Mice Follies: 8 reasons to watch this classic Tom & Jerry short
Mice on ice is twice as nice.
In 1954, Joseph Barbera and William Hanna directed Mice Follies, featuring two of their most beloved characters, the house cat, Tom, and his adversary, the mouse named Jerry.
In addition to the two title mammals, Mice Follies features Nibbles, the tinier, grey mouse by Jerry's side. If that little guy isn't enough to draw you in, here are eight great reasons to watch Mice Follies.
1. Historical Note
This cartoon is notable for being the final Tom and Jerry short to feature the red MGM logo. The next toon featuring the nemeses had MGM's Leo the Lion within a blue title card. Still had that same iconic roar, though!
2. Time Capsule
Right down to the title, Mice Follies is a fun look back at mid-century America. In the 1950s, the touring Ice Follies production was very popular. The show, similar in concept to Ice Capades, brought a variety of ice-related performances to rinks and arenas and even the World's Fair.
Robert Gentle is one of the great artists that shepherded this short into existence. His background work brings cohesion to contain the chaos. The detail in the background art grounds the actions in reality, even as things get ridiculous. Pay attention, please, to the beautiful icicles that Gentle drew.
Scott Bradley's music elevates every part of this cartoon. The drums as Tom slips about on the ice create the perfect soundtrack. Twice during the cartoon, as Jerry and Nibbles skate around, Bradley interpolates Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty Waltz into the score. The melody was also the basis for Disney's "Once Upon a Dream" five years later in Sleeping Beauty.
5. Peak Nibbles
Not only is Nibbles here, but also, he is in rare form, folks. Our favorite adorable little guy pulls off every task this time out. In fact, this is the only Tom and Jerry short featuring Nibbles where he doesn't mess up and make Jerry upset. He's such a good little guy! Look at him execute perfectly! Yes, Nibbles!
6. Peak Physical Comedy
The sequence wherein Tom can't get his footing on the ice is worth the price of admission alone. Tom is somehow both believably feline and relatable human as he scrambles to stay upright atop the sheet of ice. Paired with Scott Bradley's music, Tom's limbs flailing about are a high point of this—or any—cartoon.
7. The Appliances!
People in the '50s loved their appliances. "Convenience" was the word of the decade, and breakthroughs put consumer-grade pricing on new technology in the kitchen and elsewhere. Luxury was but an arm's reach away!
8. Mice on Ice
If you really need further persuasion to give Mice Follies a chance, consider this: Where else would you get Olympic-level ice skating from mice (outside of Chicago in February?) The Winter Games are only contested once every four years. Mice on Ice, though, is forever.