Thomas "Tom" Cat and Jerry Mouse are an animated cat-and-mouse duo created in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for a series of cartoon shorts distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Originally named Jasper and Jinx in their debut cartoon, Puss Gets the Boot, they became MGM's most famous cartoon stars, starring in numerous cartoon shorts from then until 1967, as well as in various television shows and movies since then. Tom and Jerry then became the highest-grossing animated short film series of that time, overtaking Looney Tunes.
Tom is a grey and white domestic shorthair cat, usually (but not always) portrayed as living a comfortable or even pampered life, while Jerry is a small, brown, house mouse who always lives in close proximity to Tom. Despite being very energetic, determined and much larger, Tom is no match for Jerry's wits. Jerry also possesses surprising strength for his size, approximately the equivalent of Tom's, lifting items such as anvils with relative ease and withstanding considerable impacts. Although cats typically chase mice to eat them, it is quite rare for Tom to actually try to eat Jerry. Most of his attempts are just to torment or humiliate Jerry, sometimes in revenge, and sometimes to obtain a reward from a human for catching Jerry. Usually, Jerry emerges victorious at the end of the short, though there are rare occasions where Tom manages to get the last laugh.
Appearances in Christmas specials
- The Night Before Christmas
- "Ho Ho Horrors"
- Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
- "The Plight Before Christmas"
- Tom and Jerry: Santa's Little Helpers
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