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Fireman's Life, A


May also be titled "Hook & Ladder Hokum". You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.

Tom and Jerry are fictional characters that starred in a series of early sound cartoons produced by the Van Beuren Studios, and distributed by RKO Pictures. The series lasted from 1931 to 1933. When Official Films purchased the Van Beuren library in the 1950s, the characters were renamed Dick and Larry to avoid confusion with Tom and Jerry, the famous MGM cartoon series of the 1940s and 1950s. Today, animation historians er to the characters as Van Beuren's Tom and Jerry. Today, all of these cartoons are in the public domain.
Joseph Barbera began his career as an animator and storyman on this series. In 1940, Barbera co-created with William Hanna another duo of cartoon characters using the same names: a cat and mouse named Tom and Jerry.
The characters were a Mutt and Jeff-like pair, one short (Jerry) and one tall (Tom). Each cartoon featured a different adventure and the plot varied from film to film. Sometimes they were lawyers, hunters, plumbers, hobos, etc. The duo were likely named after the stage play and/or the mixed drink of the same name, both of which predated the duo by a century. Stylistically, the cartoons were similar to those made by Fleischer Studios, which like Van Beuren Studios was located in New York City. According to Markstein's Toonopedia, Fleischer staff sometimes moonlighted at Van Beuren's, which was situated just across the road (accounting for the many visual similarities between the two). Tom and Jerry's adventures were generally absurdist comedies, featuring bizarre imagery, racist themes, and more than a few (minor) sexual erences. One 1932 short (Piano Tooners) introduced a "flapper" character clearly derived from Fleischer's Betty Boop, further demonstrating the stylistic relationship between the two studios. Tom and Jerry, however, did not obtain popularity of the type Mickey Mouse, Betty Boop, and Bosko had, and the series was cancelled in 1933.

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