Saturday, 6 October 2007

A Deadly Game of Cat and Mouse

I've spent the last 24 hours with a mate of mine, his girlfriend and their two year old kid. This means, through no fault of my own, I've witnessed a lot of Children's Television. The main channel on has been Boomerang, a haven for old-school Hanna-Barbera cartoons. It's only through the past day that I've realised that Jerry the Mouse is a right bastard.

I've seen a total of five Tom and Jerry cartoons today. In all five, Tom the Cat is minding his own business, and Jerry suddenly appears from nowhere just to ruin Tom's day. At one point, the cat is trying to flirt and dance with a lady cat at the local discotheque (it was the 70's after all). In my opinion, he was getting lucky with the lady feline and if he carried on his flirtation skills, he'd go back to hers and have crazy wild cat sex. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Jerry the Mouse comes along and steals Tom's potential shagpiece. What is going on? The mouse has no chance of getting lucky with her.

In another episode, Tom's trying to relax in a hammock when Jerry comes along and steals it. What a bastard.

My favourite episode had to be when Jerry teamed up with some canary and actually killed Tom. After the cat's death, the canary and the mouse do an odd little dance. However, when it turns out that Tom was only faking his death (in a rather profound Jack Bauer-esque moment), the throw a pissing bowling ball at his face. What is the point in all this violence? You would assume that in this game of Cat and Mouse, the Cat would be the one provoking the violence. It really isn't. Why do we route for Jerry all the time? Why can't we root for the Underdog?

Or the Undercat in this case.

Also: Scooby Doo has also been playing at my mate's all day. My favourite scene was at the end of an episode where the ghost/mask/villain turned out to be this French guy. As he is arrested, he screams in an hilarious French accent "I would have gottern away wiv dees if it weren't for dose medd-el-ing keedz!". Daphne then responded with the hilarious comeback: "I wonder what 'meddling kids' is in French!".

The entire Scooby Gang pissed themselves with laughter at that line. It was worrying.


Daniel said...

I've always rooted for Tom, even though he only wins in 1% of the episodes. I don't see why anyone would like a food-stealing rat. Even a cartoon one.

There is this delightful charm in watching old Hanna Barbera / Warner Bros cartoons, no matter how incredibly lame most of them are.

Andrew said...

It is a bit strange. If Tom always picked on Jerry and caught him nobody would like that -- the big, tough cat defeating the little mouse isn't funny. But if Jerry is the aggressor, and Tom is a coward, then that's not really funny either, because that's the same thing with the roles reversed.

It works if you ignore that, but it works a lot better if you're six and don't realise that Tom plays the mouse and Jerry plays the cat.

Of course, reading this much into cartoons isn't healthy.