The Cat Concerto is a 1947 American one-reel animated cartoon and is the 29th Tom and Jerry cartoon produced in Technicolor in 1946 and released to theatres in 1947 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It won the 1946 Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoon. In 1994, it was voted #42 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field. The short won the duo their fourth consecutive Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
A concert is about to be displayed on a stage set in an auditorium. Just then, Tom, a pianist, comes out from one side of the curtains and the audience applauds. He bows, sits down, adjusts his seat, wipes his hands on a cloth and starts playing a piece by Liszt (Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2). Part way into the song, he wipes his hands again, adjusts his tie and puts his clothing back up, then starts playing again. While he plays, Jerry is sleeping on the piano, but is moved while Tom plays. Jerry wakes up when Tom repeats a key. Jerry jumps and falls on a string. Tom continues to play. Jerry notices Tom and takes interest, waving the key patterns. Tom flicks him back into the piano. Jerry then appears under a key, but Tom plays it. When he stops, Jerry runs under the keys. Tom plays the keys he was under and moves on. Tom proceeds to play 2 keys. It should have stopped, but Jerry repeats them from the inside of the piano. Tom bonks Jerry and moves on, but Jerry forces the key door to force shut, flattening Tom's hands. Jerry then tries to cut his fingers off, but Tom is quick. Jerry then replaces 2 keys with a mouse trap. Tom falls for it and his fingers turn red. Jerry then plays, but Tom plays his own tune to get him off. After making sure Jerry would not strike back he started playing again, but Jerry starts playing his own tune. Tom shoves some keys and puts him under his seat, then he started playing yet again. Jerry peeps out and raises the chair, then lowers it, causing him to fall. Tom grabs Jerry and sticks him between the keys inside the piano, as if to say, "You are going to get it, mister!" then plays a tune to beat Jerry up. Jerry gets mad, snaps 2 keys and plays his own tune. Tom plays another tune as well, then Jerry stops. Tom had to complete the song but Jerry picks back up with his tune. Tom repeats his tune, and attempts to get it as Jerry starts playing the tune yet again. Tom finally ends the tune and gets dog-tired collapsing near the piano, while the audience applauses for Jerry who has just dressed himself in a dinner jacket only.
- By this cartoon, both of Tom and Jerry's character designs have been finalized, especially Tom's, whom is now drawn with slightly furrier cheeks as opposed to completely rounded like in earlier cartoons (though they appear rounded in several shots). These designs would later be used as the "default" character designs for the cat-and-mouse duo in the merchandise as well as more recent Tom and Jerry revivals since Tom & Jerry Kids.
- This is the fourth Tom and Jerry short to win an Academy Award.
- The same year that MGM produced The Cat Concerto, Warner Bros. released a very similar Bugs Bunny cartoon called Rhapsody Rabbit, directed by Friz Freleng, with Bugs up against an unnamed mouse. Both shorts used near-identical gags, and they even used the same piece by Franz Liszt. Even the ending is similar. Bugs is also upstaged by a mouse. Both MGM and Warner Bros. accused each other of plagiarism, after both films were shown during the 1947 Academy Awards ceremony. Technicolor was accused of sending a print of either cartoon to the competing studio, who then allegedly plagiarized their rival's work. It was often suggested by animation historians that this cartoon was rushed to its release - meaning it was released before the shorts produced during the same time to qualify for the Academy Award. Its production number is #165, while the other shorts released during the same year have production numbers around #155.
- The composition that Tom is playing is a Liszt's most famous piece known as Hungarian Rhapsody No.2
- Footage of Tom playing the piano was also used as a Cartoon Network ID, but with the 1992-2004 Cartoon Network logo on the side of the piano.
- When Jerry appears under a piano key, there are only two keys to his left. In the next shot, there are several more.