The Missing Mouse is a 1953 Tom and Jerry cartoon short, It is the only cartoon in the Hanna-Barbera era (1940-1958) that the music was not composed by Scott Bradley. Instead, Edward Plumb scored the music for this cartoon.
Tom is playing pranks as usual on Jerry when Jerry attempts to get food. When Jerry gets an orange Tom shuts the door on the orange and the juice then splatters Jerry. Jerry attempts to run, but fails when Tom hits him with two grape pies and attempts to deliberately snap his tail to a mousetrap. Jerry, not looking where he is going, runs flat-out into the wall next to his mousehole, leaving a dent and causing a bottle of white shoe polish to fall and douse him, making him look white.
Tom goes back to reading a magazine and listens to the radio until a breaking news story is announced:
Your attention please! We interrupt this broadcast to bring you this urgent warning. A white mouse has just escaped from the experimental laboratories! Before escaping, he consumed enough of a new secret explosive to blow up an entire city! If you see this white mouse, telephone officials at once! And whatever you do, remember! The slightest jar will explode this white mouse and destroy the entire city! Be careful! Please, be careful!
Jerry realizes Tom will think he is the white mouse and decides to get a bit of revenge. Tom breaks open some nuts with a hammer and eats them to calm his nerves, only to stop the hammer inches away from Jerry's head when he picks him up by accident. When he sees the "white mouse", Tom's hammer droops like spaghetti, and as he does a double take in fear before leaping away from Jerry, Tom moves toward the phone, and tries to call the police, but fails when Jerry distracts him and falls toward the floor which Tom saves him by putting a pillow for Jerry's landing.
Tom tries again to call the police, but fails twice when Jerry knocks down the piano lid and Tom saves Jerry once again by using his own head to stop the lid from falling on Jerry. Tom tries to call the police once again, but fails thrice when Jerry leaps from the top of a cupboard, just as Tom is forced to blow him back up to safety. Jerry pushes a clothes iron off the counter toward Tom's face; he blows until he's purple in the face and manages to keep it airborne for a surprising five seconds before the iron inevitably lands on his face with a huge bang, flattening his head into the shape of the iron.
Tom tries to grab Jerry, but stops dead when the mouse threatens to "detonate" himself with a hammer strike to the head. When Tom offers up his own head, Jerry obligingly whacks out a rhythm on Tom's skull. Jerry then gets distracted by cookies, and as Tom gets a chance to take the hammer away, Jerry jumps up and down on the counter and then does not notice the sink full of water and falls in the sink. Jerry's cover gets blown when the white paint on his body gets washed away, and much to his delight, Tom then hammers him into the counter like a nail before taking him to a mirror, revealing the deception. Jerry giggles bashfully in a feeble attempt to laugh the whole thing off and is taken to be kicked out.
Meanwhile, the real white mouse (a white mouse physically resembling Jerry but with blue eyes) comes into the house when Tom kicks Jerry out and eats some nuts. Tom hears the cracking of the nuts shells and thinks that Jerry is trying to fool him again and tries to hit the white mouse with a hammer and gleefully tries to wash the "Polish" off, but is surprised to learn that it would not come off. He tries to wash the mouse with a washboard, and as whistling is heard, Tom turns to see a grinning Jerry nearby who waves. Tom realizes he is holding the real white mouse, and as he does notice by mistake, the shock of it causes him to age into a feeble, trembling old man. Tom gently puts the mouse down and goes to the phone. Before Tom can phone the police, the radio announcer comes back on the air with new developments:
Your attention please! We have just learned from laboratory officials that the explosive contained in the white mouse is no longer dangerous. And they have assured us the mouse will not explode.
Tom cheers up happily at the news (which possibly confuses the explosive white mouse for another) and smugly tries to throw the white mouse out of the house and Jerry made his escape in order to survive, but just when Tom's foot makes contact with the mouse, a large explosion happens and the city is reduced to rubble, creating a large crater. Nothing more is left of the entire neighborhood but rubble and the speaker of the radio which states: We repeat, the white mouse will not explode. Tom emerges from the crater half-dead and drones, "Don't you believe it!" (originally from Mouse Trouble) as the cartoon closes.
- This is another time that Tom has droned, "Don't you believe it..." (before the cartoon fades). The first time is in Mouse Trouble. The origin of that particular line has been debated for many years, but it is widely believed to have began as a radio show catchphrase.
- This is one of the cartoons where Tom saves Jerry's life. He also saves the mouse in The Night Before Christmas, Dog Trouble, The Truce Hurts, and Snowbody Loves Me.
- This is one of the cartoons where Scott Bradley is replaced by another composer, Edward Plumb, and the only Hanna-Barbera era Tom and Jerry cartoon to do so.
- It is unknown if Jerry survived the explosion, as he is not seen again for the rest of the cartoon after the explosion occurs. This is very likely, however, that he survived, but it simply wasn't shown.
- Edward Plumb, occasionally responsible for musical composition, is also the composer of some Disney cartoons. The best known of all is "Peter and the wolf", launched in 1946.
- Jerry was also a white mouse in Mouse for Sale.
- This cartoon was featured as a scene in Matinee Mouse.