The Zoot Cat

Infobox Hollywood cartoon
cartoon_name = The Zoot Cat
series = Tom and Jerry


caption =
director = Bill Hanna
Joseph Barbera
animator = Kenneth Muse Ray Patterson Irven Spence Pete Burness
voice_actor = Sara Berner
musician = Scott Bradley
producer = Fred Quimby
distributor = Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
release_date = flagicon|US February 26, 1944
color_process = Technicolor
runtime = 7' 03"
movie_language = English
imdb_id = 0037480
preceded_by = "Baby Puss"
followed_by = "The Million Dollar Cat"

"The Zoot Cat " (also referred to as simply "Zoot Cat") is a 1944 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 13th "Tom and Jerry" short. It was produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on February 26, 1944 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer.

Plot

The cartoon opens with a Valentine note that reads:

"Roses are red"
"Violets are Blue"
"Mice are Nice"
"But, OH You Kid"

There is a pink ribbon tied to the card and the ribbon is tied to Jerry who is in a gift box. Meanwhile Tom is getting ready for a date with his whiskers in curlers and putting lard on the top of his head. e puts a little cologne on and even puts some on Jerry and then closes the box on him. He then proudly marches over to his female friends' house.

Tom knocks on the door and rings the doorbell. Tom even yells out, "Yoo hoo! Hey Toots"!" Tom then drops the box and hides behind a pillar on the porch. The female cat opens the door and was pleasantly surprised at the box which she opens. She was amazed when she sees Jerry and he says, "What's cooking, toots?" Tom then whistles to get her (and Jerry's) attention and he comes out of his hiding place. He produces a ukelele and plays a small song. Tom twists a yo-yo string into the words, "The Babe", does a little dance and brings out a bouquet of flowers. On the last step of the dance a loose floorboard hits Tom in the face and sends him plummeting to the walkway. This causes a bit of embarrassment for Tom.

The female cat responds by saying (while Jerry nods to all of her words in agreement),

"Boy, are you corny?"
"You act like a square at the fair, a goon from Saskatoon."
"You come on like a broken arm."
"You're a sad apple, a long hair, a cornhusker."
"In other words, you don't send me."
"So bail out, brother."
"Get lost."
"And here's your rat, cat."
She then throws the box back at Tom. Jerry then grabs an ear of corn and puts in it front of Tom and runs away, starting a chase. The chase ends as Jerry runs through an opening in a gate and Tom crashes into it. Tom then hears a voice saying, "Boy are you corny. How many times have you been told that?" Tom then looks in the window and sees the female cat listening to the radio and painting her nails. The radio continues with,
"How many girls have said,"
" 'No, Horace, I can only be a sister to you?' "
"Get your boots laced, buddy."
"Get hip to the jive."
"Step in and see smiling Sam, the zoot suit man."
"Step out with a zoot suit, with a drape shape and a reet pleat."
"Wear an ankle length jacket with 3 foot shoulders, pants that begin at the chin, zoom to a 54 inch knee, then fade softly to a 3 inch victory cuff."
"Get hip. Get one. Get lost in a new zoot suit." "

This gives Tom a great idea: to make his own zoot suit and mystify his intended. So he steals a pair of scissors, and a lampshade and fashions his own zoot suit from an orange and green hammock.

He knocks on the door again and the girl cat is very shocked to see Tom. She exclaims, "Jackson!". Tom responds with, "What's jumpin' chick"?" Jerry reappears and he can't believe what Tom has done.

Tom then lights a cigar which causes the girl cat to exclaim, "You're really a sharp character! A mellow little fellow. Now you collar my jive. You're on the right side, you alligator, you. Slip me some skin, my friend." As she is complimenting him, Tom is showing off his suit. A coat hanger is stuck in the back of his jacket and the chain around his neck is a bathtub plug. She invites Tom into the house. Tom replies, "Well, all reet, well, all root, well, all right." She then asks, "Let's dig a little righteous jive. Do you hear me?" " They start to jive dance around the house, and Jerry asks for a turn with the girl cat, which Tom gives him.

Tom then sees Jerry slipping away and grabs for the mouse. Jerry runs over to an ashtray and takes out a cigarette. Jerry then takes a puff of it, blows smoke in Tom's face and puts the cigarette out with Tom's nose. This causes Tom to scream. The female cat is still dancing and Tom returns to her. Jerry then peels a banana and throws the peel on the floor causing Tom to slip. Tom lands on the piano keys and somehow manages to set himself right on the bench to start playing a piano piece for her. He then becomes a suave romantic saying, "I love you. When I'm with you, I'm what you call a hip cat. I am hip to the jive. I'm in the groove, darling." " The girl cat replies, "Now you're really sending me, Jackson"."

Tom then winks to the camera and says to her, "Now you set my soul on fire," in a Charles Boyer-esque voice. Then we see Jerry placing matches in Tom's feet. Tom continues by saying, "It is not just a little spark. It is a flame; a big roaring flame." Jerry then lights the matches. Tom says, "I can feel it now—it is burning, burning, BURNING." He pauses, sniffs the air and says in a Groucho Marx voice: "Say, something "is" burning around here." He realizes that Jerry just gave him a hotfoot and screams.

Jerry runs away and opens a floor panel. Tom runs around the corner and falls all the way down to the basement. Jerry then starts to dance with the girl cat and Tom has returned with a chimney shovel. He tries to hit Jerry but misses. Jerry pulls Tom's hat over his head, trapping the cat, and whacks him on the brow. Jerry then runs and hides behind a table leg and trips Tom as he passes by. Jerry then runs under the couch, and Tom dives after him, popping out between the couch and window. Jerry clips the windowshade to the hanger in Tom's jacket, and then steps on Tom's nose and kicks the cat's eyes out. Tom angrily pursues the mouse, but is stopped by the hook. Tom grabs the coffee table, but Jerry hits his hands with the shovel, and the shade pulls Tom back and ends up in the fishbowl. Tom is pulled up and down by the shade, then left hanging on the shade, and his wet zoot suit slowly shrinks and falls off. The zoot lands near Jerry and it is a perfect fit for him. Jerry then walks away with his brand new zoot suit.

Notes

*This episode is frequently referred to as "The Zoot Suit" by mistake.
*The song playing in the beginning of the cartoon is called "You Got To See Mama Everynight"
*The song "China Boy" is played during the dance sequence.
*This is one of the rare cartoons where the characters speak. Sara Berner did the voice for Jerry and Toots. Berner was best known for providing the voice of the mama vulture character in "Looney Tunes"
*This episode was broadcast on Saturday night primetime BBC1 in 1993 instead of an episode of "Noel's House Party" which was pulled off at the last minute due to an IRA bomb threat.
*Toots' nose abruptly turns from pink to black (an obvious ink and paint error). This occurs when the she first sees Tom and says "You're really a sharp character" and again in the piano sequence when Tom states "I'm in the groove, darling."


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