Tom and Jerry physically speaking on screen. Also, unusual for a Tom and Jerry cartoon, while all the others have a comical storyline, this one has a tragic one. Because of this – and Tom and Jerry’s implied suicide at the end – this cartoon has rarely been seen on American television, although it has aired once on TNT in the early 1990s and made its rounds on local affiliate channels. However, the short aired for only once on Cartoon Network Southeast Asia in November 2010. As of March 2014, very few airings are known, but it has been shown briefly on Cartoon Network in the USA. This cartoon marks the final appearance of Butch in the Tom and Jerry cartoon produced before the MGM cartoon studio shuts down in 1957. Although, Butch would make another appearance (along with his other alley cat pals Meathead, Topsy, and Lightning in the Spike and Tyke cartoon Scat Cats before the studio’s closure. This cartoon was released on November 16, 1956 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

To avoid controversy, Turner Entertainment’s channels Cartoon Network and Boomerang have banned this episode due to references on alcohol and suicide. This cartoon has rarely been seen on American TV, although it has aired once on TNT in the early 1990s and made its rounds on local affiliate channels. However, the short aired for only once on Cartoon Network Southeast Asia in November 2010. As of March 2014, very few airings are known but it has been shown briefly on Cartoon Network in the USA.

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