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Tot Watchers (Tom and Jerry)

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Tot Watchers (Tom and Jerry)
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The end of a classic era, and a bad way to end it.
Series: Tom and Jerry
Episode Number: 114
Air Date: August 1, 1958
Writer: Homer Brightman
Director: William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Previous episode: Robin Hoodwinked
Next episode: Switchin' Kitten (Gene Deitch-era)


Tot Watchers is an American 1958 Tom and Jerry cartoon. In this cartoon, Jeannie the Babysitter watches over Joan and George's baby, and Tom and Jerry must keep an eye on the baby when Jeannie neglects her job. It is the 114th and last Tom and Jerry cartoon in the Golden Age to be directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.

Why It Failed To Watch Out For The Baby

  1. FIRST AND FOREMOST, this short ended the classic era on a sour note.
  2. Unlike the other Tom and Jerry shorts of the Hanna-Barbera era, newcomer storyman Homer Brightman wrote this cartoon instead of the series creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, hence explaining the poor story executions of this short, as listed below.
  3. It is a sequel to 1956's Busy Buddies, which wasn't that good of a short due to it sharing a lot of problems with this short, mainly involving around Jeannie. This short, however, worsened most of the problems found in Busy Buddies.
  4. Jeannie is still an unlikeable character, as she ignores her job over talking over the phone throughout the entire cartoon and when Tom keeps bringing the baby back to her, she just whacks him with a broom, accusing him and Jerry of taking the baby. What's even worse is that she is far more neglectful towards the baby in this short than she was in Busy Buddies, having made no attempt to look after the baby at all unlike the previous short, whacks Tom with the broom not once, but three times, and never receives any comeuppances for her actions.
  5. Annoying and predictable plot where the baby keeps running off and Tom and Jerry must bring it back to the house.
  6. Tom and Jerry are constantly tortured throughout the short, as they both have to look after the baby when it crawls away and they often get hurt while the baby escapes unharmed.
  7. Very little slapstick in this short; at best William Hanna and Joseph Barbera could only add the baby bashing Tom's head with a hammer at the construction site and Tom getting attacked by Spike the Bulldog which the cat had mistaken for the baby. Most of the slapstick in this short when there was any is either unfunny or painful to watch.
  8. The animation at this point is subpar at best due to budget cuts in the late-1950s. The baby is rather poorly drawn as well.
  9. The background for the sky is bland, and ulgy brown background throughout most of the short, like the backgrounds similar to the same case with the ciemea remakes of certain shorts.
  10. The infamous ending shows that Jeannie calls the police to find the baby, which is a thing she shouldn't ever have done, according to some professors[1]. After Tom and Jerry, tired, bring the baby back from the construction site, Jeannie accuses Tom and Jerry of being baby nappers and the police falsely arrest Tom and Jerry as they try to run away. The police cannot believe what Tom and Jerry are saying until they find the same baby walking across the street. Tom and Jerry's fate after this remains unknown, as the short ends there unlike in Busy Buddies where Joan and George come back home and the baby is seen sleeping.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Jeannie is nowhere near as abusive as Tom's owner from the Gene Deitch-era or even Nancy from Baby Puss and only keeps hitting Tom with a broom.
  2. Tom and Jerry are both still likable characters.
  3. Good moral, just like "Busy Buddies", which is watching over the baby is your top priority, but poorly executed
  4. The scene where Tom tries to reconstruct the diaper on the baby after the baby fell out of the diaper which split apart, only to end up clad in the diaper himself while the baby crawled out of the diaper nude, is arguably the funniest scene of this short.
  5. The music and voice-acting are still decent and the animation in this short is better than what the series would eventually become.
  6. This cartoon, like its predecessor Busy Buddies, inspired the creation of the Roger Rabbit/Baby Herman cartoons of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, which were executed way better than these two aforementioned Tom and Jerry shorts.

Trivia

  • Jeannie never appeared again after this short due to the negative feedback from fans of the series. This short also marked the final appearances of Joan, Jeannie, and the baby as well as the final appearance of Spike during the Golden Age of Hollywood Animation.

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