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Professor Tom
Tom and Jerry series

Title card
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Produced by Fred Quimby
Story by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Music by Scott Bradley
Animation by Ray Patterson
Irven Spence
Kenneth Muse
Ed Barge
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) October 30, 1948
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:47
Language Not language specific
Preceded by Old Rockin' Chair Tom
Followed by Mouse Cleaning

Professor Tom is a 1948 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 37th Tom and Jerry cartoon released, directed by the duo's creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, produced by Fred Quimby, and animated by Ray Patterson, Irven Spence, Kenneth Muse and Ed Barge.


Tom is a professor trying to teach a small brown kitten of a cousin named Topsy. On the blackboard is the lesson, "Mice live in holes, cats chase mice." This lesson is boring to little Topsy, who manages to fall asleep in class, which leads his instructor to tap on the blackboard as if to say, "Hey, you! Pay attention!" As Tom tries to emphasize the lesson, Jerry has written that, "Mice are very nice." Tom sees this and screams. He is just about to grab Jerry when he takes his piece of chalk and makes a loud screech on the chalkboard, hurting Tom's ears. Tom corners and catches Jerry, but lets him go after Topsy makes another screech on the chalkboard. Tom again teaches his student that cats chase mice and he sends him on his way. The kitten starts to run toward Jerry and when he reaches him, Jerry shakes hands with Topsy. This causes Tom to scream, "NO!" in aggravation and the chase continues.

The chase goes into the living room and Topsy runs into a chair, then Topsy gets stuck between a couch and a table with Jerry helping him get free. The chase goes into the bathroom, but Topsy ends up slipping on the rug and crashing through the glass shower door. Tom runs off to search for Jerry and then he screams when he sees him teaching the kitten that, "Cats and mice are buddies, cats and mice are pals, cats and mice are chums." But the lesson is cut short when Tom interrupts. Jerry responds by poking him with the pointer, tickling him. Jerry then hands the stick to Topsy; when Tom realizes that he is being poked by his student, he sends him on his way to catch Jerry, but not before Tom redirects Topsy in the direction of Jerry. Tom then starts to chase Jerry in a circle after handing Topsy a vase. After a few laps around, Tom stands right behind Topsy and points to the vase, then points to Jerry as if to say "Hit him". Topsy instead thinks he means to say, "Give it to the mouse". He gives it to Jerry and he hits Tom.

Jerry runs to his hole and Tom grabs a cigar and begins to repeatedly inhale the smoke and blow it into Jerry's mousehole, but the smoking soon makes him literally turn green with sickness and pass out. Jerry then emerges from the mousehole with a clothespin on his nose seeing a sick Tom. Tom soon recovers and jumps at him, but Jerry stuffs the cigar into his face, making him sick all over again.[1]

Jerry runs back to Topsy, who then grabs him. Tom returns and, realizing that his student has finally learned, shakes his hand, kisses him, and then pats him on the head as if to say "Good job you caught the mouse!". Afterwards, he holds his hand out as if to say, "Let me have him," but Topsy refuses and releases Jerry. Tom begins to chase Jerry, but Topsy trips him. Irritated, Tom then grabs Topsy and begins to spank him. Seeing this, Jerry helps Topsy by breaking the tip of Tom's tail over his knee; Tom screams maniacally in pain and Topsy escapes.

Jerry then runs on a carpet and Tom traps him by rolling it up. As Tom takes the carpet outside, Jerry escapes and even helps Tom throw the carpet (and himself) into a garden pool. Jerry runs back into the house and slams the door in Tom's face and closes the windows before Tom can get in, trapping Tom's fingers in the process. After the front door gets slammed in Tom's face, Tom decides to break the door down. He takes a few steps back to get a good running start, ultimately running towards the door at full force. Jerry sees this through the mail slot and quickly clears the way for Tom. Topsy then opens the door and promptly gets flattened (literally) by a barrelling Tom. Jerry then runs to the back of the house and stretches an innertube across two posts on the backyard deck. Still running at full speed, Tom plows into the innertube and get sling-shotted back through the house and through the mailbox with his backside hanging out.

Jerry arrives with a 2x4 board and just feels like whacking Tom when Topsy then stops him. After petting Tom's backside gently, Topsy gives Tom a solid whack. The little kitten then takes Tom's hat, places it on Jerry's head, and the two buddies walk away, arm in arm. ("We're Off to See the Wizard", from the score of The Wizard of Oz, is briefly quoted on the soundtrack.)




  1. "Smoke's no joke for Tom and Jerry". BBC News Online (BBC). 21 August 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5271470.stm. Retrieved 13 June 2009. 

External links

Category:1948 animated films Category:Tom and Jerry short films Category:Films directed by Joseph Barbera Category:Films directed by William Hanna Category:1940s American animated films Category:1940s comedy films