Little School Mouse is a 1954 the 83rd one-reel animated Tom and Jerry short, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and produced by Fred Quimby with music by Scott Bradley. The cartoon was animated by Irven Spence and Ed Barge, with backgrounds by Robert Gentle, and released on May 29, 1954 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Little School Mouse is essentially Professor Tom with the roles reversed, featuring Jerry trying (and failing) to instruct Tuffy in cat evasion with Tuffy befriending Tom in the end, like how Tom tried (and failed) to instruct Topsy in how to catch mice in Professor Tom with Jerry befriending Topsy.
Jerry begins teaching Tuffy the basics of outwitting a cat by way of a couple of cartoon strips on the chalkboard. The first one demonstrates how the cat chases the mouse and, if he catches the mouse, will eat him. Tuffy begins to cry. Jerry directs his attention to the other picture sequence, which shows the mouse reaching his hole and the cat saying "bad words." Tuffy laughs.
For the next lesson, Jerry shows Tuffy an imitation cat's paw in front of a mousehole facade. He demonstrates the procedure and Tuffy goes into the hole, where he makes a show of looking for danger, walks straight out of the hole and ends up walking on the spot with his tail getting caught in the cat's paw. Jerry isn't pleased, so he has Tuffy work the cat's paw while he gives another demonstration. Tuffy winds the crank with such enthusiasm that Jerry can't get away and ends up flat on the floor like a carpet before the little mouse realises what he's doing. He looks under the paw and twinges with embarrassment, then rushes into the classroom and puts up a CLASS DISMISSED sign. However, as he is leaving the mousehole, he is caught by Jerry by the diaper. Tuffy immediately retreats to the stool in the corner and dons the dunce cap.
Following a lesson book, the mice are hidden behind a sofa, as Jerry attempts to show Tuffy how to pluck a whisker from the cat without waking him up. Using the furniture and the rug as cover, he succeeds in obtaining one of Tom's whiskers (without awakening him and actually pulling off one-half of one whisker) and makes it back to the sofa to show Tuffy. To Jerry's annoyance, Tuffy approaches Tom directly, instead of stealthily. His annoyance quickly turns to horror when his young charge returns not only with a whisker, but with a very bemused Tom still attached. Jerry grabs Tuffy and flees back to the hole with an enraged Tom in pursuit. Tuffy reaches the hole first and slams the door; despite Jerry desperately banging on the door to be let in to safety, when Tuffy finally opens the door again, Tom has beaten up Jerry, who tumbles in with a black eye and wearing the lesson book around his neck, making Tuffy realizes what he has done; letting Tom beat Jerry up.
Later on, Jerry having recovered from the beaten demonstrates the next lesson in the (now-intact) book: how to obtain cheese without waking up the cat. Using the blinds as an elevator, a cup and spoon as a rowboat, and a broom as a slide, he succeeds in climbing onto the countertop and reaching a plate with some cheese on it, but narrowly avoids waking Tom when he drops his piece of cheese on his head. Acting quickly, he pulls Tom's eyes shut and soothes him back to sleep. Once back at the hole, Jerry shows his prize to Tuffy before eating it. The little mouse goes out himself and looks up at the plate of cheese on the countertop and then wakes Tom, who looks at him sleepily and helpfully gives him the cheese, too tired to begin a chase. Jerry is dumbfounded as Tuffy returns with the whole cheese, shows it off, and swallows the whole lot at once, causing his stomach to assume a large wedge shape.
Jerry tries to teach Tuffy how to bell the cat in a last effort. By now, Tom is waiting for him, but fakes being asleep. Playing along with Jerry as he ties on the bell, he even conveniently lifts his head up and puts a finger on the knot as Jerry ties it. Jerry signals his thanks before realizing his folly and flees. Tom catches him easily, proceeds to beat him up again and Jerry later makes it back to the hole with the string and bell wound many times around his neck. Tuffy is holding a package wrapped as a present. Tuffy looks out nervously and gulps. He cautiously approaches Tom, who is now fully awake and grumpy and offers him the present. Tom opens it and finds it to be a bell on a string. Delighted at the gift, he points to himself in a "For me?" manner. Tuffy smiles and nods assuredly. Tom puts the bell on himself and thanks Tuffy by gently patting him on the head. Jerry, having ultimately been failed, storms off in disgust and throws his diploma in the garbage.
In the closing scene, Tuffy is teaching the class. He points to the board, which reads, "Cats And Mice Should Be Friends." Jerry, who is now the pupil and wearing the dunce cap, madly shakes his head saying NO. Tom, happily sitting next to Jerry nods his head enthusiastically at the idea, ringing his bell while doing so. He removes the dunce cap from Jerry and kisses his cheek, much to Jerry's chagrin, then jingles his own bell.
- This is one of the eighteen cartoons where Tom wins. The others are Dog Trouble, The Million Dollar Cat, The Bodyguard, Jerry's Diary, Nit-Witty Kitty, Hic-cup Pup, Southbound Duckling, Mouse for Sale, That's My Mommy, Timid Tabby, Royal Cat Nap, The Vanishing Duck, The Year of the Mouse, Duel Personality, Love Me, Love My Mouse, Ah, Sweet Mouse-Story of Life, The Flying Sorceress, and Guided Mouse-ille.
- This is one of the only few cartoons where Tuffy cries.
- This is one of the few shorts where Tom literally beats up Jerry.
- This is among the few cartoons where Tom befriends Nibbles.
- For an unknown reason, this cartoon from 1954 did not use the 1953 blue MGM cartoons intro and the Tom & Jerry blue titles from 1953. It used the 1952 MGM cartoons intro, and the 1949 Tom & Jerry red title.
- Out of all the T&J cartoons from 1942s "Fine Feathered Friend" to 1958s "Tot Watchers", this is the only cartoon Kenneth Muse wasn't involved in.