This paper is aimed at students and elder population to make sure that they understand the reasons of the popularity of the Tom & Jerry cartoon. These reasons are also important for young parents who try to restrict their children in watching TV and are not sure which programs can be allowed for their children.
The understanding why the series is popular and why children like to watch them, young parents and future ones should keep in mind that they can watch the series with the children. Moreover, being a popular cartoon, it may create interest of simple students in the reasons why they watched, why they have been attracted with it. The information they get to know may help them understand their tastes and the causes why they are attracted with other specific series, movies, etc.
Tom & Jerry is a cartoon familiar for many people from their childhood. This cartoon was one of the most watched on TV. The cat and the mouse won seven Academy Awards (Barnes 4). Not much research has been conducted on the causes of the popularity of these series even though it is impossible to refuse this fact.
Being created many years ago, children watch these series right now. What are the causes of the cartoon popularity? Many series about animals have been short, but this one is considered to be the best ones due to the lengthy and amount of shows. Tom & Jerry is popular because of the very idea of friendship, the obviousness of the results of the cat’s tries of mouse’s abuse, and the ways out the characters are able to find in the situations they appear.
Friendship between Tom and Jerry is one of the main reasons why children watch these series. “They’ve been bashing each other silly for six decades, beating one another with planks, poisoning poor Jerry, smoking cigars and even cutting a tree in half using Tom’s crotch” (“Animals and tobacco” 56), but they still remained friends.
When they appeared in danger, they always tried to save each other, they did all possible to reconsider the situations and find ways out which could be helpful and useful at that moment. The cases concerning the dog may be remembered.
Each time Jerry tried to make Tom fight with cat, each time Jerry composed different situations to make Tom suffer from the dog, he still continued to help Tom when the situation got out of control. It is impossible to remember the all cases when Jerry played tricks with Tom or mocked him. Nevertheless, when the cat appeared in real danger, when he required for urgent help Jerry has always been near.
Breckin Meyer, an actor, in his interview to Tom Gliatto said when he was a boy, he shared his feelings about this series like “Man, these guys are making me feel! I respect the hell out of them: Their friendship has outlasted everything” (Gliatto 39). And this is true. Watching this series many people envy those guys as being that different, having so little in common and fighting every day Tom and Jerry remain the best friends.
One more cause of the cartoon popularity is based on cat’s attempts to play a trick on Jerry. Each try is failed, each dirty trick Tom creates and plans turn against him. It should be stated that being children, these tricks are seen and considered as something bad, but the fair outcome helps them consider good and bad actions. Hodgen is sure that each child wants to prevent the cat from pain he accidentally causes to himself, “if only the cat would learn… If only he would take instruction” (68).
Such thoughts appear in mind of every child. Each time the cat plans something bad, each time he wants to cause troubles to the mouse, children think about the outcomes, they are sure that something bad is going to happen with the cat, the hope that none of the participants will suffer and they are want Tom and Jerry agreed that they are friends as it always happen at the end of the series.
Hodgen made an attempt of creating an instruction to Tom how his actions are going to affect himself. Watching the cartoon each child has similar instruction in his/her head. Thus, Hodgen advises Tom not to use umbrella, to be careful with opened piano lids, to be attentive with different kinds of explosives which always fail to detonate, and watch personal tail (69). Therefore, child’s attention is attracted by Tom’s creative decisions and the ways how every plan goes wrong because of Jerry’s mind.
Finally, the third reason for Tom & Jerry series popularity is the peculiarity of the ways out of the situations the characters are able to find. Thus, during the whole series Tom and Jerry try to smite each other, to appear faster, craftier and smarter. However, having appeared in the complicated situations (usually in those they have developed for each other), they search for smart and funny ways out.
The peculiarity of these outcomes is that today people sympathize the cat, but another day they cannot watch how the cat envies the mouse and the feel sorry for him (Hodgen 78). Each time Tom’s plan is ruined, it is possible to wonder Jerry’s keenness of wit. “Tom occasionally getting the best of Jerry but never, ever in the end” (Hodgen 85) and it helps Jerry find out the ways, turn the situation against the cat and make the story funny.
Several examples which mat be stated here are as follows, when cat’s hand is in mouse’s hole, “he slaps his fat white paws around, he crushes flat Jerry’s dining set…, he demolishes Jerry’s clever bed…, but he never gets what he truly wants” (Hodgen 85). The inability to see who the winner is, who one has dominated over another character creates the intrigue. Children wait for the next series to see what is going to happen, to check who better is and who appears to be smarter.
Therefore, it may be concluded that the popularity of the series Tom & Jerry is not occasional. There are particular reasons why people from all over the world continue to watch this cartoon. The friendship, the tricks and the ways how the participants come out of different situations are specific causes of the cartoon popularity. The problems discussed in the series are so casual that most people consider them familiar. Nevertheless, the situations and the ways how those situations are delivered seem to be unusual and attractive to the audience.
“Animals and tobacco . . . According to TV.” Maclean’s 119.35 (2006): 56. Print.
Barnes, Mike. “Toon Legend Barbera Dies.” Hollywood Reporter — International Edition 397.26 (2006): 4. Print.
Gliatto, Tom. “My Favorite TV Duos.” People 76.26 (2011): 39. Print.
Hodgen, Christie. “Tom & Jerry.” Ploughshares 34.1 (2008): 68. Print.