Review: Part Time Pal (1947)

>> Saturday, November 5, 2011

USA/C-8m./Dir: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera/ /Cast: Tom (Himself)), Jerry (Himself), Mammy Two-Shoes (Lillian Randolph)

When one thinks of the great animation studios of the golden age of Hollywood, Disney and Warner Brothers immediately spring to mind. However, in the 1940’s the Best Animated Short Oscar was awarded to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer more than any other studio; and all but one of those awards were for cartoons starring a blue-gray cat and a brown mouse.

From 1940 to 1958, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera produced 114 Tom and Jerry shorts, earning seven Academy Awards in the process (tied with Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies as the animated series with the most Oscar wins). Not only were the cat and mouse team award magnets; their comedy formula of chase and violence influenced animation of the time and forever after, from the Road Runner to Roger Rabbit to Itchy & Scratchy.

Being that the original Tom and Jerry series lasted 18 years, Hanna and Barbera employed numerous variations on the core idea of “cat chases mouse.” It was inevitable that alcohol would eventually be incorporated into the shenanigans; and in 1947 Tom got plastered in Part Time Pal,the team’s most booze-centric short.

The cartoon begins with the painfully stereotypical housekeeper, Mammy Two-Shoes (Lillian Randolph), threatening to throw Tom out of the house if he allows Jerry to once again sneak into the refrigerator. Despite Tom’s best efforts at guarding the ice box, the mouse outsmarts him and a chase ensues. Tom, of course, gets the worst of it, slipping on some bottles and tumbling down the cellar stairs into a barrel of hard cider. Under the influence of the fermented fluid, Tom sees Jerry as a pal and is more than happy to help the rodent to the contents of the fridge. Unfortunately for Jerry, all conviviality subsides when Tom is hit with the hangover.

Part Time Pal is a serviceable short with some clever inebriated gags. In terms of quality, it falls squarely in the middle of Tom and Jerry series. The animation and writing are not top quality, but there are also Hanna and Barbera shorts that are far worse. The main thing that distinguishes this particular short is the use of drunken behavior as the cartoon’s central theme. Fans of soused cinema will likely notice similarities between Tom and Jerry’s on-again-off-again relationship in this cartoon and the vacillating friendship of the tramp and millionaire in Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece, City Lights (1931).

Drinks Consumed--Hard cider and Bay Rum cologne

Intoxicating Effects
--Staggering, hiccups, conviviality, slurred speech, destruction of property, and hangover

Potent Quotables--TOM: Hiccup!

Video Availability--The first 37 Tom and Jerry shorts, including Part Time Pal, have been remastered and released in the Tom and Jerry - Golden Collection, Vol. 1 on both Blu-Rayand DVD. The cartoons are presented uncut, preserving ethnic stereotypes that were a product of their time. This is one of the most beautiful animation packages presented on disc and is highly recommended.

Similarly Sauced Cinema--The original animated cat gets loopy on joy juice in the 1928 short Felix the Cat Woos Whoopee.

Tom and Jerry - Golden Collection, Vol. 1 (Blu-Ray) Tom and Jerry - Golden Collection, Vol. 1 (Blu-Ray)


468X60 RENTAL - James Stewart Animated Gif (44kb)

About Me

My photo
I like to drink. I like to watch movies. I like to watch movies about drinking. I like to write about the movies I’ve watched, but only if I’ve had a drink first.

All text including the title "Booze Movies: The 100 Proof Film Guide" Copyright William T. Garver

  © Blogger templates Romantico by 2008

Back to TOP