|Touché, Pussy Cat!|
|Directed by||William Hanna|
|Produced by||Fred Quimby|
|Story by||William Hanna|
|Music by||Scott Bradley|
|Animation by||Kenneth Muse|
|Layouts by||Richard Bickenbach|
|Backgrounds by||Robert Gentle|
|December 18, 1954|
Touché, Pussy Cat! is a 1954 one-reel animated Tom and Jerry short, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with production by Fred Quimby and music by Scott Bradley. It was nominated for an Academy Award, the series' final Oscar nomination, while Johann Mouse won the last Oscar for the series a year before.
Touché, Pussy Cat! is a follow-up to the 1952 cartoon The Two Mouseketeers, which won the 1951 Academy Award. The title is also Tuffy's catchphrase in the "Mouseketeer" shorts. The cartoon was animated by Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge and Irven Spence, with backgrounds by Robert Gentle. It was released in theaters by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on December 18, 1954.
It was the first of the Tom and Jerry shorts to be produced in the widescreen CinemaScope format, but was the second CinemaScope-produced short to be released (after Pet Peeve, released the previous month. The cartoon also exists in a non-Cinemascope format. Touché, Pussy Cat! spawned two further entries in the "Mouseketeer" series of Tom and Jerry cartoons, namely Tom and Chérie in 1955, and Royal Cat Nap in 1958.
François Mouse's son (Nibbles, voiced by Francoise Brun-Cottan, a six-year-old girl from France) arrives in Paris to be trained as a King's Mouseketeer. Jerry, the Captain of the Mouseketeers and an old friend of François, attempts to train the garrulous Nibbles, but Nibbles is far too aggressive: he slashes wildly with his rapier, accidentally stabs Jerry in the rear, and courts confrontation with rival Guardsman Tom.
After Jerry must save Nibbles from Tom (by literally splitting Tom in two with an axe), he prepares to send Nibbles back to his dad in disgrace. However, as Nibbles is walking back home, Tom ambushes Jerry. Nibbles hears the attack and stops it by chopping off the tip of Tom's tail, with Nibbles exclaiming "Touché, Pussy Cat!" When Tom pins Nibbles to the wall in retaliation, Jerry saves him by causing Tom's tunic to roll up like a windowshade (revealing Tom's ruffled underwear).
On the run from Tom, Nibbles is separated from Jerry and begins painting an unflattering portrait of Tom, while singing "Frère Jacques". Tom confronts Nibbles in mid-painting, but Nibbles paints a pince-nez on Tom's face and escapes. Tom gives pursuit in anger, but Nibbles uses a series of champagne bottles to knock Tom back with their corks, eventually knocking Tom into an iron gate and crushing him. When Tom attacks again, Nibbles chops open an enormous barrel, releasing a tidal wave of wine that engulfs them both. Tom is washed down the sewers, while a drunken Nibbles, observing Tom's fate, remarks, "Pauvre, pauvre,...(hic!)...Pussycat..." ("Poor, poor pussycat...").
In appreciation for dispatching Tom and saving his life, Jerry makes Nibbles a Mouseketeer. However, as Nibbles proudly shows off his swordsmanship in a mirror, he accidentally stabs Jerry in the rear with his sword again. Jerry, incensed, turns Nibbles over his lap and gives him a vigorous spanking. As he is being spanked, Nibbles looks at the audience and says, "C'est la guerre" ("That's war", i.e. "It can't be helped").