Baby Butch is the 84th one-reel animated Tom and Jerry short, released by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer in 1954 and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and produced by Fred Quimby with music by Scott Bradley. The cartoon was animated by Irven Spence, Kenneth Muse and Ed Barge with backgrounds by Vera Ohman. It was released on August 14, 1954, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Butch searches for food in a dirty alleyway and puts whatever he likes into the shopping basket. He spots a bottle of milk on someone's doorstep and sneaks over to steal it. But Tom switches the bottle with a used one prior to Butch grabbing the milk. He then sees a ham on the window seal and attempts to get it, only for Tom to take it and slam the window on his fingers and put it into the fridge.
Butch watches before an idea forms. He picks some items out of the trashcan nearby, including a bassinet, baby hat, and a big white shirt, which he turns into a diaper and puts the hat on. He then pulls the bassinet over to the door. He then pulls the blanket over himself and knocks on the door after he takes the note he wrote out (transcribed as per writing style, including any underlines and other uses of capitals used in the note): "I AM A POOR HUNGRY WAIF. FEED ME!" Tom brings him inside and has him wait a moment. Once he's gone, Butch gets up and quickly runs to the kitchen to grab the ham from earlier. By the time he returns to the bassinet, however, Tom is also returning so he tosses it aside and gets back into the bassinet. When Tom returns he gives Butch a bottle of milk, which he drinks before he acts disgusted and spits it out, until remembering he's supposed to be a baby and quickly covers it up.
Jerry enters the room and finds the ham behind the catch. Tom leaves and Butch happens to notice, so he grabs the ham and smashes Jerry with it before re-hiding it beneath the bassinet. After Tom burps him, he leaves again, this time bringing Butch. Jerry comes by to see the ham and tries another round at its theft, only for a repeat of his earlier attempt after Tom leaves to get a hot kettle of water. When he returns, he pours the water into the bath and grabs the ham thinking it is Butch. The moment he sees, however, Butch is quick to swap places and lowers the ham, which Jerry furiously grabs once again!
Butch is put into the water before he jumps out screaming, incidentally shoving Tom head-first into it while he gives chase. After he bangs his head on the cabinet, Tom finds him and Butch points Jerry and the ham out, crying. Tom chases Jerry while Butch escapes in the commotion to raid the fridge. When he sees them coming he is quick to hide. Tom grabs the ham and puts it into the fridge when he finds Butch with mouth open ready to eat it. Butch points it out in hopes of eating it without difficulty. Instead of listening though, Tom puts the ham down and grabs Butch, leading him into another room. Unknown to him, Butch grabs the ham again. When Jerry steals it again he points it out to Tom. When Jerry runs by he grabs the ham. Having enough Jerry makes Tom stop and look to Butch, who is raiding the fridge and stealing all of the food.
Tom grabs the ham back before a grab-of-war between the cats ensures until Butch slams the refrigerator door on him. Butch makes his grand escape, but, not paying attention, he slams into the lower half of the door he is heading for, which Jerry closed to trip him off of his stash and send him on empty-handed; he ultimately ends up in a trash can in defeat.
Later on, Tom and Jerry are preparing to eat the ham when they see Butch, in his disguise again, near the window. They decide to be a little nice and let him get a piece of ham seeing as he is that eager. Then when he cuts a little slice, he puts it down and grabs the ham entirely, and Tom and Jerry try to prevent him as the short concludes.
- In the scene where Tom finds Butch in the fridge, Tom carries Butch with the fridge door open. But when Tom chases Jerry to get the ham back, the door is closed. It might be possible Butch is the one who closed it to hide away some evidence.
- Although the current print of the cartoon is a late-50's reissue, the cartoon was originally the first of the only 2 cartoons to use a different version of the 1954 blue Tom & Jerry title card, it was later used in "Mice Follies".
- This is the last Tom and Jerry cartoon to be reissued.