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"Down and Outing," "High Steaks," and "Sorry Safari" (Tom and Jerry)

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Down and Outing, High Steaks, and Sorry Safari
Down and Outing.png
High Steaks.png
Sorry Safari.png
Tom's owner would definitely go to jail for abusing Tom.
Episode Number: 2, 4, 11 (116th, 118th, 125th overall, respectively)
Air Date: October 7, 1961 - October 18, 1962
Writer: Larz Bourne
Director: Gene Deitch
Previous episode: Switchin' Kitten
Tall in the Trap
Next episode: It's Greek to Me-ow!
Mouse into Space
Buddies Thicker Than Water


Down and Outing, High Steaks, and Sorry Safari are three Tom and Jerry shorts from the second theatrical era (1960-1962) from Gene Deitch (known for his work on the Terrytoons cartoons).

In these three shorts, Tom's owner (an overweight man who resembles the Terrytoon character, Clint Clobber) tries to go on with his daily life (fishing in the first, cooking on the barbecue in the second, and going on a safari in the final), but the antics that Tom and Jerry cause with their standard chases end up making chaos.

Why All Three of Them Get A Violent Beatdown

  1. 8 words & 1 number: Three of the most abusive, torture Tom cartoons.
  2. All three of them are predictable in a bad way (see WIS #5).
  3. Whenever Tom's Owner is harmed or even if the slightest thing goes wrong, he instantly becomes a very crazy, rage-filled monster who takes his anger out on Tom even when the poor cat didn't do anything. Usually beating and thrashing Tom repeatedly as compared to the previous owners where they will usually throw him out of the house temporarily, kick him, or hit him with a broom instead of violence, even when it's usually undeserved. Even Spike the Bulldog isn't that aggressive to Tom.
    • I.E. Tom accidentally smacks the owner with a pan, then the owner assaults him with a bombardment of hits from the same pan.
  4. A lot of the methods of punishment that the owner performs on Tom cross basically into animal abuse territory and could potentially get him in massive trouble with not only the police, but PETA as well. Examples of this include: stomping on his hand hard to the point where it swells graphically in Down and Outing, searing his face with a grill and putting an entire bottle of fizzy cola in his mouth in High Steaks, and bashing him on the head with a thermos in Sorry Safari.
    • Oftentimes, Tom's injuries that he received as the result of this abuse are horrible and scary to look at for a younger audience, such as his graphically-flattened fingers in Down and Outing and his scarred "grilled" face in High Steaks.
  5. Oftentimes, Jerry will laugh at Tom as he goes through this abuse, which is character derailment, and everything that he does in these cartoons go completely against his character. They are so anti-Jerry that they make these unwatchable every time he takes the joy and suffering on Tom.
  6. In each of these cartoons, all that Tom was doing was trying to prevent Jerry from ruining the day's events. In retaliation, Jerry frames Tom for everything that goes wrong and his owner falls for it each time, and wails and lets all of his anger out on Tom to either beat him up or just physically abuse him. Even more character derailment for Jerry, and more things going against Jerry's character.
  7. On that topic, of all the three cartoons, Jerry is depicted at his absolute worst in High Steaks, even for his poor portrayal in the entirety of the Gene Deitch era, due to Jerry being far more sadistic than the rest of the cartoons of the era (especially these three cartoons), as well as how Jerry did far worse things to Tom in High Steaks compared to even Down and Outing and Sorry Safari, with the worst one being Jerry trapping Tom's tail on the barbecue grill when the cat isn't looking which ultimately resulted in Tom receiving the absolute worst amounts of pain and unnecessary torture he ever received in the history of Tom and Jerry (see WIS #14).
  8. In two of the shorts, Tom's owner gets away with everything, leading up to the controversy where he has to be written off for animal abuse territory due to angry rants and raves at Gene Deitch.
  9. All the three shorts generally had very unfunny and cruel jokes. And in all the shorts, Jerry escapes karma as well. They even end badly for Tom when he should've come out on top.
  10. Allen Swift's voice acting is also terrible. He could probably have done a better job in these shorts if Deitch had given him more to do than just rant and gibber like a madman.
    • Likewise, Allen Swift also does a terrible job providing the vocal effects for both Tom and Jerry, as the voices he provided to the cat-and-mouse duo are dreadful, annoying, unfunny, and do not fit the main duo, especially Jerry's laughs which sounds incredibly creepy.
    • On that note, Tom's owner barely speaks in any of the shorts, to put it simply, he only has four lines in all three shorts, one line in Down and Outing, none at all in High Steaks (well, aside from his singing), and only three lines in Sorry Safari.
  11. Like the rest of the Gene Deitch-era Tom and Jerry shorts, the slapstick violence in these three shorts comes off as very lifelike, cruel, and hurtful, rather than being cartoon-ish, lighthearted, and funny.
  12. These three cartoons have logic that makes no sense, even for Tom and Jerry standards. An example is in High Steaks when Tom's owner shakes an entire bottle of soda, forces it into Tom's mouth, and turns him into the shape of the soda bottle.
    • On that topic, the scene from High Steaks when Tom transforms into into the shape of the soda bottle as the result of being force-fed an entire bottle of soda by his owner is a bad rehash of a similar gag from Cue Ball Cat where Tom transforms a soda bottle after crashing into a soda vending machine, all without actually understanding the context of the gag used and why that gag in question worked so well in Cue Ball Cat and instead comes off as incredibly nonsensical and illogical even by Tom and Jerry standards.
  13. In addition to being an abusive monster, Tom's owner is also extremely neglectful, selfish and careless, and doesn't even seem to care about what even happens to Tom, for theses examples:
    • In High Steaks, when Tom's owner sees Tom struggling to get his tail out of the barbecue grill that has been set by Jerry, he just stands and stairs at Tom, and after Tom accidentally runs him over, falls into the pool and nearly drown, when Tom's owner grabs and pulls him out of the pool, rather then check to see if Tom's fine, he brutally beats him up and ties Tom to a lounge chair.
    • In Sorry Safari, when Tom gets fling into the air by Jerry, has a gun stick on his nose, and is struggling to get the gun off his nose as the tree branch is about to break, instead of helping Tom, Tom's owner just stands there and yells "That's MY Gun! Give it to me!".
  14. Horrible endings for each episode, flanderizing Jerry completely from an anti-hero that can sometimes be troublesome and mischievous to him being downright malicious and sadistic who has a sick twisting pleasure of torturing Tom and getting away scot-free in all of the episodes. These may be challenged with Grizzy and the Lemmings (even if the latter came out 64 years later) for having lots of terrible endings.
    • In Down and Outing, Tom is beaten and tied with rope and put into a bucket where the caught fish are supposed to be placed and has fish thrown into his face by Jerry and Tom's owner, causing him to cry.
    • High Steaks ends on the worst note, with Tom getting his tail stuck in the grill, making him run into the pool and nearly drown, before the owner takes him out and beats him up, before tying Tom to a lounge chair. It isn't over yet, as Jerry sneaks in and hooks the chair to a passing car, allowing Tom to be whisked off to an unknown fate.
    • In Sorry Safari, Tom (along with his owner) ends up being the victim of an angry rhino and gets tied to a tree.
  15. Each of those endings is supposed to be happy endings, suggested by all the joyous music playing in the background, but instead, the way that it is used comes off as sickening and outrageous.
  16. The animation in both Down and Outing and High Steaks is bad, even when compared to Deitch's other Tom and Jerry cartoons. Sorry Safari may have slightly better animation than the other two, due to hiring experienced animators from the USA, but that's not saying much.
    • There are also a lot of animation errors in all three episodes, such as in High Steaks, when Tom emerges out of the swimming pool after diving into it near the ending, his lower body isn't visible on the pool surface despite that the pool water is supposed to be crystal-clear.
  17. Like almost all of the Gene Deitch era Tom and Jerry shorts as well as some of the Chuck Jones ones, each of these episodes are a huge waste of potential, especially Sorry Safari, since all the three episodes seem to limit their respective plots to mainly just Tom getting needlessly tortured by his abusive owner all thanks to Jerry causing trouble on purpose being their main source of humor, with very little-to-no comedic gags outside of Tom getting tortured for no reason whatsoever included. On the other hand, the non-torture jokes are stale, unfunny, and cookie cutter gags in which it dragged on for far too long/
    • In addition, Tom's owner would have a happy personality to Tom if he does a very careful action or helping him if he is in danger in High Steaks and Sorry Safari, but the issue above fails because the owner beats up Tom mercilessly.
    • Both Down and Outing and High Steaks are basically poor man's versions of Cat Fishin' and Barbecue Brawl respectively, but without any fun and cleverness which those episodes had.
    • Sorry Safari, despite having a jungle theme setup giving heaps of potential for comedic gags such as quicksand, man-eating plants, snakes, monkeys, crocodiles and lost African civilizations, most of the gags and jokes in said cartoon are limited to Tom and his owner falling off the back of an elephant and getting chased by both a lion and a rhinoceros, as well as Tom getting needlessly abused and tortured by his owner all thanks to Jerry causing trouble on purpose.
  18. High Steaks is often considered to be the worst out of the three, due to Tom receiving more unnecessary amounts of torture which is worse than in the other two shorts, especially the ending.
    • The short also has a very misleading picture for the "Tom and Jerry in" title card, which has Tom getting ready to cook Jerry on a grill, indicating Tom is meant to be the antagonist with the plot being Jerry trying to survive not being eaten by Tom when the actual short has Tom and his owner making barbecued steaks as Tom tries to prevent Jerry from eating any or ruining the day with no indications of Tom planning to eat Jerry.
  19. Like with most shorts, the pacing is all over the place in all three of these shorts. "Sorry Safari" and "Down and Outing" have very sluggish and tiresome pacing, while on the other hand, "High Steaks" did start out slowly at first, but then all of the sudden it went way too fast, which is a huge contributor of the gags falling flat.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Tom is still a likable character as usual.
  2. Sorry Safari has stylish designs and lots of moving overlays for a 3-D effect.
  3. Sorry Safari at least gave Tom's owner his comeuppance (ironically in his final appearance), even if Tom and an innocent rhino suffered from it, too.
  4. Whenever Tom's owner isn't angry, the rest of the shorts are calm and laid back affairs.
  5. This being Tom and Jerry, there's still a few funny moments and references, like how the owner, in his first appearance in Down and Outing, is first shown from the waist down, paying a subtle homage to Tom's previous owners such as Mammy Two-Shoes.
  6. Down and Outing is the only episode where the owner is happy to Tom for not making a single mistake by carrying the fishing stuff carefully.

Trivia

  • Tom's owner never appeared again after the Gene Deitch era due to the backlash that he had received from fans of the series.
  • Sorry Safari spawned the "DON'T TOUCH MY GUNS!" meme.
  • In High Steaks, Tom is connected to a car at the corner of Deitch and Snyder streets (named after director Gene Deitch and producer William Snyder).

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