Tuesday, October 14, 2014


...dang!  That's a rather bootylicious "cat."  Anyway, I've fallen behind schedule again, so time to play some quick catch-up... Ah, the beach.  Is there any more reliable setting for a cartoon?  The Aardvark went there in Dune Bug.  And the Pink Panther went there in... I believe it's called Come on In!  The Water's Pink.  That'll have to be the next series I profile, most definitely.  But once upon a time, Tom and Jerry went to the beach!  Apparently, the cat is the lifeguard of the beach... we'll leave behind for now the logical inconsistencies and philosophical implications of that for now.  I mean, for God's sake!  A cat going into the ocean.
As you can see from the picture, distractions abound at the beach.  As a lifeguard, you can't allow emotions to cloud your judgement.  But after a brief commentary about man's impact on the environment (... and this is 1947, for God's sake!  And for all you right-wingers out there, translate that as "an early dose of left-wing tree-hugging propaganda."  Get Paul Robbins to put a positive spin on it) Tom takes some time out to flirt with the purty girls with food.  Now, the IMDb plot descriptions claim that this is Tom's girlfriend Toots, but I still say that this is where they first met.  She's arguably a bit stand-offish, and Tom falling into the garbage can, well... don't all male-female relationships start off like that, girls?  He crawls out of the gutter, brushes himself off, then lays on the charm... It's called Lady and the Tramp for that very same reason!  To augment insult upon injury, Tom just up and helps himself to all of Toots' food.  Well, she was on a diet, anyway.  And then, just as Tom's spell is almost complete... SPLAT!  In the face with a tomato.  Reminds me of that moment in What About Bob? where Dr. Leo Marvin is practicing in the mirror and he hears "$#!t FOR BRAINS!" coming from the adjoining room.  An apt comment, to be sure, but apparently it wasn't for him.  Similarly, the tomato wasn't deliberate... it's just that greedy little mouse rummaging through a pick-a-nick basket for the good stuff.  He's found the T, but where the f... heck is the B and the L?  Prosciutto will just have to do in this caloric emergency.  And then... well, the insults begin straight away.  Jerry gives Tom new hard-boiled egg eyes with olive irises, and then Jerry takes about four or five small bites out of Tom's finger.  Well, it's funny because they're like the bites he took out of the celery stalk!  No, really!  It's good.  And so, the chase begins in proper.
Tom goes to where the mouse disappeared, reaches in and pulls out... an angry green crab.  Man!  What's the deal with that guy?  I mean, Tom's the de facto lifeguard, right?  Show some respect!  No, that green crab's one mean, little feisty bastard.  The Pink Panther ran afoul of a similar creature in... I forget.  And so did that Jerry Colonna-esque worm in... oh, I forget that two.  Damn!  I'm oh for two today.
Enemies are everywhere.  The worst one yet: an overly zealous beach umbrella that traps Tom like a Venus Flytrap engulfing a fly.  But the green crab's not pleased with that little rat either, but snap as it might, it can't seem to hit the little light brown devil.  Jerry plays a mean game of arbitrage and gets the crab to attack the cat anew.  But Jerry loses his battle with a bottle of Coca Cola, if nothing else.
I seem to remember this one best from Smitten Kitten.  Oh, Salt Water Tabby has got highlight reel written all over it, no question... but back to the food.  This Tom and Jerry cartoon takes a page out of the old Stooges playbook... seriously?  You're really going to go there?  Yes they are, when Jerry slips an oyster shell into Tom's sandwich.  Tastes like Southern Comforter!  My favourite moment, though, is definitely the part where Tom eats the banana that Jerry managed to get himself involved in.  Worth the price of admission all by itself.  After that, again with the umbrella.  Well, Jerry's at least willing to get himself trapped in it as well.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the mouse's last deception.  After running afoul of the soda bottle, Jerry dresses up a wooden post in the water as a drowning victim.  Jerry screams and splashes the water to complete the effect.  Isn't it a felony to deceive a lifeguard?  But it all balances out because there's a lesson for lifeguards here as well: when you save your victims, don't jump directly on top of them.  In this case, don't land on them head first, either!  That'd be a tough one to plan out, anyway.  Not in the realm of cartoons, of course.  Anyway, for the final act... I mean, Final Act... Tom runs afoul of a giant beach balloon.  Kind of like Come on In!  The Water's Pink, but the gag in that one was a little better.  I'm hesitant to call Salt Water Tabby an out-and-out classic, but at least it doesn't end with the mouse getting the cat's girl!  That's just wrong.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

No comments: