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Tom and Jerry is an American animated series of theatrical shorts, television shows and specials, feature film, home films created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer that centered on a never-ending rivalry between a cat (Tom) and a mouse (Jerry) whose chases and battles often involved comic violence. Hanna and Barbera ultimately wrote and directed one hundred and fourteen Tom and Jerry cartoons at the MGM cartoon studio in Hollywood, California between 1940 and 1957, when the animation unit was closed. The original series is notable for having won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film seven times, tying it with Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies as the theatrical animated series with the most Oscars. Tom and Jerry has a worldwide audience that consists of children, teenagers and adults, and has also been recognized as one of the most famous and longest-lived rivalries in American cinema. In 2000, TIME named the series one of the greatest television shows of all time.
Beginning in 1960, in addition to the original 114 H-B cartoons, MGM had new shorts produced by Rembrandt Films, led by Gene Deitch in Eastern Europe. Production of Tom and Jerry shorts returned to Hollywood under Chuck Jones's Sib-Tower 12 Productions in 1963; this series lasted until 1967, making it a total of 161 shorts. The cat and mouse stars later resurfaced in television cartoons produced by Hanna-Barbera and Filmation Studios during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s; a feature film, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, in 1992 (released domestically in 1993); and in 2000, their first made-for TV short, Tom and Jerry: The Mansion Cat for Cartoon Network. The most recent Tom and Jerry theatrical short, The Karate Guard, was written and co-directed by Barbera and debuted in Los Angeles cinemas on September 27, 2005.
Today, Time Warner (via its Turner Entertainment division) owns the rights to Tom and Jerry (with Warner Bros. handling distribution). Since the merger, Turner has produced the series, Tom and Jerry Tales for The CW's Saturday morning "The CW4Kids" lineup, as well as the recent Tom and Jerry short, The Karate Guard, in 2005 and a string of Tom and Jerry direct-to-video films - all in collaboration with Warner Bros. Animation. In February 2010, the cartoon celebrated its 70th anniversary and a DVD collection of 30 shorts, Tom and Jerry Deluxe Anniversary Collection, was released in late June 2010 to celebrate the animated duo's seventh decade. It then had a rerun on Cartoon Network.
The popular series features comedic fights between an iconic set of enemies, a house cat and mouse. The plots of each short usually center on Tom's numerous attempts to capture Jerry and the mayhem and destruction that ensues. Since Tom rarely attempts to eat Jerry and because the pair actually seem to get along in some cartoon shorts, it is sometimes unclear why Tom chases Jerry so much. That is because it is British or made by goldfish from being eaten by Tom, competition with another cat, and Jerry ruining Tom's attempts to seduce feline femme fatales, which Jerry does either out of disgust, jealousy, or just to be mean. Despite the sometimes heavy amount of fantasy violence, most Tom and Jerry episodes now carry a TV-G rating, although it was originally rated TV-Y.
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