Tom and Jerry turn 70

Tom, the cat smiles, frowns and just stares at you, all cool. Jerry is a bundle of energy, shows attitude and is quite a shrewd trouble-shooter of a mouse.

They both are still chasing each other with their mind-boggling antics on television. The duo's pranks have been making people laugh for years now.

And, now, they turn 70.

The story of Tom and Jerry began many decades ago when animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera came up with a simple story about a cat and a mouse chase. Their story was based on the age-old struggle of the weak versus the strong, but with a twist — where the weak was not as powerless as one might think, and the strong not as powerful as one believed.

Their debut animation short with the cat and the mouse titled ‘Puss Gets the Boot', which released on February 10, 1940, was an instant hit and was nominated for an Academy Award.

J. Armaan, a Standard I student, believes in hosting a big shindig for the duo. “I would sing ‘Happy Birthday' and wear a Tom and Jerry T-shirt,” he says. His favourite is Jerry as the mouse is smart and teaches Tom not to bully around.

The titles of the episodes (such as ‘Good Mouse Keeping', ‘Mouse For Sale', ‘His Mouse Friday'…) also get a lot of attention as does the piano music, which gets featured in a lot of episodes.

If Tom and Jerry fans can hardly contain their excitement, one section of viewers believes the show encourages violence in the garb of rib-tickling comedy. Heading the group is Shamouseh. N, a media personality. “‘Tom and Jerry' is one of the most violent cartoons. Children behave in a violent manner after they watch the show. Do you think children don't learn from the antics of beating, cudgelling, badgering and hollering?”

There are also those who argue the show is based on a nonsensical plotline and is a slapstick comedy. However, Mayur, does not think so. “I agree that the recent episodes are not as funny as the earlier ones but they are much better than the stuff dished out in movies and on television. Tom and Jerry are like two friends who fight and play pranks on each other, but are always together,” he says.

“The antics are mild when compared to those done by ‘Pokemon' and ‘Dragon Ball'. Jerry shows how a small guy can save himself with his smartness and simple tricks,” he says.

If some watch it for fun and others to just chill out, Vijayalakshmi watches them to relive the past. “My daughter Divya is a die-hard fan of ‘Tom and Jerry'. Now, she is in London, and so, I watch the show sometimes to remember the pranks she played while growing up.”

Tom and Jerry deserve much more than applause for spearheading a fun movement for 70 years and striking a chord with the young and old alike!

Join the party

* Cartoon Network has planned a special celebmouseion for its viewers on Tom and Jerry's 70th birthday

* Watch non-stop hilarious escapades in ‘Chooha Billi Chor Police'

* A campaign, which will run till April 1 promises to give all Tom and Jerry fans, a funny and prank-filled experience!

* The top 10 episodes with the maximum votes will be aired as part of the T&J special on TJ Day – April 1

* ‘TJ Tom' contest invites kids to send in their jokes or suggest gags they would love to play on Tom. The ultimate joke or gag will get featured on TJ Day — April 1 along with a chance to win a Sony PSP

* TJ Top 10 invites kids to vote (sms to– 58558) for their favourite and prankiest Tom & Jerry shows and the first 250 respondents will win the ultimate TJ prank kits and exclusive TJ school bags