Tom and Jerry: The original cat and mouse cartoon rivalry

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Tom and Jerry is an American animated series of short films created in 1940, by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. It centers on a rivalry between its two title characters, Tom and Jerry, and many recurring characters, based around slapstick comedy.

In its original run, Hanna and Barbera produced 114 Tom and Jerry shorts for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1940 to 1958. During this time, they won seven Academy Awards for Animated Short Film, tying for first place with Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies with the most awards in the category.

Tom (named “Jasper” in his debut appearance) is a grey and white domestic shorthair cat. (“Tom” is a generic name for a male cat.) He is usually but not always portrayed as living a comfortable, or even pampered life, while Jerry (named “Jinx” in his debut appearance) 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 consume them, it is quite rare for Tom to actually try to consume 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. By the final “fade-out” of each cartoon, Jerry usually emerges triumphant, while Tom is shown as the loser. —Wikipedia

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