The Missing Mouse is the 73rd one reel American animated Tom and Jerry short, created in 1951, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and produced by Fred Quimby. It was the first and only cartoon in the Hanna-Barbera era (1940-1958) that the music was not composed by Scott Bradley. Instead, Edward Plumb scored the music for this cartoon. It was animated by Ray Patterson, Ed Barge, Kenneth Muse and Irven Spence, with backgrounds by Robert Gentle. It was released on January 10, 1953 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Jerry tries to steal food from the refrigerator while he is unknowingly being watched by Tom. Jerry is then attacked (having an orange squirt in his face and swatted by pies). When Jerry looks back at Tom, he accidentally runs into a wall.
The cat laughs and sits down, and Jerry breaks out of the wall and onto the floor. The impact tips over a bottle of white shoe polish from the shelf above over and spills its contents onto Jerry, painting him white. Tom reads a magazine and listens to the radio until a breaking news story is announced that an escaped laboratory white mouse who has consumed enough explosives that can blow up an entire city is on the loose. The slightest jar would cause the mouse to explode, much to Tom's appalled horror.
While listening to this, Jerry knows that Tom will mistake him for the white mouse and decides to have some fun. Tom slams the open window shut and relaxes himself by eating some nuts. As he breaks open the nuts with a hammer, Jerry uses this opportunity and stands on the table. Tom grabs the mouse, thinking he is a nut, but stops the hammer when he feels Jerry, and looks to see the white mouse and his hammer droops down.
Tom jumps away and dashes to the phone to call the police. Jerry whistles at him and tries to fall off the table, and Tom immediately sets a pillow for Jerry to fall on. Tom tries make a call again, but Jerry draws attention to himself trying to drop the lid of the piano onto himself, and Tom has to substitute his head. Tom sneaks away and tries to make a call a third time, but sees Jerry jumping off a butter knife. Tom blows Jerry to safety. Jerry drops an iron towards the cat. He blows his lungs out before it lands in his face.
Tom begins a chase, which ends quickly when Jerry threatens to hit himself with a hammer. The cat begs him not to do it, and Jerry takes this chance to whack his enemy on the head. Tom stopped by the mouse renewing his "suicidal" threat allows Jerry to hit him on the head several times. Satisfied, the rodent filches a few cookies, which gives the cat the chance to swipe the hammer.
In response, Jerry bounces himself on the counter making the cat flinch. The mouse continues bouncing across the counter, but does not see the sink full of water. He jumps out and doesn't realize the polish has washed off. Tom grins and allows Jerry to bounce and hit himself with the hammer. Not knowing he's been exposed, Jerry hits himself even harder and ends up bruising himself. Tom then takes the hammer and pounds Jerry into the counter like a nail. He then grabs Jerry by the tail and takes him to the mirror to show him devoid of the polish. After giggling bashfully in an attempt to laugh the whole thing off, Jerry is then thrown out of the house by Tom.
The 'true' white mouse appears as Tom kicks Jerry out and runs into the house. Tom goes back to reading his magazine and he hears the white mouse eating some nuts. Thinking that Jerry is trying to fool him again, Tom tries to attack him with his hammer and catches him, then tries to wash the "polish" off in the fishbowl but it doesn't work. He tries using a washboard only to hear a whistle, Jerry reveals himself grinning from an open window. Tom realizes that he must be holding the real white mouse and the shock of it causes him to age into an old man. Trembling due to his suddenly accelerated age, Tom sets the mouse down then fumbles to call the police, but snaps back to reality when the radio announcer comes back on the air with important news that the mouse will not explode.
Tom is instantly rejuvenated and takes the white mouse to kick him out of the window, then Jerry jumps out of the window. The moment Tom's foot makes contact, the mouse causes a massive explosion which reduces the entire neighborhood to rubble, leaving only the radio speaker intact. The radio announcer states: "We repeat, the white mouse will not explode". Tom emerges badly injured and drones, "Don't you believe it!" (repeating the 1944's film Mouse Trouble) as the cartoon closes.Paul Frees as the News Announcer
Harry E. Lang as Tom
Directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
Animation: Ray Patterson, Ed Barge, Kenneth Muse, Irven Spence
Backgrounds: Robert Gentle
Music: Edward Plumb
Title Music: Scott Bradley
Produced by Fred Quimby
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