Annie was watching Tom & Jerry this weekend and becoming increasingly upset. She pulled me close, and in a high pitched voice full of urgency, said: "JERRY IS REALLY, REALLY MEAN TO TOM, MOMMY!"
"Why do you think that is?" I asked.
"HE'S JUST A MEAN MOUSE! HE PLAYS TRICKS! JERRY ATE THE CHICKEN AND THEN HE PRETENNED THAT HE DIDN'T AND THE OLD LADY CAME HOME AND THEN TOM GOT IN TROUBLE BUT HE DIDN'T EAT THE CHICKEN AND IT IS NOT FAIR AND JERRY IS A VERY BAD MOUSE. I HATE JERRY MOMMY! WHY IS HE SO MEAN TO TOM?"
Oh the humanity. What would a good mom say here? Hmmm. Perhaps the truth?
"Tom wants to eat Jerry," I explained, "Cats eat mice."
"NO! TOM JUST WANTS TO HOLD JERRY!! IN HIS HANDS! HE JUST WANTS TO HOLD HIM! SOMETIMES HE JUST WANTS TO HOLD HIM IN HIS MOUTH! HE IS A GOOD CAT!"
Ok. Perhaps I should consult Wikipedia:
Because they seem to get along in some cartoon shorts (at least in the first minute or so), it is unclear why Tom chases Jerry so much, but some reasons given may include normal feline/mouse enmity, duty according to his owner, revenge, or competition with another cat, among other reasons.
Tom rarely succeeds in catching Jerry, mainly because of Jerry's craftiness and cunning abilities, but sometimes because of Tom's own stupidity. Tom usually beats Jerry when Jerry becomes the instigator or when he crosses some sort of line.
The shorts are famous for some of the most violent gags ever devised in theatrical animation: Jerry slicing Tom in half, Tom using everything from axes, pistols, dynamite, and poison to try to murder Jerry, Jerry stuffing Tom's tail in a waffle iron, plugging his tail into an electric socket, hitting him with a mace and so on. Despite all the violence, there is no blood or gore in any scenes.
Good to know.
Why do I think Kip and I should start worrying about the type of guy Annie may end up bringing home one day?