Wednesday, July 09, 2014
How to Nurse an American Cat
...ah, I remember parts of this one. These were in the old days when Cartoon Network used to show old cartoons. Now it's all anime and Genndy Tartakovsky's stuff. But once upon a time it was MGM and WB, and I must've liked this one a lot because I recall fondly the Spanish / Mexican song sung in it, and the wind instruments at the end filling in for the laughter of Jerry the Mouse.
Anyway, here's the setup. Just as Tom the cat was torturing the mouse in our last cartoon, Sufferin' Cats!, now it's Tom's turn to be tortured by a little girl playing dress-up with the cat. And, as with all Tom and Jerry cartoons, you can't see the faces of the people... just like the teacher in E.T. Good cinematic convention! And so we go through the proverbial Kübler-Ross stages of grief, but as an animal Tom is in no position to bargain, so we're basically stuck in the depression phase, with a little anger mixed in for good measure. However, when the milk arrives, things change. Depression and anger eventually give way to acceptance: sweet, milky acceptance.
And frankly... it gets a little creepy! Thank god Jerry the Mouse shows up! Jerry can't believe it at first, and I mean really can't believe it, slapping his face a couple times to make sure he's not dreaming. Lol. Now, some say revenge is a dish best served cold. But then again, these days everyone's a comedian and everyone's got a blog for fighting the Phrases of Old handed down by our stupid, unquestioning elders. Take "dog eat dog," for example. That must've been one hungry dog! And why do we still call things "mainstream" anymore? The Mississippi River barely exists anymore! But back to the instant case. While Jerry's not exactly seeking revenge yet, Jerry proves that imitation isn't always the sincerest form of flattery. There's another one of those phrases. Jerry turns on the record player; fortunately for him, "Rock-a-Bye Baby" is already on there. The music blares and Jerry starts crying like a baby. Tom is instantly ripped from his state of nirvana, and a mighty chase ensues.
Now, normally these episodes come in threes, but the right two will have to do. The girl comes back in and puts Tom back into the crib, etc. etc. It's a white girl, so I'm assuming it's the same voice from the '40s. And so, Tom's back on the bottle, and now happy to play the baby to the young girl's domineering mother figure. Time for Jerry's Second Act. Fortunately, Jerry doesn't have to go too far, but Jerry lures some of the neighborhood cats in to check out Tom. Tom gets furious, but it's three against one... maybe two and a half against one, but he's still outnumbered. These new cats need to have some fun with this be-diapered guy.
Now, it's been a while, but some of you might know that I'm just a sucker for a good audio clip. Not like I used to be, of course, now that they're more at my fingertips than ever. Still, I'm always on the lookout for one I may have missed, and here's one right here. What can I say? I am a bit of a sadist. Fortunately for Tom and unfortunately for the rest of us, the girl comes back. The other cats run away, and Tom gets all the blame as usual. No time to hunt down the other cats, I guess. Is no one going to demand justice for poor ol' Tom? Apparently not, and so it's time for the dreaded castor oil. Without the little girl ever knowing, Jerry helps Tom open his mouth to take the dreaded medicine. Apparently, the filmmakers felt that this snarky act needed to go punished, so gravity ends up giving the mouse some of the oil as well. We end with both cat and mouse vomiting out of a windowsill. A fine ending to a fine Tom and Jerry cartoon. Four stars.
Oh, I forgot to mention. I should be more freaked out because I just watched Quiz Whizz where the Stooges found themselves in a similar age-defying predicament... but for some reason, I'm not. Call the Creepy Police! Lock my ass up forever! It's the least I deserve.
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan