His Mouse Friday is a 1951 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 59th Tom and Jerry cartoon directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and produced by Fred Quimby for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The cartoon begins with Tom stranded at sea, floating on a wooden raft after presumably being shipwrecked, a la Robinson Crusoe. The poor cat has nothing to eat but shoes and shoelaces. When he spots an island, the waves catapult him there. Tom attempts to feast on the coconuts but they prove to be difficult to break open. Moments later, Tom breaks his teeth after trying to sink them into a turtle. However, Tom does see a creature that is undeniably more edible - Jerry. Tom chases after the rodent and the pair ends up in an uninhabited village. Jerry spots a large drum and beats a tune on it, frightening Tom. Jerry also finds a large black cauldron and rubs the soot onto his face and body, making himself black. When Tom emerges from his hiding place, Jerry jumps out at him, hollering in a thick dialect. He orders Tom to "hop in pot"; to cook himself with vegetables, but to "hold the onion." Tom starts to feel the heat, and resigned to his death, he looks out of the cauldron and sees Jerry performing his "native" dance, but the movement of the dance causes Jerry's makeshift skirt to fall down, revealing his brown mouse fur. Tom realises he's been pranked and makes sure that Jerry is aware of it. Jerry tries to order Tom back into the pot ("Hop in pot, hop in pot!"), but the cat simply mocks him ("Nanana, nanana!") and chases him, only to stumble upon some genuine cannibals (although humans eating a cat or mouse would not, in fact, qualify as cannibalism). One licks his lips and declares "Mmmm... barbecued cat!" They chase after Tom. Meanwhile, Jerry, overlooking the whole fracas, is attacked by a younger (and thicker-lipped) cannibal who also licks his lips in delight, turns his head over to see it, and it says, "Mmmm... barbecued mouse!". Then the cannibal chases after Jerry.
- The title is a pun combining references to the film "His Girl Friday" and the character of Friday from the novel "Robinson Crusoe".
- Unlike the youngest savage that was cropped out, the adult savages remain unedited on the third Spotlight Collection.
- This was the second and last Hanna Barbera cartoon to use the Gene Deitch theme, the other was Jerry's Cousin
Censorship and Bans
- Because of the short's racial stereotyping, His Mouse Friday was placed under an unofficial ban from broadcast or video distribution by MGM and other rights-holders (such as Turner Broadcasting and TimeWarner).
- There are two edited versions of this cartoon that have aired on television prior to being banned and that have been released on video:
- MGM/UA Home Video versions (including the VHS tape compilation entitled Tom and Jerry On Parade and the laserdisc set compilation entitled The Art of Tom and Jerry) mute out all the stereotypical black savage dialogue.
- Warner Home Video versions (which was also part of the Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection Volume 3 DVD set compilation) retains the dialogue but edits the part where Jerry meets a real black savage by using pan and zoom to crop out the real black savage's appearance. However, the real black savage's appearance is seen during the beginning of the pursuit between him and Jerry. This scene was restored and left intact on unreleased remastered print, which was supposed to be released on Tom and Jerry: Golden Collection Volume Two in 2013.