Just Ducky is the 77th one reel animated Tom and Jerry short, created in 1953 directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and produced by Fred Quimby with music by Scott Bradley. The cartoon was animated by Irven Spence, Ed Barge, Ray Patterson, Kenneth Muse, and Al Grandmain with backgrounds by Robert Gentle. It was released on September 5, 1953 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
A mother duck sees all but one of her eggs hatching into little ducklings, and takes them for a swim. Then the final egg hatches and out comes Quacker. Rushing behind, trying to catch up, he wades into the water but finds himself unable to swim. He calls for his mother, but she and his brothers are too far away to hear.
A despondent Quacker starts to cry, and Jerry overhears him. He offers to teach Quacker how to swim and demonstrates but Quacker is unable to stay afloat. Frustrated, Jerry marches off to get Quacker an inner tube. Quacker kicks a rock and walks around, depressed, lamenting his inability to swim. Tom, cooking up some water in a can nearby, hears the duck and slants his spoon so that Quacker walks up it and falls in the water. Quacker cries for help as Tom pours in salt and pepper and stirs the duck around. Jerry saves Quacker by whacking Tom with a plank.
Jerry carries Quacker away and Tom chases them, but he runs into a spade that they have placed. Jerry hides Quacker and instructs him to keep quiet, but Quacker dives into a hole when Tom approaches. As Tom sneaks up behind, Jerry grabs him and runs off, thinking he is Quacker. Tom is pulled through a pipe before Jerry turns to him and realizes his mistake. Jerry dives into a lake to escape, breathing through a straw. Tom easily finds him and blows through the straw making Jerry inflate. Jerry grabs the straw and inflates Tom's head in return. Quacker pops Tom with a safety pin, making his head deflate and shrink.
Jerry and Quacker flee, but Quacker falls into a bowl with a few drops of water in it and thinks he's drowning until Jerry shows him the truth. Jerry motions for him to follow, but Tom upends the bowl and sends Quacker back into the can of water. Tom spoons out Quacker to eat him, but Jerry pelts a brick at Tom and shatters the cat into several pieces, leaving only the outline left. Quacker escapes and runs off with Jerry, but Tom traps Jerry in a jug and chases Quacker. As they reach the lake, Quacker gets out of the way in time and Tom falls in. Quacker is about to leave when he notices that, in an ironic twist, Tom can't swim. Quacker is reluctant to save Tom since he can't swim either, but then Tom begins to drown and goes under. Quacker initially calls for somebody to help, then summons the courage to dive in and miraculously rescues Tom. Jerry helps Quacker pull Tom out and they pump his tail to help him spit out the water he swallowed.
Tom is shown wrapped up in a blanket with a cold and Jerry helps him recover. They watch on and wave as Quacker swims by with his family (though Quacker is doing an impressive back stroke).
- It is evident in this cartoon that Tom can't swim - in real life, cats hate water and getting wet. This is also true near the end of a later episode, Puppy Tale.
- This was the first cartoon to use the blue MGM cartoons intro and Tom and Jerry blue logo.
- This is the final cartoon where Tom has a white line separating his eyes, which has been removed from his character design in 1953 due to budget cuts in the animation. The white line between Tom's eyes would not be seen again on the character for many years until Tom and Jerry Kids came out in 1990 - at this point the white line between Tom's eyes has been restored on the character since then, with the notable exception of The Mansion Cat (2001).
- After the scene where Jerry grabs Tom, and Tom gets into the pipe, Tom is seen with 5 paws instead of 4.