While it’s true that many classic cartoon series of yesteryear are considered too violent, disturbing, politically incorrect, etc. by today’s standards, none traumatized me more than the TOM & JERRY short “Heavenly Puss.”
To summarize: While chasing Jerry, Tom gets killed by an upright piano, goes to Heaven, and is told by a feline St. Peter (here a reservations taker for the “Heavenly Express”) that Tom can’t get into Heaven because he spent all his time tormenting Jerry.
However, if Tom can get Jerry to sign a “Certificate of Forgiveness” before the Heavenly Express departs in one hour, he’ll be let in. Otherwise, he’ll BURN IN HELL and suffer the torments of Satan (in the form of a grimacing, cackling bulldog).
More than 30 years after first seeing this, I still get tense as Tom’s time is running out and he can’t convince Jerry to sign the paper. Oh God…the scene where the train’s departing and Tom’s frantically trying to explain to Jerry what he needs…then the pen doesn’t work!…then as Tom runs up the stairs at the very last second, the stairs disappear and he plummets into Hell, directly into the bubbling cauldron of Beelze-Bulldog, who laughs maniacally at his new guest as he prods him with his pitchfork.
Oh yeah, and near the beginning of the cartoon, the St. Peter cat admits three kittens who were drowned in a bag. Sheesh.
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