THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1941)
Article 4774 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Joseph Barbera and William Hanna
Voice cast unknown
What it is: Tom and Jerry holiday cartoon
Jerry explores the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve, but crosses paths with Tom when he mistakes the latter for a stuffed animal.
Given that this is a Tom and Jerry cartoon, there is a certain amount of knockabout humor to the proceedings here. However, since it’s also a Christmas-themed cartoon, it gravitates more in the direction of whimsy, especially in the opening scene where Jerry does his exploration. Fans of the series like to point out that despite the violence, Tom and Jerry are friends; though that may not come through on certain individual cartoons. It does on this one, since the last part of the cartoon deals with Tom’s feelings of guilt when he locks Jerry out in the freezing storm, and the friendship drives the rest of the events in the cartoon. As a result, I end up liking this one somewhat more than the last Tom and Jerry cartoon I saw; it captures one of the more endearing aspects of the series, because that friendship offers a good counterpoint to the violence.