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The title card of Switchin' Kitten
|Directed by||Gene Deitch|
Václav Bed?ich (uncredited)
|Produced by||William L. Snyder|
|Story by||Gene Deitch|
|Starring||Allen Swift (uncredited)|
|Music by||Václav Lídl (inspired by Scott Bradley and uncredited)|
|Animation by||Jindra Barta|
Ludmila Kopecná (uncredited)
|Layouts by||Animation layout:|
|Backgrounds by||Background paint:|
with assistance from
|September 7, 1961|
The Switchin' Kitten is a Tom and Jerry animated short film, released on September 7, 1961. It was the first cartoon in the series to be directed by Gene Deitch and produced by William L. Snyder in Czechoslovakia, after William Hanna and Joseph Barbera departed from MGM. It is also the first Tom & Jerry cartoon in the 1960s and the first of the Western cartoons that is made in Eastern Europe, as well as in an Eastern Bloc (Second World) country.
During a storm, Tom is trying to find a place to stay after being thrown out of a horse-drawn carriage. In the meantime, Jerry is assisting a mad scientist in a stereotypical old castle. In their experiment, they switch the brains of an orange cat and blue dog. The scientist gives the cat-with-a-dog-brain to Jerry as a companion. While they are sleeping, Tom approaches the castle, capturing Jerry. The cat growls and takes Jerry back, threatening Tom. Tom tries to convince the cat that he is a cat, but fails.
Tom's continuous efforts to catch Jerry are thwarted by the cat, like getting crushed by a hammer with his head and feet sticking out, getting turned into a flower, getting jumped out of the window and getting hit by a small axe. After going through a series of beaker tubes, Tom tries to escape from the castle in fright. Along the way, he comes into contact with other animals that the scientist has experimented on, including a bird-voiced elephant, a chicken that bleats like a sheep/lamb, the blue dog whose brain was switched with the cat and a cuckoo clock's mooing bird. He then encounters Jerry, and begs and pleads for him to squeak, but the mouse roars like Leo the Lion and even has a gold-ribboned mouse hole (with the phrase of Ars Gratia Artis as part on the MGM logo). Terrified, he blasts off like a rocket out of the castle and runs off. The clouds separate revealing Jerry's winks to the camera and audience, as the cartoon closes with the same opening template, with the only difference that Tom's face is depressed and Jerry's face is proud.