Tom and Jerry in Naples: when the cartoon was set on the gulf

by Francesco Forte

Everyone knows this famous cartoon, but not everyone knows that it is possible to see an episode of Tom and Jerry in Naples. One of the most famous couples in animated cinema, Tom and Jerry have collected 7 Academy Awards and have long surpassed the Looney Tunes as the highest-grossing animated series ever, becoming iconic figures for more than a generation.
The planetary success has brought the two protagonists to the TVs of homes all over the world, while in one of their adventures they arrived in Naples, as tourists, during an episode set right in the Neapolitan city.

This is episode 86 of 1954, therefore belonging to the first 114 episodes directed by the creators of the series William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, entitled "Neapolitan Mouse". In fact, the protagonist of the short film together with the two heroes is a nice guy Neapolitan mouse, who will welcome the two friends and who will drive Tom and Jerry to Naples.

Among other things, the name of the two protagonists takes up an English saying with which they described themselves “The young people who indulged in riotous behavior in nineteenth-century London", Which were precisely called" Tom and Jerry "and which in Naples with a slightly different meaning would be defined"urchins“.

tom and jerry in naples panorama
The episode opens with a view of Naples that reaches up to Vesuvius

Tom and Jerry in Naples

The episode opens with the classic gags that characterize the series, with Tom trying to catch Jerry while the two are on the cruise ship that is taking them to Naples, while the mouse continues to run away between one spite and another.

Precisely during this latest pursuit we have the opportunity to appreciate the accuracy with which the designers have decided to reproduce Naples, the two in fact got off the ship chasing each other first on the Porphyry Cup Fountain (also known as the "duck fountain") which is located inside the Municipal Villa, and then continue on a climb that seems to be that of Steps of Chiaia. Tom finally manages to catch up with Jerry, but before he can take revenge, a new friend arrives, ready to defend the rat.

Tom and Jerry Fountain of the Cup of Porphyry Naples
Jerry tries to hide from Tom on the Porphyry Cup Fountain

The friendly and courageous Neapolitan Mouse

The Neapolitan mouse comes out of his lair protesting the noise caused by Tom, who in the meantime tries to hit Jerry with a frying pan. Despite his stature he launches in defense of Jerry, knocking out Tom. Here is that the brave little mouse comes up with this sentence:
“When I see a big one teasing a little one, I get angry!”.
In fact, immediately afterwards he also saves Tom who in the meantime had met a dog, who had decided to celebrate him.

The Neapolitan mouse also introduces himself to the cat, and at that moment he recognizes the famous Tom and Jerry: "You tourists? I show you Naples! " says the little mouse, setting off with his new friends, but not before offering them something to eat. In this regard, a little curiosity: in the episode the pizza never appears, to represent the city the authors have rather chosen the monuments and the music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBh34pkf4Kg

From the San Carlo Theater in Posillipo: The Naples of Hanna and Barbera

In the tour of Tom and Jerry in Naples we can discover a representation of the romantic and refined city, the Neapolitan mouse shows the two tourists before the San Carlo Theater, then accompanies them on the seafront of Mergellina and passing in front of the Giant's Fountain indicates to them the Vesuvius. Arrived at Posillipo, the three overlook what appears to be the view of Nisida from the Rotonda Posillipo, which can be seen in postcards from the early 1900s.

At that moment the mouse hears the notes of Maria Marì“, Classic of the Neapolitan song of Murolo, and he lets himself go to a singing interpretation that excites him to the point of being moved: if you too miss a tear seeing such a tribute to Neapolitan culture and music, let yourself go!

After some other vicissitudes, which sees the dog go back with his gang in search of a revenge and our heroes manage to put them on the run chased by huge wheels of cheese, for the two protagonists it is time to go away and Tom's journey ends. and Jerry in Naples. They warmly shake their hand Neapolitan friend, who greets them as they board the cruise ship back to the United States.

Francesco Forte

Tom and Jerry San Carlo and Mergellina in Naples
The San Carlo Theater and the Giant's Fountain in the episode of Tom and Jerry in Naples

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