Polka-Dot Puss

Infobox Hollywood cartoon
cartoon_name = Polka-Dot Puss
series = Tom and Jerry


caption =
director = William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
story_artist = William Hanna (unc.)
Joseph Barbera
animator = Kenneth Muse
Ed Barge
Ray Patterson
Irven Spence
voice_actor = Lillian Randolph
musician = Scott Bradley
producer = Fred Quimby
distributor = Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
release_date = flagicon|US February 26, 1949
color_process = Technicolor
runtime = 7' 38"
movie_language = English
imdb_id = 0041757
preceded_by = "Mouse Cleaning"
followed_by = "The Little Orphan"

"Polka-Dot Puss" is a 1949 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 39th "Tom and Jerry" short produced in 1948 and released on February 26, 1949. The short was directed by Tom and Jerry's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, produced by Fred Quimby, animated by Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge, Ray Patterson and Irven Spence, and scored by Scott Bradley.

Plot

The cartoon begins with Tom using Jerry as a yo-yo. Tom then hears Mammy Two Shoes (voiced by Lillian Randolph, whose voice is often dubbed on reissue prints) telling him that it is time to put the cat out for the night. Noticing that the weather outside is rather unpleasant, Tom craftily fakes a cold, pretending to sneeze violently.

"Why, Thomas, are you catchin' a cold?" Mammy enquires. Tom nods and sneezes again. Mammy has a change of heart and allows Tom to sleep inside for the night, but gives the cat a stern warning; "If I thought out you weren't telling the truth, I'd wash your mouth out with soap!"Tom grabs an onlooking Jerry, who appropriately shoves a bar of soap in Tom's mouth. Tom spits out a multitude of soap bubbles and chases Jerry into his mousehole, but ends up with a mousetrap on his nose.

In the next scene, Tom prepares to sleep on the living room floor, nose bandaged up. While Tom is asleep, Jerry enters the room with a small pot of red paint, painting several polka dots on his face. When Tom wakes up, Jerry convinces him that he has measles, showing evidence of a measles epidemic in the newspaper, and producing a mirror, allowing Tom to see his own spotty reflection.

Jerry consults Dr. Quack's medicine book and applies a number of unorthodox treatments to the now hypochondriacal cat, such as placing a stethoscope next to a ticking alarm clock to intensify Tom's apparent heartbeat, then setting off the alarm. Later, Jerry tests Tom's reflexes, almost bludgeoning the cat with a hammer. As Tom screams in pain, Jerry places a thermometer in Tom's mouth. Out of Tom's view, Jerry holds a cigarette lighter underneath the thermometer, causing the temperature to rise, expanding the thermometer, such that it explodes.

The next chapter of the medical book urges Jerry to apply chills to Tom's high fever, and in the next scene, we see Tom in the freezer, teeth chattering. Jerry unloads a spoonful of ice-cubes into Tom's mouth and then closes the freezer door for a few seconds. As he opens the door, a frozen-solid Tom slides out of the freezer. Jerry panics and shoves Tom into the oven, turning it onto a low temperature. Opening the oven door, Tom is now conscious, but still very cold, and baking in his own juices. Jerry pours some juice over Tom and then closes the door, adjusting the oven's temperature. When he opens the door again, Tom is bright red and burning. Jerry quickly touches the hot cat and burns himself. Thinking quickly, he places Tom onto a baking tray and heads for the bathroom, giving the cat a cold shower.

Tom later emerges from the shower, covered in towels and using hot-water bottles as sandals. He observes himself in the mirror, and notices that most of his spots have gone. As he wipes his forehead, another spot is removed and transferred to his paw. Just then, Tom sees a small jar of red paint hidden in the corner, and realization dawns on him; his mirror image changes to a jackass. Tom becomes furious and grabs a sabre, ready to exact his revenge on Jerry. He finds the mouse sitting hunched-up with head in hands, looking very sorry for himself, and Jerry only blinks at Tom apathetically when prodded with the sabre's keen point. Only when Tom snatches him up does Jerry break out in genuine measle spots, which proliferate before Tom's horrified gaze. Tom quickly dashes in terror to the bathroom medicine cabinet and doses himself frantically with everything he can find, while a speeded-up version of George Frideric Handel's "Dead March" plays over, but by the cartoon's end, both cat and mouse are covered in spots from head to toe and are being quarantined by Mammy Two Shoes herself. Jerry holds up a mirror, and sticks out his tongue, which, too, is covered in spots, which may also imply that Jerry caught a more severe case of the measles than Tom did.

Notes

*"Polka-Dot Puss" is arguably among one of Tom and Jerry's most-remembered, though it was not chosen to represent MGM as an Academy Award nomination. Instead, the following cartoon, "The Little Orphan", won the 1948 .
*This is one of three "Tom and Jerry" cartoons where both Tom and Jerry lose. This would also occur in "Saturday Evening Puss" and "Baby Puss".


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