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Tot Watchers is a 1958 Tom and Jerry cartoon with backgrounds by Robert Gentle and layouts by Richard Bickenbach.

A sequel to Busy Buddies (1956) two years earlier, it was the 114th and final Tom and Jerry cartoon created at the MGM cartoon studio before its closure.

In 1960, Gene Deitch produced 13 cartoons for MGM at his studio, as most of his shorts were widely panned and considered to be the worst of Tom and Jerry for a number of reasons from fans, with the exceptions of The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit, Carmen Get It!, and Buddies Thicker Than Water.

When his unit closed down, Chuck Jones produced 34 more at his studio before being shut down in 1967, ending production of Tom and Jerry cartoons.

Characters

Main Characters

Minor Characters

Plot

Babysitter Jeannie (voiced by Janet Waldo) is instructed to look after Ben Smith while his mother (also voiced by Janet Waldo) goes out. However, Jeannie pays more attention to talking on the telephone apathetically than her actual babysitting. In the midst of Tom and Jerry's usual fighting, they see Ben crawling out of hiits pram. Any attempt to return Ben to where he came from simply results in Ben escaping from the pram again. During one escape, Ben crawls into Spike's dog house. Tom accidentally grabs Spike instead of Ben, and is promptly attacked, scratched and bit. This time, Tom angrily brings Ben back to Jeannie herself, who hits Tom over the head with a broom, thinking that Tom has taken Ben away from her.

Realising that Ben is no longer worth the trouble, Tom does nothing the next time that he crawls from his pram. However, he and Jerry are forced to react after Ben crawls down to the street and into a construction site. Ben crawls from one steel beam to another while the cat and mouse look on. Jerry manages to catch up, and saves Ben from crawling off a wooden plank by grabbing his diaper. The diaper comes loose, and as Ben falls, he is then caught by Tom. Tom attempts to put Bendiaper back on, but in the impending confusion, ends up putting the diaper on himself while Ben crawls off, nonchalantly.

Tom and Jerry catch up with Ben, only to lose him again, and fearing that he has crawled into a cement mixer, the cat and mouse dive straight in, only to find that Ben never did enter the mixer but instead playing with a hammer. Ben then playfully bonks Tom on the head.

Later on, Jeannie is in panic and crying, telling a police officer that she was babysitting, took her eye off Ben for "one teensy minute", and since she turned her back on when the girl answered the phone, Ben was gone. Tired, Tom and Jerry arrive with Ben. Jeannie grabs Ben while the two try to escape, but fail the police officer (voiced by Bill Thompson) arrests Tom and Jerry, assuming that they were the "baby nappers". In the police car, the police officer cannot believe Tom and Jerry's explanation. Just then, to their surprise, Ben crawls past the police car and away into the distance.

Quotes

  • Jeannie: Yes Ma'am.

  • Jeannie: Goodbye. Hi it's me, Jeannie. Oh no I'm babysitting for two hours oh hehehe he's silly oh oh I did yeah I have a date already oh no you kidding she wouldn't do that.

  • Jeannie: Scat you bad cat!

  • Jeannie: Hi it's me again. Oh no the baby's all right. It's that cat after watch.

  • Jeannie: Scat you bad cat!

  • Jeannie: That cat keeps bothering the baby. Oh no, he did, really?

  • Jeannie: Gasp oh that's right I saw him in a drive in swell show kid huh?

  • Jeannie: Yeah it's that darn cat again yeah if I could get a passing grade in Algebra oh? I hate Algebra gosh whoever thought that stuff up?

  • Jeannie: I just turn my back for one teensy minute, and she's oh and the baby was gone! Oh please officer you must get that baby back you-- There's the baby!
  • (Tom and Jerry arrive tired holding the baby and Jeannie grabs the baby. Tom and Jerry try to escape, but the Police Officer grab them)
  • Police Officer: Gotcha, ya babynappers. [both animals are now arrested in the police car that the police officer is driving. The light changes from green to red as the sign changes from "GO" to "STOP" and the police car stops] A baby crawlin' down the street?! Now who would be after believin' that?! [Just then, to their surprise, the baby crawls past the police car and away into the distance, as the cartoon ends.]

Trivia

  • This features the final appearances of Joan and her baby. This also marks the final appearance of Jeannie, who was hated by fans due to her character often bordering on neglecting her job as a babysitter.
  • Joan's husband George is absent in this cartoon.
  • This marks the last of a few things:
    • The final Tom and Jerry cartoon to be produced in Cinemascope as the Gene Deitch and Chuck Jones era returned to the 4:3 Academy format used from 1940-1955.
    • The final Tom and Jerry production to be produced in Widescreen until Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars.
    • The last episode to use the Classic MGM sound effects until the Chuck Jones cartoon, Ah, Sweet Mouse-Story of Life.
  • This reissue cartoon marks the last of a few things:
    • The final Tom and Jerry reissue cartoon to use the 1953-1958 blue-background blue ribbon MGM Cartoons logo until it was modified for cartoons released in CinemaScope starting with the Tom and Jerry cartoon Pet Peeve.
    • The final reissue cartoon to have the 1953-55 Tom and Jerry title card.
    • The final Tom and Jerry reissue cartoon to be produced in the 4:3 Academy format as the Gene Deitch and Chuck Jones era returned to the said format.
    • The final reissue cartoon to use the ending quotes "An MGM Tom and Jerry Cartoon. Made in Hollywood, U.S.A.". It wouldn't be used again in the Chuck Jones era title cards, starting in the 1963 short, Penthouse Mouse.

Reception

Pan and Scan to 4:3 version's reception

The pan-and-scan version of this short was heavily panned by fans, as many important elements are cropped out, such as near the end, Jeannie takes the baby out of Tom's hand is not shown, but shows the baby being removed from Tom (looks as if the baby vanished out of nowhere).

Episode's reception

This short is unpopular with fans, and often considered to be a weak end to the 1940-1958 era of Tom and Jerry. This is mainly due to the lack of slapstick in its plot, Jeannie's negligence of taking care of the baby (which is even worse than in Busy Buddies) and the ending where Tom and Jerry get falsely arrested by a police officer (who accuses them of baby napping).

Censorships

  • This short was banned in Morocco because of the arrest of Tom and Jerry, the interrogation with the police, and the child's victory.

Copyright Gag

Despite this Tom and Jerry short being released in 1958, the roman numerals in the copyright credit reads 'MCMLVII' as it is dated in 1957.

Gallery

References

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