William Hanna & Joseph Barbera (1946)

Solid Serenade is a 1946 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 26th Tom and Jerry short, produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on August 31, 1946 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. It was produced by Fred Quimby, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, and the musical supervision was by Scott Bradley. Ed Barge, Michael Lah, and Kenneth Muse animated it. Excerpts of this cartoon are seen in three other Tom and Jerry shorts: Jerry’s Diary, Smitten Kitten, and Smarty Cat, the latter instance with altered audio and an added scene of Tom whistling.

Animation historian Michael Barrier wrote that Tom’s appearance stabilized by the time of Solid Serenade, giving him a more streamlined and less inconsistent look. Jerry, whose appearance was already economical, only became cuter, according to Barrier. Describing music director Scott Bradley’s work, academic Daniel Ira Goldmark called Solid Serenade “an excellent overview of Bradley’s techniques”, as it uses both popular songs and an original score.

Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby is a 1944 Louis Jordan song, released as the B-side of a single with “G.I. Jive”. “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby” reached #1 on the US folk/country charts. The song appeared in the Tom and Jerry cartoon Solid Serenade and sung by Ira Woods as Tom Cat on the bass.

Louis Thomas Jordan was an American saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and bandleader who was popular from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Known as “The King of the Jukebox”, he earned his highest profile towards the end of the swing era. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an “early influence” in 1987.

Hanna-Barbera (1942)

Fraidy Cat is a 1942 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 4th animated short of Tom and Jerry.
It was released in theaters on January 17, 1942 and reissued for re-release on May 10, 1952.

Fraidy Cat was supervised by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, and produced by Fred Quimby, with music by Scott Bradley. Animated by Jack Zander, George Gordon, Irven Spence, Bill Littlejohn and Cecil Surry. This is the first Tom and Jerry cartoon to have Tom yelp in pain. He also screeches like a cat in this cartoon. It was the first Tom and Jerry wartime cartoon. The original print of this cartoon did not give Fred Quimby credit, crediting only Hanna and Barbera as the “supervisors” of the film. The title card of the original issue remains intact in the reissue.

Tex Avery (1945)

Bored with chasing Red Riding Hood, the Wolf decides to go after Cinderella, but her fairy godmother takes a shine to him instead – and has an arsenal of magical powers to help achieve her ends.

Swing Shift Cinderella is an animated cartoon short subject directed by Tex Avery. The plot involves the Big Bad Wolf and Cinderella. Frank Graham voiced the wolf, and Colleen Collins voiced Cinderella, with Imogene Lynn providing her singing voice.

This cartoon short includes some wartime references. The motor scooter of the fairy godmother displays an “A” gas ration sticker. She later uses a jeep. Cinderella is a welder, working the midnight shift at the Lockweed Aircraft Plant. There is also a female cabdriver depicted, a frequently used motif during the War.

Animated by Ray Abrams, Preston Blair, and Ed Love

Written by Heck Allen