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Mammy Two Shoes
[[Mammytwoshoes|250px]]
From Old Rockin' Chair Tom'

First appearance

Puss Gets the Boot (1940)

Last appearance

Push-Button Kitty (1952)

Created by

William Hanna and Joseph Barbera

Portrayed by

Lillian Randolph
Thea Vidale
(dubbed versions)

Species

Human

Gender

Female

Family

Pet: Tom

Relatives

Aunt Harriet (mentioned, not heard or seen in The Million Dollar Cat).

Mammy Two Shoes (sometimes Mrs. Two Shoes) is a recurring character in MGM's Tom and Jerry cartoons. She is a heavy-set middle-aged black woman who often has to deal with the mayhem generated by the lead characters.

As a partially-seen character, she was famous for never showing her face (except very briefly in Saturday Evening Puss). Mammy's appearances have often been edited out, dubbed, or re-animated as a slim white woman in later television showings, since her character is a mammy archetype now often regarded as racist. It was later revealed that her character was greatly inspired by Oscar-winning black actress and singer Hattie McDaniel, best known for playing "Mammy" in MGM and David O. Selznick's 1939 film Gone with the Wind.

A character very similar to Mammy Two Shoes had earlier been portrayed in the Disney Silly Symphonies shorts Three Orphan Kittens and More Kittens, as well as the Pluto short Pantry Pirate and the Figaro short Figaro and Cleo. A similar character Aunt Petunia the Mammy actually shows her face which resembles blackface in The Little Audrey Cartoon Series.

Theatrical Tom and Jerry cartoonsEdit

PDVD 002

Mammy Two Shoes, in a scene from the Tom & Jerry short Saturday Evening Puss, whose full face was shown for the first time.

Mammy first appeared in Puss Gets the Boot, the first Tom and Jerry cartoon (except Tom was called "Jasper"). She always referred to Tom as his given name Thomas and almost always used "is" in conjunction with a pronoun ("is you" and "I is"). The character went on to make many appearances through the entire series until 1952 and her last appearance in the short, Push-Button Kitty where she makes a failed attempt to replace Tom by a mechanical cat named "Mechano" to keep Jerry out of her house, but it malfunctions and Tom accidentally swallows the computer of Mechano and unintentionally begins wreaking her house when he accidentally turns into Mechano. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially portrayed Mammy as the maid of the house, with the real owners unknown to us. Later, Hanna and Barbera seemed to suggest, through dialogue and occasional behavior, that the house was Mammy's own.

Mammy was originally voiced by well-known African-American character actress Lillian Randolph. In the 1960s, the MGM animation studio, by then under the supervision of Chuck Jones, created censored versions of the Tom & Jerry cartoons featuring Mammy for television. These versions used rotoscoping techniques to replace Mammy on-screen with a similarly-stocky white woman (in most shorts) or a thin white woman (in Saturday Evening Puss); Randolph's voice on the soundtracks was replaced by an Irish-accented (or, in Puss, generic young adult) voice performed by white actress June Foray.[1]

The original versions of the cartoons were reinstated when Turner Broadcasting acquired ownership of the Tom & Jerry property. But in 1992, the cartoons featuring Mammy were edited again; this time, to replace Lillian Randolph's voice with that of Thea Vidale, who re-recorded the dialogue to remove Mammy's use of potentially offensive dialect. These re-recorded versions of the cartoons are aired to this day on Turner's Cartoon Network-related cable channels, and have at times turned up on DVD as well. However, some European TV showings of these cartoons, especially the UK, retain Randolph's original voice. The Region 2 Complete Collectors Edition DVD boxset has Vidale's voice on the first DVD and Randolph in a number of the episodes after that (such as A Mouse in the House and Mouse Cleaning).

Replacement characters for MammyEdit

From 1954's Pet Peeve, Mammy disappeared from Tom and Jerry; the owners of the animals' house became a young, white, middle-class couple named Joan and George, and starting with 1955's The Flying Sorceress, the audience was able to see these owners' heads.

In 1961, when Rembrandt Films began producing Tom and Jerry shorts, the owner of the house became a corpulent white man. The character was designed by Gene Deitch, who recycled the design from his Terrytoons character Clint Clobber.[2] This new owner, whose face would turn bright red, and often derived great glee in doing so, was more graphically brutal in punishing Tom's mistakes as compared to Mammy Two Shoes, such as beating and thrashing Tom repeatedly, searing his face with a grill and forcing Tom to drink an entire carbonated beverage. "Clobber" (for want of a better name) was introduced in Down and Outing as a fisherman who owned Tom as well as their house. "Clobber" later appeared in High Steaks as a chef, and Sorry Safari as a hunter before being dropped.

Later, Tom's owner varied, with a housewife similar to the re-edited Mammy appearing in the later Deitch short Buddies Thicker Than Water and the direct-to-DVD film Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry.

Tom and Jerry Tales and Mammy's modern returnEdit

In the modern Tom and Jerry Tales a redesigned Mammy has appeared, debuting in the short Ho, Ho Horrors and turning up again later on. Though keeping her buxom, overweight build, tough personality, Southern accent and tendency to call Tom "Thomas," Mammy's skin tone has changed to Caucasian, presumably to avoid any possible controversy. Several photos on a mantel in Ho, Ho Horrors also imply that Mammy now has a family (a man and a boy, also shown only as legs and partial torsos), though they have yet to appear in actual animation. In the short Power Tom the story casts Mammy as a superheroine called Power Gal, though it's only for this one cartoon.

In the new shorts, the now-Caucasian Mammy is explicitly called "Mrs. Two-Shoes".

Featured shortsEdit

Tom and JerryEdit

Tom and Jerry Tales (as Mrs. Two Shoes)Edit

  • Prehisterics
  • Ho, Ho Horrors (cameo)
  • Tin Cat of Tomorrow
  • Power Tom
  • Cat Show Catastrophe (cameo)
  • Adventures in Penguin Sitting
  • Invasion of the Body Slammers (cameo)
  • Summer Squashing
  • Little Big Mouse
  • You're Lion
  • Monkey Chow
  • Game of Mouse and Cat
  • Cat Whisperer

Major appearancesEdit

Voice actors who portrayed Mammy Two Shoes Edit

ReferencesEdit

Template:Tom and Jerry Template:Hanna-Barbera

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