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Pet Peeve is the 88th 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 Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge, and Irven Spence, with backgrounds by Robert Gentle and layouts by Dick Bickenbach. It was released on November 20, 1954, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

This was the first Tom and Jerry cartoon to be released in CinemaScope and the second to be produced in the format (the first was Touché, Pussy Cat, both released a month later), which widened the cinema screen to a more expansive aspect ratio to compete against the growing popularity of television. The CinemaScope process required thicker and more defined ink lines around the characters, giving them a slightly more "modern" and less detailed appearance.

The cartoon is also the first to feature an owner of the house that is not Mammy Two Shoes, the African-American maid voiced by Lillian Randolph from the first cartoon Puss Gets the Boot (1940) up to and including 1952's Push-Button Kitty. Instead, Mammy was replaced with a white married couple named George and Joan.

Plot

The cartoon begins with Tom and Spike living together as friends and happily, Spike is eating a club sandwich while Tom makes a sandwich with cat food. Tom drops a piece of bread and Jerry tries to steal it. Tom steps on his tails and pops him back to his hole. They overhear an argument taking place between the owners of the house named Joan and George. Joan and George decide that the food costs are far too high and that the dog and cat eat too much. George reads all of the costs saying Dog food and Cat food. The argument is now saying that they get rid of Tom or Spike. The ensuing argument ends with the conclusion that only one pet can stay in the house, which is followed with both Tom and Spike attempting to kick each other out of the house according to their owners' arguments. When both Tom and Spike prove to be as helpful as each other in cleaning the house and providing good company, George and Joan make a deal: the first to catch Jerry stays in the house. Tom grabs Jerry and gets punched by Spike who then grabs Jerry and makes a run. But Tom shuts the door on his arm and retrieves Jerry. Spike goes into the closet and puts a sign called "DETOUR" and Tom runs into the closet and gets walloped by Spike with the golf club, grabbing Jerry. Spike is pulled into the floor grate and flattened into the likeness of a nail. Tom presents Jerry to George's chair, but instead of George, Spike leaps out and grabs Jerry.

Tom shakes Spike's hand in a gesture of surrender, packs up his possessions and sets out for the door. Spike follows him to comfort the cat, and Tom slyly gives "his" possessions to Spike and ushers him out the door. Spike falls for it until he's about to leave the yard. He then realizes he has been tricked looking at the possession, and his head turns into a Jackass. Enraged, he runs back towards the house roaring like a bull.

Tom laughs at his victory until Spike busts through the door and flattens him. Spike starts chasing Jerry as Tom frees himself. He is compressed into a cylinder. Spike grabs Jerry and is flipped judo-style by Tom. Tom and Spike then duel with swords, destroying a lot of the house. They see Jerry run across a carpet, and they roll it up and cut it up until Tom accidentally slices off George's slippers.

When they cut his slippers George angrily says "That does it, boys, start packing!" meaning Tom and Spike are evicted. George decides to keep Jerry who doesn't eat much (not knowing he also eats too much like both Tom and Spike, as it is shown that his mousehole has lots of food) as a pet. George asks Tom and Spike if they are done packing and they nod, he tells them to take what belongs to them and leave. With him saying this, Tom and Spike attempt to sneak out with the fridge, but spotted by George who says "Hey! Put that back! Hey, you two come back here!". Panicking they flee with the fridge knocking the front door down and runs away into the sunset.

Trivia

  • This is one of the few episodes where Tom and Spike are cooperating with each other.
  • Much like in the cartoons "Solid Serenade" and "The Framed Cat", Spike gets tricked by Tom, and therefore briefly turns into a Jackass. Except that unlike the previous two shorts, the word "Jackass" is not seen during this brief transformation.
  • This is the only cartoon where both George and Joan keep Jerry as a pet, though it is only at the end of this cartoon. In subsequent cartoons from the Hanna-Barbera era, Tom and Spike happily move back in with George and Joan, while Jerry is not known to the couple and is not their pet anymore.
  • Like a number of early widescreen animated films (several other MGM cartoons, Disney's Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom and Lady and the Tramp, for example), Pet Peeve was produced in both the Academy and CinemaScope aspect ratios. The same animation cels were used, but the camera shots were re-framed and different backgrounds were used. For some television broadcasts, however, a pan and scan copy was prepared from the CinemaScope version (which is re-framed from the Academy version, and missing information present at the top and bottom of the frame in many shots from the Academy version). Contrary to the CinemaScope version, the Academy version is missing information present at the left and right side of the frame in many shots from the CinemaScope version.

Characters

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