Animation Legend Joseph Barbera Directs New Tom and Jerry Theatrical Short �The KarateGuard,� Premiering Jan. 27 on Cartoon Network at 9 p.m.
Academy Award-Winning Cat and Mouse Duo Celebrate 65 Years of Entertaining Audiences
To celebrate the ongoing popularity of the renowned Tom and Jerry characters he helped to create 65 years ago with his partner, the late William Hanna, animation legend Joseph Barbera takes the directing reins once again on �The KarateGuard,� a seven-minute theatrical short, starring the legendary Academy Award-winning cat and mouse duo. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, this new Tom and Jerry theatrical short, which has already been submitted for a 2006 Academy Award nomination in the animated short film category, will premiere at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on Friday, Jan. 27, on Cartoon Network.
In �The Karate Guard,� Jerry, the irrepressible, clever mouse takes up martial arts to defend himself against his arch-nemesis, Tom, the scheming, scampering cat. Training with the Ancient Wise One, Jerry completes the course and must �Go forth and have no fear.� It turns out Jerry isn�t so good at the fancy footwork required. Realizing that his prot�g� needs help, the Ancient Wise One gives Jerry a mystic gong that summons a canine Samurai bodyguard to protect him. Cat chases mouse; mouse summons dog; dog clobbers cat�the ensuing action is filled with martial arts mayhem, traditional cartoon craziness and loads of fun.
The wildly popular, classic Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts were produced and animated by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera at MGM and were shown in front of that studio�s films from 1940-1957. The original series of more than 100 theatrical shorts won seven illustrious Academy Awards. Tom and Jerry have appeared nonstop for over 65 years in movies, television series, made-for-video releases and more.
Barbera, 94, still works actively, going to his office at Warner Bros. Animation daily where he plays an important role in the creation of new animated entertainment for people the world over to enjoy. Hanna passed away in March 2001.
�When we created these characters, we had no idea how popular and beloved Tom and Jerry would become,� said Barbera. �It was such a thrill to direct this short. With all the creativity coming from animators in the field today, it is great to see that animation is more popular than ever.�
�It is truly an honor to have Joe here at our studio contributing his invaluable insight and creativity,� added Sander Schwartz, President of Warner Bros. Animation. �He was not only a trailblazer in the field of animation, but also a pioneer in setting standards that are still used throughout the industry today. To have him direct this historic project celebrating the 65th anniversary of Tom and Jerry is remarkable.�
�Across all kid and family audiences, Tom and Jerry cartoons have consistently ranked among the Top 10 shows on Cartoon Network since its launch in 1992,� said Bob Higgins, senior vice president of programming and development for Cartoon Network. �They remain a favorite today on Boomerang as well. We�re certain that this new addition to Joe Barbera�s legacy of Tom and Jerry shorts will be an exciting bonus for the millions of fans who tune in on a daily basis.�
�The KarateGuard,� based on the Tom and Jerry characters created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, is produced by Warner Bros. Animation under the guidance of executive producers Joseph Barbera, Sander Schwartz and Sam Register, supervising producers Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone, producer Linda M. Steiner and co-producer Bobbie Page. �The KarateGuard,� written, directed and storyboarded by Joseph Barbera, is also directed by Spike Brandt and storyboarded by Iwao Takamoto.
Joseph Barbera and William Hanna created hundreds of beloved cartoon characters during their partnership of 60-plus-years. Together they produced more than 3,500 half-hours of animated programming, including more than 350 different series, specials, television motion pictures and theatrical films. The duo formed their own production company in 1957 to create animated cartoons for television at a time when original animation for that medium was almost unheard of. With a limited budget and many animators out of work in Hollywood, they developed a team of great artists and writers that re-invented cartoons for television.
Among Hanna-Barbera's other renowned characters are The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, The Jetsons, Top Cat, Quick Draw McGraw, Auggie Doggie and Doggie Daddy, Magilla Gorilla, and many more.
Many Hanna-Barbera series are currently distributed worldwide in 175 countries in 45 languages. In addition, Cartoon Network airs many of the series available via cable or satellite in 160 countries across the globe.
Cartoon Network, currently seen in more than 88 million U.S. homes and 145 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.�s 24-hour, ad-supported cable service offering the best in animated entertainment. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.
Warner Bros. Animation has been producing award-winning original animation since 1930, when it released its first cartoon, �Sinking in the Bathtub.� Since then, Warner Bros. Animation�s characters have set the standard for innovative, quality animation. Producing for network and cable television, online, home video and feature films domestically and internationally, Warner Bros. Animation is highly respected for its creative and technical excellence, as well as maintaining the studio�s rich cartoon heritage. Warner Bros. Animation is one of the most honored animation studios in history, garnering a grand total of 32 Emmy Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, an Environmental Media Award, a Parent�s Choice Award, a Humanitas Award, two Prism Awards and 19 Annie Awards (honoring excellence in animation).