Little Quacker is a 1950 American one-reel animated cartoon and is the 47th Tom and Jerry short directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and produced by Fred Quimby. It is the first Tom and Jerry short to be released in the 1950s. Little Quacker marks the debut of the eponymous character, Quacker, the duckling who would go on to appear in seven more shorts, making him one of the more enduring supporting characters in the Tom and Jerry cartoon series. The voice of Quacker and his parents (who make their only speaking appearance in this cartoon), along with a single WAH WAH! line by Tom, was supplied by (uncredited) Red Coffee, though the voice has often been mistaken for Clarence Nash's, who was better known as the voice of Donald Duck.
On a farm, a mama duck goes out for a swim, leaving behind an egg in her nest. But Tom craftily reaches into the nest and takes the egg for cooking. He then rushes back to his kitchen and places a frying pan over the hob. However, when Tom breaks the egg open, instead of getting the albumen and yolk, the only thing he gets is Quacker, a duckling. Not to be put off, Tom decides he will cook roast duck instead. But to do so, he acquires Quacker's 'cooperation'(!)
Tom feeds Quacker on plenty of bread to fatten and stuff him up, and while the duckling is not looking, Tom gets hold of a meat cleaver and attempts to chop Quacker up, but misses. Quacker escapes into Jerry's mouse hole and into his bed, shaking in terror (the shape under Jerry's sheet resembles a ringing bell). Jerry uncovers Quacker, who informs Jerry of what Tom has tried to do to him. Quacker then hides back under Jerry's bed and shakes in terror once again.
Jerry emerges from his mouse hole cautiously, but Tom is quick and cuts him down with his meat cleaver... almost. Quacker, believing that Jerry has been beheaded, pulls at Jerry's legs, only for the camera to pull away, showing that Tom has only managed to catch Jerry by the whiskers. Jerry is set free and gets his
revenge on Tom by placing Tom's tail outside of the hole, such that Tom, who doesn't know it might happen, ends up chopping his own tail. He screams in pain and retaliates by chasing Jerry and Quacker.
The chase continues outside, where Tom's efforts to chop away at Jerry and Quacker only result in him being flattened by falling buildings or falling posts (Resemble from Hatch Up Your Troubles). Later on, while Quacker and Jerry search for his mama, Tom uses a duck call to lure in Quacker, but Jerry is clued up as to what Tom is doing, and quickly substitutes his duck caller for a stick of dynamite which blows up in his face. He then chases them to a large tree with a double barrel shotgun. He thrusts the gun in, only for the barrel to bend towards his fanny, which he accidentally fires at. Jerry and Quacker flee, but they ram into a tire and hide in it. Tom grabs a sledge mace from the ground and tries to flatten them to death, but it doesn't work; the tire bounces the object and he ends up smacking himself square in the face with it. Entranced, he places the mace on the ground and slumps down. Jerry and Quacker escape. Tom awakens from the trance, grabs a push mower and charges after them.
Quacker's mother walks around the farm, calling for Quacker. Tom chases continuously after Jerry and Quacker with the push mower, but ultimately ends up running over Quacker's mother's front feathers, revealing her undergarments. She covers them with a look of shock and embarrassment on her eyes. Momma and baby are reunited, but Tom grabs Quacker from the mama duck and she grabs her baby back. After Quacker tells his mama what has happened, she demands to know what Tom thinks he's doing to her baby, saying, "He did?" Tom's only answer is scornful mimicry of her quacking (It is presumed by some that it is his way of replying, "I did, so what!" or "What are you gonna do about it?"). Irritated, the mama duck then calls her mate ("HENRY!"). Henry shows up, tattooed as a sailor and strong as an ox, which makes Tom worried about him. The mama duck tells him what Tom did to their son and how she was minding her own business when he ran over her with the push mower "and he got smart, too!" Henry is offended by Tom's actions to both his wife and Quacker, glared at him in rage and snarls violently "He did?". In response, Tom tries to flee, and but the enormous drake chases him. He slams face first into a tree, which enables Henry to run the push mower continuously up and down on his back, by this way giving him a lot of painful cuts as a punishment.
The final scene has Mama Duck and Quacker swimming in the pond, with her towing Jerry Mouse on a little raft. Jerry uses the duck caller to attempt to sound like mama and baby. The two friends then face each other and smile, this is a sign of friendship between the duo that will never be broken forever and ever.
- A remastered version of the cartoon scheduled for the (currently-unreleased) Tom and Jerry Golden Collection Volume 2 Blu-Ray/DVD set has the original titles restored back to the cartoon (except the end titles, which were kept from the reissue print). This is the only pre-1950 Tom & Jerry cartoon remastered in its original theatrical presentation. And has not been released on home video in the US as of 2018.
- This cartoon was adapted in 1953 as the Little Golden Book, Tom and Jerry Meet Little Quack from Western Publishing.
- This short was the only appearance of Henry, the Poppa, and Momma Duck's only speaking episode as well was in this short.
- Little Quacker is the official billing name of the duckling in the Tom & Jerry comics books from Dell Comics and Gold Key Comics.
- When the mother duck shouts "Henry!", the same voice clip was used ten years before this cartoon in the Three Stooges short No Census, No Feeling. This could also be a reference to The Henry Aldrich Show.
- This cartoon was featured in Tom and Jerry: Festival of Fun on VHS.
- Red Coffee was the voice of Quacker, yet credit for Quacker's voice was mistakenly given to Clarence Nash, better known as Donald Duck's original voice actor.
- Tom using a dynamite and exploding in his face causing him to be in blackface is censored. Also, the gun firing on Tom's bottom is cut out. Also, Quacker's mother's fur is ripped which shows her undergarments after Tom accidentally mows her feathers while away chasing Jerry and Quacker was removed in the UK and Middle East because it was deemed inappropriate for younger audiences viewers. Boomerang reinstates the scene.
- After Tom swings the cleaver instead of chopping Jerry and Quacker to the stand of the roof, you can see that Jerry and Quacker skipped frame by frame as the roof crashes to Tom.