THE INVISIBLE MOUSE (1947)
Article 5214 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
Voice cast unknown
What it is: Tom and Jerry Cartoon
Jerry jumps into a bottle of invisible ink while escaping from Tom, and discovers it makes him transparent. He decides to use this ability to torment Tom.
Recently, I read that Chuck Jones envisioned the Road Runner cartoons initially as a parody of the Tom and Jerry cartoons, with the intent of showing how stupid the whole chase format was. They ended up becoming popular in their own right, and I think much of that has to do with the Jones’s exquisite comic timing and the heightened air of absurdity to the whole concept. I love the Road Runner cartoons, but despite the fact that I’d like to like them, I’m afraid a lot of the Tom and Jerrys leave me cold. Even this one, which has the fantastic gimmick of Jerry turning invisible, feels like a routine exercise in the duo’s modus operandi of torturing each other; except for a section in the middle where Tom thinks he’s going out of his head, the invisibility gimmick doesn’t do a whole lot to change the pattern. This one is rated pretty high on IMDB which means it’s probably a favorite of fans of the series, but the gags just don’t hit my funny bone; they seem obvious and predictable. It may just come down to the fact that I’m not a Tom and Jerry fan.