The Missing Mouse

The Missing Mouse

Infobox Hollywood cartoon
cartoon_name = The Missing Mouse
series = Tom and Jerry

caption = Title card of "The Missing Mouse".
director = William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
story_artist = William Hanna (unc.)
Joseph Barbera (unc.)
animator = Ray Patterson Ed Barge Kenneth Muse Irven Spence
background_artist = Robert Gentle
voice_actor = Paul Frees (as the news announcer, uncredited)
musician = Edward Plumb
producer = Fred Quimby
studio =
distributor = Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
release_date = January 10, 1953
color_process = Technicolor
runtime = 6 minutes 33 seconds
preceded_by = "The Dog House"
followed_by = "Jerry and Jumbo"
movie_language = English
imdb_id = 0046078

"The Missing Mouse" is the 73rd one reel 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.


The cartoon opens with Jerry carrying cheese and milk from the refrigerator as Tom watches him from on top of it. As Jerry takes an orange, Tom slams the door, soaking Jerry. Jerry runs to the end of a counter, but Tom grabs two pies and splatters the mouse between them. The chase continues as Tom holds a mouse trap out for Jerry's tail, but the mouse pulls his tail away. However, he is looking in the wrong direction, and instead of into his hole, runs into the wall. Tom laughs and Jerry breaks out of the wall and onto the floor. This causes a bottle of white shoe polish being poured on him, turning him into a white mouse. Tom is reading a magazine and listening to the radio until a breaking news story is announced:

"Your attention please! We interrupt this broadcast to bring you this urgent warning. A white mouse has just escaped from the experimental laboratories! Before escaping, he consumed enough of a new secret explosive to blow up an entire city! If you see this white mouse, telephone officials at once! And whatever you do, remember! The slightest jar will explode this white mouse and destroy the entire city! Be careful! Please, be careful!"

This petrifies the cat, who runs to close the window. He sits on the couch and starts eating some nuts. As he breaks open the nuts with a hammer, Jerry uses this opportunity to scare the cat around and stands on the table. Tom grabs Jerry, thinking he is a nut, but stops the hammer when he feels Jerry, and sees a white mouse. Tom jumps away in utter fear and dashes to the phone to call the police. Jerry whistles at him and tries to fall off the table, and Tom provides a pillow. Tom tries to call the police again, but instead notices Jerry trying to crush himself with the lid of the piano. Tom has to substitute his head.

Tom sneaks away to use the phone again but instead sees Jerry jumping off a butter knife. Tom blows Jerry to safety, but fails to do the same when Jerry drops an iron towards the cat. He blows his lungs out before getting smashed.

Tom chases the mouse, who runs to a hammer and threatens to hit himself with it. Tom begs Jerry not to do it, and Jerry takes this chance to whack the cat on the head. Tom tries to grab Jerry and Jerry threatens to hit himself again. Tom backs off and smiles and allows Jerry to hit him on the head several times. Tom then sneaks up on Jerry while he is eating a cookie, and takes the hammer away from Jerry. In response, Jerry bounces himself in the counter and gets the cat to flinch. The mouse continues bouncing across the counter, but then falls into a sink full of water. Jerry tries to bounce again, but Tom sees that the polish has washed off and does nothing. Jerry runs to the hammer and hits himself with it, but Tom only leans closer to the mouse as if to say "Oh, yeah?". Jerry hits himself a little harder and ends up knocking himself silly. Tom then takes the hammer and pounds Jerry into the counter like a nail. Tom then grabs Jerry by the tail and shows him his reflection, sans polish. Jerry smiles and Tom kicks Jerry out of the house.

Meanwhile, the real white mouse appears through the mail slot and as Tom kicks Jerry out of the house, he runs into the house. Tom goes back to reading his magazine and he hears the white mouse eating some nuts. Thinking that he's Jerry, Tom tries to attack him with his hammer and catches him. Tom tries to wash the white mouse in the fishbowl, but it doesn't work. He tries using a washboard, and he hears Jerry whistling from the windowsill. Tom realizes that he is carrying the real white mouse and ages 50 years! He calls the police, but the radio announcer comes back on the air and says:

"Your attention please! We have just learned from laboratory officials that the explosive contained in the white mouse is no longer dangerous. And they have assured us the mouse will not explode."

Tom cheers up instantly and takes the white mouse to be kicked out of the window. As Tom kicks the white mouse, a massive explosion takes place reducing the house to a giant crater. All that is left is rubble and the speaker of the radio which states:

"We repeat, the white mouse will not explode."

Tom emerges from a pile of rubble and eerily drones, "Don't you believe it!"


*Paul Frees was the voice of the news announcer.
*Tom's line ""Don't you believe it!" was also used in "Mouse Trouble". The origin of that particular line has been debated for many years, but it is widely believed to have begun as a radio show catchphrase.
*This is the only cartoon in the Hanna Barbera era without music by Scott Bradley.

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