Barbecue Brawl is the 104th one-reel animated short created in 1956, directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with music by Scott Bradley. Its animation team were Ed Barge, Irven Spence, Lewis Marshall and Kenneth Muse, with backgrounds by Robert Gentle and layouts by Richard Bickenbach. It was released on December 14, 1956 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
This was the first short to contain new opening and ending cards; the opening depicts Tom standing in a pink square at the left and Jerry, a green square opposite.
Spike and Tyke walk into the backyard to have a barbecue; the opening attempts of which fail, as follows:
- The charcoal blows up.
- Spike puts on too much charcoal on the barbecue; it lets off a cloud of dark smoke when Spike blows into the charcoal to get the fire going (which results in the smoke literally making Spike's eyes red and watery). He, however, claims this to his son that a bit of Hickory smoke always keeps in good barbecue flavor.
- Spike leaves the steak on the barbecue, but it is instantly reduced to a crisp. He goes to get another.
But by this time Tom and Jerry have appeared on the scene with another of their traditional chases. Jerry repeatedly hides in items involved in the barbecue:
- The bag of charcoal
- Spike's hat
- The salad
- The shakers
This means that every time Tom pursues Jerry, he is interfering with the barbecue. Each time this happens, Spike furiously chases Tom off, which means that Tom should end up in the swimming pool. Jerry hides in the bread, but when Spike and Tyke come back, Jerry and the bread make like a snake as Spike arms himself with the charcoal fork to stab the bread, before Jerry drops the game and exits the bread, just in time for it to be taken by a swinging-by Tom for searching for the mouse, but when he turns around and comes down while holding the bread under his arm pointing outwards, Spike recognizes this and dons his saucepan like a helmet and holds his charcoal fork and saucepan lid as a javelin and shield respectively, paying tribute to Ancient Roman Times, complete with the gladiator charge heading for Tom; Spike, despite his armor being damaged from the resultant collision, wins, as Tom gets to go back to the pool.
Spike finally manages to prepare the meal, and he and Tyke sit down to eat (The cat and mouse duo are no longer seen from this point). However, an Ant Army spots the food and approaches the picnic table. Spike grabs the food, putting it wrapped up like a bag and he also grabbed Tyke and flees to the diving board. The diving board Spike and Tyke are standing on gets shakier as the Ant Army gets closer. Then they push them into the pool while the food goes back to the ground where the Ant Army takes them off. Spike returns to the ground and grabs the steak from the ants before they get it back. But at this time, the lead ant blows his trumpet as the Ant Army does retrieve it.
- On the notorious pan-and-scan version, a pile of charcoal on the grill is cropped out, showing Spike lighting a match at the grill.
- It is clearly unknown on the pan-and-scan print why the Ant blowing his trumpet near the end cropped out, but showing Spike staring (looks as he's staring at nothing).