Yankee Doodle Mouse (lost deleted scene of Tom and Jerry cartoon; 1943)
Tom and Jerry is a Metro Goldwyn Mayer cartoon series about a cat named Tom and a brown mouse named Jerry. They usually face against each other in many gags revolving around slapstick, mainly involving dynamite and other objects. The series ran from 1940 to 1967, and has mainly been making direct-to-video films since then, with an occasional television series. One cartoon that was released in 1943 is titled Yankee Doodle Mouse, the 11th short made and the first of seven Academy Award wins for the series.
The cartoon starts with Tom chasing Jerry down into a basement. Jerry escapes, runs upstairs, and throws some eggs at Tom, setting a wartime theme for the cartoon (fitting, as the cartoon was produced in the middle of World War II). Jerry shoots the corks from an alcohol case, knocking Tom into a bucket of water, floating on a small cup. Jerry then launches a brick, sinking Tom.
Tom runs over to Jerry's mousehole with a mousetrap and mallet. Jerry spots him, and uses a cupboard door to hit Tom on the head and ride down on a makeshift jeep made from a roller skate and a cheese grater. He shaves Tom twice with it until it crashes into a wall. To blind Tom, Jerry grabs some flour and spreads it all over the room, blinding Tom. Jerry hits Tom with a wooden board three times before the latter sees Jerry. Jerry slaps Tom for a fourth time before running away and the cartoon fades out in an odd fashion.
Next, Tom throws a piece of dynamite towards Jerry, who throws it back to Tom, who throws it back to Jerry. This continues until Jerry uses reverse psychology on Tom, wanting to keep the dynamite for himself. Tom grabs the dynamite back and Jerry runs away, as the dynamite explodes. Jerry jumps into a tea kettle to escape Tom, but the latter stuffs a small explosive inside of there. However, the oxygen runs out before the TNT can go off, and Jerry escapes. Tom looks inside the tea kettle, but it blows up, leaving Tom looking like a daisy in blackface.
More gags involving wartime jokes and dynamite follow, some involving Tom getting blown up by an explosive that splits into successively smaller explosives, and another involving Tom getting kamikazed by Jerry in a paper airplane.
In the end, Tom catches Jerry and tries to tie him to an explosive rocket pointing towards the sky, but ends up tying his own hands instead. He fails to blow out the fuse before flying into the sky and exploding into fireworks.
Lost Scene Details
In the original 1943 version of the cartoon , after the wooden board scene, Jerry would run into his mousehole, with Tom in hot pursuit. Tom would get his head stuck in the mousehole, and Jerry would use his tongue to slap some stamps into a stamp book, and then fill out a war communique that reads "Enemy gets in a few good licks."
When the cartoon was reissued on June 24, 1950, the aforementioned scene was excised. Due to its rather timely subject matter (WWII stamp ration books), it has been speculated that it was too dated to make sense in 1950 and was thus cut out. Other MGM cartoons released around the same time also met the same fate when reissued, namely The Shooting of Dan McGoo and Wild and Woolfy. Because the original negatives to the pre 1952 MGM cartoons were destroyed in the 1978 George Eastman House fire, and surviving sources use the reissued version as its base, the original version with the scene intact has never seen the light of day since.
- Blog post showing a picture of the missing scene, and a few script pictures. Retrieved 12 Jan '19
- Forum post documenting BoxOffice magazine booking charts for MGM cartoon reissues Retrieved 04 Apr ‘22
- Explanation on what the deleted scene used as the gag Retrieved 04 Apr ‘22
- Included are pictures of the original vs reissue versions Retrieved 04 Apr '22
- Contemporary news article on the fire Retrieved 04 Apr ‘22