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Title card of Cannery Rodent
|Directed by||Chuck Jones|
Maurice Noble (co-director)
|Produced by||Chuck Jones|
Les Goldman (production supervisor)
|Story by||Chuck Jones|
|Music by||Dean Elliott|
|Animation by||Ben Washam|
O. B. Barkley
Cannery Rodent is a 1967 Tom and Jerry cartoon produced, written and directed by Chuck Jones. It was the final Tom and Jerry cartoon written and directed by Chuck Jones, and one of the very last of the theatrical Tom and Jerry cartoons to be released by MGM. The title, Cannery Rodent is a play-on-words of the John Steinbeck novel Cannery Row.
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Tom chases Jerry onto a dock, and as they soon both end up in a can factory, they end up being put into cans during the opening credits. After they come out of the cans (one reads "Tom" and the other reads "Jerry", each with their face on the respective cans), Tom cuts open the top of his can with his claw and releases himself. When Jerry sees Tom, he jumps and runs outside of the can factory, with Tom chasing him, making the fish cans spill everywhere.
As Jerry in his can rolls out of the way, Tom is carried out by the rolling fish cans and off the pier, until he glides through the air and stops as his tail, then his arm, and then his body register that gravity is imminent. Tom dangles in midair, has his face stretched, and finally falls into the sea. Tom soon jumps out of the water, white with fear, followed by a hungry shark. The cat grabs onto an offshoot of the pier and pulls himself down so as to flip himself just out of the way of the attacking shark below him. The cat then gets splattered with a drop of water and jumps back onto the pier as the shark laughs evilly. Tom responds by throwing an anchor onto the receding shark's head, causing him to badmouth the cat as Tom taunts him.
Tom returns to chasing the mouse when he hears his can clattering across the wood floor. Jerry stops at Tom's foot, and leaps into the air, but is then caught and opened. The cat repeatedly shakes the open can to get the mouse out of it with no results, and sticks a finger inside to get bitten by the mouse, with painful results. He finally pulls Jerry out of the can, and as both of them realize the situation, Jerry releases his death grip, shows his smile to the camera, and kicks Tom's face as he starts the chase. The two chase through the huts and across the pier until Jerry stops at the end of the pier while Tom goes off the end. The cat looks back to see Jerry waving at him and can barely turn back around before he slams into a porthole, taking on its shape, and then falling into the sea to meet the shark once again.
Tom swims out of the way with the shark continues to snap at him. The cat climbs a ladder while the shark eats through the wood columns under the pier. The shark swims back and takes a leap toward the cat on top of the pier and gets smacked on the head with an oar before falling back into the water. He emerges and glares at Tom as the cat taunts him once again, only this time, the shark leaps out of the water and grabs Tom (and part of the pier decking) in his jaws. Jerry peers through the resulting hole at the terrifying situation below: Tom is hanging onto the oar, which braces the shark's mouth open. It breaks this brace, until Tom his legs to brace instead, staving off doom for a little longer. Fortunately, Jerry saves him by dumping an entire canister of pepper into the shark's mouth, causing the leviathan to sneeze and launch himself around the water and into the canning machine, where he is stuffed into a big can with his frowning picture on it.
As Jerry relaxes and obtains a halo for his good deed, an ungrateful Tom grabs him and pops Jerry's halo with devil horns that appear on his head, chuckling evilly. Jerry chuckles innocently and sneezes himself out of the cat's paw, off his horns, and into the water, immediately followed by the cat. Tom's searching on the scene, only to become terrified when he screams that he has found another shark fin on a beeline coming towards him, he panics and swims away with lightning speed on the fin keeping pace. However, it is revealed that the fin is actually by Jerry's creation, who is now shown swimming underneath the water. Jerry turns his head towards the camera with a devilish smile on his face and also grows his own devil horns while he continues to chase back in swimming after the cat and into the sunset as the cartoon closes.