Ethnic stereotypes that were used in first Tom & Jerry cartoons were cut out in 1950s. Blackfaces, impressions of Chinese and Red Indians became the victims of political correctness and were removed. Many scenes had to be redrawn in 10 years. Mammy maid was turned into a white person. Lillian Randolph’s voice was replaced by another voice actress June Foray. However since movie stores kept pictures and sound reels separately, the voice sometimes didn’t match up the correct Tom & Jerry version and white maid spoke with Mammy’s voice.
Find out more about the episodes that were changed after the jump.
Episode “Puss Gets The Boot” (10 Feb 1940)
Mammy’s voice in the original speaks “O-W-T… Out!”, but then it says “O-U-W-T… Out!”. The edited version uses a correct word “O-U-T”.
Episode “Fraidy Cat” (17 Jan 1942)
Jerry climbs the washboard, and Mammy is looking for a burgler. Tom attacks her. This scene was removed.
Episode “Dog Trouble” (18 Apr 1942)
You can hear Mammy’s redubbed voice. At some scenes Mammy’s appearance is cut out at the end.
Episode “Puss N’ Toots” (13 May 1942)
In this episode a scene was removed from the middle. Remember when Jerry gets a tail with record needles and one record “parks” on Tom's head? It gives Tom a Chinese look and Jerry mocks Tom is hacked out.
In this episode a whole large piece featuring Mammy was cut out from the start including a filing cabinet gag.
Episode “Yankee Doodle Mouse” (26 June 1943)
The scene where Tom looks like a “blackface flower” is often removed.
Episode “Mouse Trouble” (23 Nov 1944)
This scene where Tom has hidden in a package addressed to Jerry is sometimes edited out. Originally Jerry sticks hat pins into the package sawing it in half. Taking a look at what is hidden inside the box, Jerry shows a message: “Is there a doctor in the house?”
Episode “The Mouse Comes to Dinner” (2 May 1945)
This episode often begins showing Tom popping out of the potted plant. However the original version included a scene with Mammy setting the dinner table and Jerry who is pretending to be a Red Indian.
Episode “Mouse in Manhattan” (7 July 1945)
Blackface gag is removed from this episode.
Episode “Flirty Birdy” (22 Sept 1945)
The bird tosses Tom out of a tree into a garden path then Tom gets pulled back up the tree and thrown down the hollow trunk into the laundry on the washing line where Tom does an Indian chief impression (there is no laundry basket). The edited version ends the scene after he hits the path.
An alternate cut to this cartoon is to leave all the visuals intact and remove some words, originally the bird says "Going Down" just before he throws Tom down the inside of the tree trunk, and "She loves me" when they play around the brick chimney but these get muted.
Episode “The Milky Waif” (18 May 1946)
Missing is a scene where Jerry and Nibbles try to fool Tom by disguising themselves as "slave stereotypes" with some shoe polish. In the cut version you see Nibbles, held up by Jerry, spitting milk into Tom's face, then you see them run away from Tom into another room where Tom gets a frying pan in the face.
Episode "Trap Happy" (29 June 1946)
Jerry is being divided in two by the "Exterminator cat" Jerry slips Toms tail in his place. Tom's tail being chopped with an axe was shortened to remove the axe fall.
(I have never seen this scene cut though)
Episode "Part-Time Pal" (15 Mar 1947)
Mammy's voice is redubbed & some of the words were changed. Originally, she says "Well slap my face if this ain't a mess!", but in the new version, she says "Well I'll be darned this is such a mess!" Also Tom's "One for the money, two for the show..." where he is about to throw water over the sleeping mammy is muted leaving only the drunken "HICS", but his lips still move.
Episode "A Mouse in the House" (30 Aug 1947)
Originally the two cats look in the gas oven and Jerry throws a match in to cause an explosion, both cats ended up blackface. This was shortened and the scene ends with the explosion to remove the blackface joke.
Episode "Kitty Foiled" (1 Jun 1948)
Shortly after the "floorboard on the tail" Jerry and the canary hide themselves behind a curtain that looks like a wigwam. The pair emerge disguised as a Red Indian and papoose, this scene is removed.
Episode "The Truce Hurts" (17 July 1948)
A passing meat truck splashes mud on Tom, Jerry, and Spike leaving them all in blackface and is shortened in the recut to end at the splash.
Episode "Old Rockin' Chair Tom" (18 Sept 1948)
Mammy's voice is redubbed and changed. Originally, she said "Take care of old old Uncle Tom," this was changed to "Take care of old Tom.
Episode "Mouse Cleaning" (11 Dec 1948)
After the coal spill at the end of the cartoon, Tom originally comes out of the pile of coal in blackface. Mammy asks black Tom, if he has seen a cat. Tom replies "No ma'am, I ain't seen no cat, nowhere, nohow!". On the new version this was shortened and she just yells and starts throwing coal.
Episode "The Little Orphan" (30 April 1949)
A candle fired by Nibbles lands on Tom's tail was cut (50s) or reanimated (60s). Originally after the candle set Tom on fire, he appeared in blackface.
In the 50s version the candle lands on Tom's tail but nothing happens. Also gone was the part directly following the candle scene, in which some airborne Champagne bottles hit the blackened Tom in the back of the head causing him to fly into the cabinet of dishes. The 60s version was redrawn to have Tom retain his Indian headdress which was absent in the original version.
Original 50s version
60s version redrawn by the Chuck Jones team
Episode "Jerry's Diary" (22 Oct 1949)
The exploding teapot scene taken from "Yankee Doodle Mouse" fades out early to remove a “blackface flower” gag.
Episode "Saturday Evening Puss" (14 Jan 1950)
The new version has redrawn footage of a young white teenager who goes to a party which replaces the original footage of a rather sexy looking Mammy who went out to play cards. Jerry's rant to Tom about the noisy music that Tom and his friends are making is muted for some reason. In the original, Jerry starts yelling "I'm trying to sleep and youse guys are out here goin' BANG BANG BANG BANG!!!" in a Bronx accent.
Original 50s version
60s version redrawn by Chuck Jones team
Episode "Safety Second" (1 July 1950)
Near the end of the cartoon Jerry blew on a noisemaker containing a hidden firecracker and was left as a blackface flower. This scene was shortened to end at the explosion.
Episode "The Framed Cat" (21 Oct 1950)
Mammy has been replaced with a white maid on some versions (or just her voice)
Episode "Casanova Cat" (6 Jan 1951)
Tom breaths cigar smoke in Jerry's face causing Jerry to have a blackface then heats a tray under his feet to make him dance. The new version cuts from Jerry as a wind up mouse to the mouse throwing a note to Butch in a paper airplane.
Episode "His Mouse Friday" (7 July 1951)
The cut version has all the cannibal dialogue edited out. All the natives and Jerry's native talk were muted, even though you see all the characters' lips moving. In the original Jerry talks nonsense words and the cannibals say
“Hmmmmm barbecued cat ........... Hmmmmm barbecued mouse"
Some versions are zoomed in to remove this small cannibal.
Episode "Nit-witty Kitty" (6 Oct 1951)
At the end of the cartoon Mammy creeps up on Tom with a baseball bat and reads from the book "It says here, a sharp blow on the head is a sure cure for amnesia, and that's what you're gonna get" These lines are supposedly removed on the original R1 spotlight collection 2, but is back in the later corrected disk.
Episode "The Two Mouseketeers" (15 Mar 1952)
The original ending showed that the king beheaded Tom with a guillotine, but you only ever saw the blade fall, this was removed.
Episode "Little Runaway" (14 June 1952)
The scene where the seal throws Tom against a bird bath results in a Chinese gag and has been shortened to end on the third screenshot. (there is no trash can, it is a bird bath).
Episode "Life With Tom" (21 Nov 1953)
In a scene identical to “The Little Orphan” the candle burns Tom and the scene was shortened to end here, before a blackface gag and a hit in the back of the head with a champagne bottle.