80-27 "The Kitten Sitters"
Tom and Jerry are left at home in the care of Spike, the family watchdog, who tries to keep order in the house. But when Tom and Jerry take in a litter of six abandoned kittens and try to keep them hidden, chaos is the result. Spike finds one kitten and puts it outside, thinking his troubles are over. When he finds another one, though, he wonders if he has gone crazy. It seems as if the pet bird, the fish and even the coo-coo clock are saying "meow." Spike decides to split before he totally cracks up, when, at last he discovers all six kittens hiding in his doghouse. Relieved to find himself sane after all, Spike welcomes the new kittens.
Trivia & Notes:
- "The Kitten Sitters," to a great extent, was inspired by the classic MGM T&J short Puppy Tale (1954).
- The goldfish tank and canary cage Tom crashes into after slipping on a rug while chasing Jerry are references to the classic shorts Jerry And The Goldfish (1951) and The Flying Cat (1952).
- The presence of the cuckoo clock here is a homage to one used as a tool in 1942's Dog Trouble, which marked the debut of Spike (first called Butch).
- Another New Tom & Jerry cartoon bearing a title using the word "Kitten" is "The Police Kitten" (#80-28).
80-21 "Termites Plus Two"
While Tom & Jerry rock in their rocking chairs reading their morning paper, Professor Fixit's Weekly Household Tip on the radio warns of the termite season, and their home must be treated for termites before any damage. Just then, actual termites start attacking Tom and Jerry's house, first gnawing away their rocking chairs as they sit in them. A magnifying glass reveals the termites as a motorcycle gang with rotary saw blades for wheels as they take off in a cloud of sawdust. Tom and Jerry try everything to get rid of the termites--DDT spray, a platter of a log topped with whipped cream and a cherry, a super vacuum cleaner, and even an anteater!--but all their efforts fail. Finally they hop into their station wagon to escape while their house crumbles behind them (giving new meaning to the term "eaten out of house and home"!), but even the car disintegrates. They ride away on the car's steering wheel, with the termite horde still in a hot pursuit.
Trivia & Notes:
- "Termites Plus Two" is delightfully reminiscent of termite-themed theatrical cartoons of the past, such as The Housing Problem (TerryToons, 1946), Termites From Mars, with Woody Woodpecker (1952), and Insect To Injury, featuring Popeye (1956).
- This is one of many occasions which see T&J driving in a vehicle; they are seen in a hotrod in episode #80-26, "The Sorcerer's Apprentices," and a convertible in #80-36, "Triple Trouble." Also, they are seen in a police car in #80-28, "The Police Kitten," a tractor in #80-39, "Son Of Gopher Broke," a vet's ambulance in #80-23, "The Hypochondriac Lion," and a Catcar in #80-29, "Two Stars Are Born."
- The scene in "Termites Plus Two" of Tom & Jerry running on a log is based on the first scene in the syndicated opening credits.
- Professor Fixit's (voiced by John Stephenson) Weekly Household Tip is heard on the radio. It parallels numerous classic MGM T&J cartoons which made use of radio programs, including Fraidy Cat (1942), The Zoot Cat (1944) and The Missing Mouse (1953).
- Tom actually jumps into Jerry's arms in one scene!
80-24 "Planet Pest"
A mischievous pink alien being, with the ability to transmogrify into anything (or anyone) he comes in contact with, lands on planet Earth and watches Tom & Jerry build a foot long sandwich. He tricks Tom into letting him in by knocking on the door and, when Tom answers, bouncing inside while Tom isn't looking. The alien consumes the sandwich and, harasses Tom by using his gift of his constant metamorphoses and masquerades as Jerry. While Tom dangles from a tree limb, the alien then disturbs Spike by disguising himself as Tom & Jerry. Spike, believing this is a dream, humiliates the real T&J while the alien bounces inside the house to consume more goodies. The chase continues from door to door in the house, until finally, they all corner themselves inside a dark closet, where the light switches on and off and reveals a second self of Tom and Spike, each holding a sandwich! Spike, Tom and Jerry then develop a nervous breakdown. The doctor examines the three in bed and diagnoses that they suffer from a cute (or not so cute!) case of hallucination, and in showing them, he trans forms into Spike, then Tom, then Jerry, and then his old self again. The alien immediately dashes aboard his mini space ship and heads back for his own planet.
Trivia & Notes:
- This is the first of three paths Tom & Jerry cross with an extraterrestrial(s); the next two are in "Two Stars Are Born" and Episode #80-43, "Planet Of The Dogs."
- Three classic Tom & Jerry cartoons can be referenced in "Planet Pest." The scene in this cartoon of Thomas wrecking Spike's doghouse is reminiscent of a running gag used in the 1952 MGM T&J short entitled, oddly enough, The Dog House. The scene of Spike, Tom and Jerry developing a nervous breakdown after seeing doppelgangers of Tom and Spike reflects a similar climax of 1957's Timid Tabby. And T&J raiding the fridge for goodies recalls a similar segue from 1941's The Midnight Snack.
- Inanimate objects the alien transforms into: a welcome mat, a box of Blobo Detergent, a bar of soap, and a table. Notice all of these objects, like the alien, are pink!
- For some strange reason, Spike doesn't know Tom and Jerry's names! He refers to Thomas as "Cat!", and when Gerald wakes him up, he responds, "Hey! Mices don't do that to bulldogs!"