The Cat Above and the Mouse Below is a 1961 American animated musical film released by Walt Disney Productions and Buena Vista Pictures. It is first of the three Tom and Jerry musical films by Disney other than MGM. The film involves Tom, an opera singer that stars in a concert titled "Signor Thomasino Catti-Cazzaza Baritone" who is set to sing Largo al Factotum from The Barber of Seville and Jerry has to stop Tom's concert once and for all. Like most Disney musical films (such as Mary Poppins) The Music and Lyrics were written by The Sherman Brothers and the Background music was provided by Buddy Baker. The feaurette was shown before the 1961 re-release of Make Mine Music.
Tom is a opera baritone singer who will perform at a concert to sing Figaro's aria from The Barber of Seville. Tom arrives in a very long limousine, and emerges, tossing a rose into the crowd. He walks on stage to applause and begins to sing for the audience watching. While all this is taking place, down below the stage, Jerry is trying to sleep, but is awakened by Tom's operatic singing. Jerry tries to gesture for Tom to stop, by banging on the stage with a toothbrush but in return Tom, while singing, stomps on the floor enough to get Jerry to shake and bounce around his room. Jerry uses a hammer to pound a floorboard, shooting Tom out of his tuxedo into the air, from where he falls back into it, but upside down, and legs through sleeves. Tom tiptoes offstage to change back to normal. After the accident, Tom continues to sing, this time, stomping the floor while performing, much harder than before, creating a huge rumble in Jerry's house, eventually causing Jerry's bed to collapse on top of him. Jerry thinks it's war and decides to get revenge. Tom continues to sing more until Jerry holds up a sign through the vent onstage that has "PSST" written on it. Tom continues to sing once more as he pokes his head in, and Jerry snaps his lips closed in a pucker with a doubled rubber band. In retaliation, Tom uses the rubber band to shoot a long staple into the vent, which shoots down, ricochets several times, and then whisks Jerry right out of his nightshirt, and pins him up on the wall by his neck. Jerry crosses his arms, one leg over the other, and then "taps" his foot midair, looks exceedingly annoyed. As Tom sings in the middle of his performance, Jerry manages to get free from the staple and at the side of the stage licks a lemon so Tom gets sour by the thought of the scene, and sweating, his lips pucker and shrink. Frustrated, he goes to Jerry and while continuing to sing, juices the lemon on Jerry's head. Tom returns to the spotlight. Jerry then drills a hole in the floor and uses a hooked wire to pull the bottom of Tom's vest apart causing the chest portion to spring up and whap him in the face. Tom grabs the wire and yanks it up and down banging Jerry's head on the board until Jerry thinks to let it go. As Tom sings more of the aria, Jerry pours some castor oil into Tom's mouth while singing a very long "Figaro" part and vomits while he runs offstage to feel better.While Tom is singing, Jerry aims a plunger at Tom's mouth and scores a direct hit. Jerry sings like Tom mockingly, but then Tom sticks him to the floor with the plunger. Using Jerry's bow, he shoots Jerry in the plunger onto a wall offstage. When Tom is singing the "della città" part, Jerry frees himself and unintentionally drops a huge sandbag on Tom as he is reaching the climax, sending him crashing through the floor. Everything is silent until Jerry walks out in a tuxedo. Now the mouse is above, and the cat stuck below, and Jerry sings the last section of the performance himself (albeit sped up). An infuriated Tom raps on the floor with a broom and sends Jerry flying, but this just adds to Jerry's drama singing the final few notes as he makes a graceful balletic landing before gets a loud applause and the words "The End" appears on the close curtains as the film closes.
Directed by - Robert Cormack and Tom Ray
Written by - Roy Williams and Chuck Jones
Voices of - Bill Roberts and Dale McKennon
Music by - The Sherman Brothers and Buddy Baker
Production company - Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by - Buena Vista Distribution
Release Date - March 3, 1961
Running Time - 26 Minutes
Country - United States
Language - English
In 1962, Disney released a follow up to the first film titled "Cat and Dupli-cat" Released in February 20, 1962 and it has 3 songs (MGM Released a 6 Minute version in 1967 and it olny has 1 song) and in 1975, 13 years after the second film, the third and the final Tom and Jerry Musical Feaurette was "The Ballad of Rita the Cat" unlike the first two films, Tom and Jerry did not sing, they're both silent in this film.
On February 25, 1964, MGM released a 6 Minute version of the original 1961 film of the same name and it was directed by Chuck Jones instead of Robert Cormack and Tom Ray (although he was an animator in this version). Jones was co written with Roy Williams in the 1961 version. Bill Roberts (voiced Michigan J. Frog in One Froggy Evening) provides the singing voice of Tom in the 1961 version, but in the 1964 version, he is voiced by Terence Monk and Dale McKennon provides Jerry's singing in the 1961 version, but in the 1964 version, he is voiced by Stan Freberg. Lots of scenes exclusive to the 1961 version were cutted out because it is 6 Minutes and scenes (such as Jerry shooting a plunger at Tom's face) are intact in this version. The 1964 version is the Second Chuck Jones Tom and Jerry cartoon after Pent House Mouse in 1963
in 1981, the film was first released on VHS for the first time and it is the part of the Neon Mickey series in the 80's. The film released again on VHS in 1990 part of Mini Classics series and again for last time in 1997 part of The Tom and Jerry Feaurette Collection along with the other 2 films "Cat and Dupli-cat" and "The Ballad of Rita the Cat". The 1997 VHS Includes Both the original 1961 and the 1964 versions of the film. (The 1964 version appears at the end of the original version)