On March 5, 2021, Warner Bros. will release their animated comedy Tom & Jerry, featuring the cartoon characters introduced in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and made famous through hundreds of theatrical shorts that MGM distributed to theatres in the 40’s and 50’s to play before their features. During those years, the on-screen feuding between Tom the Cat and Jerry the Mouse matched the popularity of Warner Bros’ famous Looney Toons characters created by Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng. Since that time, animated characters featured in cartoon shorts have grown up to become headliners in their own Hollywood blockbusters. As one more example, this week MGM announced plans to produce a modern reimagining of the Pink Panther using live-action/CGI animation, directed by James Fowler, whose prior successes include Sonic the Hedgehog.
“Bill Hanna and I owe an awful lot to television, but we both got our star and built the first phase of our partnership in the movies.” – Joseph Barbera