Ah, yes. The classic Cat and Mouse duo, Tom & Jerry. Whats to say about this cartoon series, other than it being extremely funny and VIOLENT. Definitely a cartoon that you would watch if you don't enjoy today's television all that well. This show has been airing on Cartoon Network since its launch, and still airs on it to this very day. The franchise developed many spin-offs, with Tom and Jerry Tales currently being the last. Direct-to-video films are still made. Since i have practically seen every single short, i am going to share with you some Tom & Jerry history on the many people who have made this franchise alive for many decades.
Rudolf Ising Short (1940)
Tom & Jerry begun as "Jasper & Jinx" and appeared in their first short titled "Puss Gets the Boot" that was released on February 20, 1940. This cartoon was the most detailed Tom & Jerry during the time, as it was around the golden age of animation, though it wasn't a real "Tom & Jerry" short yet as the franchise had yet to begin. The short was simply something for adults to watch and laugh at about a simple Cat and Mouse chase. The public demanded more shorts of the cat and mouse duo, and this resulted in the two being known as "Tom & Jerry" from that point onward.
Fred Quimby (1941-1955)
So Tom & Jerry became an official pairing, and the franchise begun. All shorts would be produced by Fred Quimby, who would be with the franchise for the next fourteen years. Under his production, the shorts would have the same feel as "Puss Gets the Boot" up until the fifties decade begun. By this point, Tom and Jerry had official designs and would go under the usual chase scenes for five more years under Quimby's lead.
After Fred Quimby's retirement in 1955, Tom & Jerry shorts would be made by the same crew, albeit with the cartoons being produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera this time. The cartoons didn't lose their quality. At least, not in funny and violence. They were made in Cinemascope rather than Academy Ratio also. These shorts would live on for another three years, and the duo would still be just as popular as they were when Quimby was producing them.
Gene Deitch (1961-1962)
MGM Studios shut down in 1957, resulting in Tom & Jerry being off the pictures for three years up until Gene Deitch stepped in and made Tom & Jerry shorts that were sort of like the Hanna-Barbera ones. Tom has a new owner in these shorts who tortures Tom whenever he does something that annoys him (up to the point of pulverizing the cat). These shorts only survived a year before ending production.
Chuck Jones (1963-1967)
Shortly after Gene Deitch quit making the Tom & Jerry shorts, Chuck Jones decided to give it a shot. His shorts had no story on the violence, but just went directly to it. Jerry was given a somewhat female appearance in these shorts rather than his usual masculine appearance. His fur was slightly brighter and he also sounded more like a mouse. Tom didn't change much, though he would lose a lot more often than usual. These shorts lasted four years in the making and were also the last Tom & Jerry shorts made during the golden age of animation.
Tom & Jerry returned once more in the funny and violence genre of humor. The series of shorts only resulted in one short being made due to William Hanna's death in 2001. The short is titled "Mansion Cat" and was originally scheduled for a theatrical release, though was later aired on Boomerang instead on April 8, 2001. This short would be the first and last Tom & Jerry short of the twenty-first century to be made by Hanna-Barbera.
Warner Bros. (2005)
Shortly after Hanna-Barbera closed, Warner Bros. began production on a new Tom & Jerry theatrical short titled "The Karate Guard" that would be released to theaters on September 27, 2005. This would be the first theatrical Tom & Jerry short in thirty-eight years and, to date, would also be the last one to be released theatrically. This would also be the last short directed by Joseph Barbera before his death in 2006.
That does it for theatrical history of Tom & Jerry shorts. I decided not to include the television spin-offs to save article room, as i only wanted to discuss the theatrical shorts.