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Traumafessions :: Kinderpal FilmFather on Tom & Jerry Short “Heavenly Puss”

March 2nd, 2011 by aunt john · 21 Comments


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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Tags: Traumafessions

21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Mar 2, 2011 at 11:01 am

    This is soooooo my favorite Tom & Jerry episode. I quote it all the time: “Thomas… Thomas…”

    The Heavenly Express was also the first thing I thought of when I saw the train to the afterlife in Grim Fandango.

    My other favorite Tom & Jerry is when Jerry’s cousin or uncle comes over. He’s a singing cowboy who keeps breaking his guitar strings and stealing Tom’s whiskers to replace them. “A hortin heelin himbo hambo (twang!)” or something like that.

  • 2 melissay1No Gravatar // Mar 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    This kind of reminds me of the Disney cartoon, Pluto’s Judgment Day. THAT cartoon to this day doesn’t freak me out, but I find it depressing and “uncomfortable” to watch….anyone else?

  • 3 craigNo Gravatar // Mar 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    There aren’t a lot of things that leave me speechless, but…wow…a bag of happy drowned kittens? These old cartoons are so unbelievable!I always think Itchy and Scratchy is an over-exagerated satire on this kind of thing, but I guess it’s not really that far from it’s source material.

  • 4 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Mar 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I don’t see the problem with the bag of drowned kittens. It’s sadly a common occurrence to this day (I used to live on a farm by a river so I’ve seen it all), it will go over the kids’ heads (like it did mine) and the ticketmaster goes: “Tsk, tsk, tsk, what some people won’t do…” and shakes his head in sadness.

  • 5 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Mar 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I’m still kind of stunned by the drowned kittens! I can’t believe it was a common enough occurrence to be referenced in a cartoon and then to try and make a punchline out of it blows my mind. I can’t believe they make a splish-splosh sound too. Ugh! When I was little there was an empty lot next door to our house where another house burnt down (smoking in bed!). I’m not kidding when I say I found a wonder bread bag in that lot and it had dead puppies in it!!!!!!!! Somebody must have just thrown them into the lot. Not a good thing to stumble across as a kid and yes, I still hate wonder bread bags!

    Sorry, I know that story is horrifying but I had to share.

  • 6 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Mar 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    The farm I lived on was on a lonely dirt road. People used to drop off kittens and puppies they didn’t want rather than bringing them to the pound where they would have been adopted quickly. The result is that the local foxes would get them. So your dead puppies in a Wonder Bread bag doesn’t shock me. People are beyond sick.

  • 7 FatherOfTearsNo Gravatar // Mar 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    OK, as a kid the kittens in a bag didn’t get to me. It would now having owned 5 cats in my lifetime. One vanished without a trace on my first day of college 🙁 (My sister, who was still in high school thinks a classmate who didn’t like her killed the cat) Oh, in Dario Argento’s “Inferno” there is a scene where the bookstore owner decides to rid himself of the stray cats frequenting his store by doing the “bag then & drown them” routine. However, he does get what he deserves shortly after.

  • 8 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Mar 2, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Now I want to watch both HELLBOY movies back to back! Hellboy knows how to treat a kitten!

  • 9 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Mar 2, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Whatever you do, don’t watch ‘Drag Me to Hell’. “You’d be surprised what you’ll be willing to do when the Lamia comes for you.”

  • 10 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Mar 3, 2011 at 1:01 am

    OK, I admit that I laughed a little too hard at the “Here kitty, kitty…” part of “Drag me to Hell”! It was really all about the delivery and not the implied kitten sacrifice. I swear.

  • 11 Jami JoAnne RussellNo Gravatar // Mar 3, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Heh, I’ve got Drag Me To Hell on my Netflix cue.

    Remember that episode of Little House where Laura rescued the puppies that man was about to drown? Then the mother of one of their friends dies of cancer.

  • 12 GrokensteinNo Gravatar // Mar 3, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Remember the two little bastards threatening to kill their sister’s puppy in “Old Yeller?”

    Oh, if we’re going to bring up “Little House on the Prairie,” let’s not forget “The Wolves,” the episode in which the kids find and adopt an injured wolf and her cubs over the objections of everyone in the region. The wolf ultimately defends the kids from a pack of rabid dogs, but dies horribly in the attempt as the children try to block out her death screams (much like I did).

    I lived on a rural non-farm (more like, “house in the sticks”), so our family saw plenty of abandoned animals and other cruelty. For a short time, we adopted a female mutt that wandered up to us; she was friendly and gentle, but we couldn’t figure out why she was skittish about anyone touching her muzzle.

    You probably want to stop reading here.

    I began to put things together: the touchy muzzle, the eating-on-one-side, the horrible breath, even for a dog. I finally coaxed her into letting me examine her mouth, and I found that her jaw had been broken on one side. Several teeth were missing. It was far too late to do anything but end her misery.

    She had come to us with a collar, and we had already contacted her owner. He said he didn’t want her because she “wouldn’t hunt right.” I confronted him again after she was gone, and he openly admitted he’d struck her with his rifle butt to chase her away into the woods. He had no remorse whatsoever for his act.

    I swear to God there has never been a person before or since I have wanted to butcher alive over the course of several weeks. Of course, I would have had to tenderize the jaw a bit first.

  • 13 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Mar 3, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I cant believe they got away with calling it HEAVENLY PUSS> That soooo sounds like a Porno!

    I watched SOG OF THNE SOUTH recently and there were kids tryin to drown a puppy in a sack in THAT one. It really upset me. I cant even think of the film as a whole…just that one scene. How could they put that in a DISNEY flick?!

    The TOM & JERRY that always disturbed me was when Jerrys litle nephew with a french acent came to visit and they were dressed like “muskateers” and at the end Tom gets his head choped off with a guilletine! Jerrys little cousin goes “poor poor pussycat. CEST LA VIE!” WTF?!

  • 14 ApocalypsejunkieNo Gravatar // Mar 3, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Good grief, this is the first time the comments section has traumatized me 🙁

  • 15 Chuckles72No Gravatar // Mar 3, 2011 at 10:30 am

    As long as we’re talking about Tom & Jerry, a favorite of mine, I’d just like to add that the end of “Tee for Two”, with Tom and the angry bees, is one of the funniest things that I have ever seen:

  • 16 FilmFatherNo Gravatar // Mar 3, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Sorry I sparked a conversation about real-world dead puppies and kitties through my Traumafession. For those who commented, I hope it was cathartic on some level…?

    Now that I think about it, perhaps my recent recollection of “Heavenly Puss” stems from the fact that we had to put down our beloved family cat last month (13 y.o.)…and we had to explain the concept of “kitty heaven” to our 4-year-old boy.

    mamamiasweetpeaches: Yeah, that beheading of Tom dented my childhood innocence as well.

    Chuckles72: I agree — that shot of Tom screaming with all the bees in his mouth still cracks me up. Hilarious.

  • 17 sob317No Gravatar // Mar 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Wow, I think I might have just had an “Erwachsener-Trauma”
    The visual I got from Unkle’s post was absolutely mind-blowing. A young kid poking around the remains of a burnt out lot and finds the iconic wonder bread bag filled with dead puppies. That just has soooo many possibilities as the beginning of some horrible (read fantastic) film or story.
    YIKES !!
    I remember a while back one of the stations here was actually posting a disclaimer before some of the old Tom and Jerry and Merrie Melodies type cartoons along the lines that “these cartoons are being shown in their original, non-edited form and that certain actions or phrases may be objectionable to some viewers.”
    And speaking of Tom and Jerry traumas, nothing bothered me more than when Tom and Jerry became friends in the second 70’s Hanna Barbara run. It just wasn’t right and I felt like T&J had been replaced with Stepford versions of themselves. I kept expecting one or both of them to peel off their faces revealing an evil robot beneath.

  • 18 Jami JoAnne RussellNo Gravatar // Mar 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Anyone suddenly feel like going Dexter Morgan on some animal abuser’s ass?

  • 19 GrokensteinNo Gravatar // Mar 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    mamamiasweetpeaches: Oh, hell, you know, the two little bastards I mentioned weren’t from “Old Yeller,” but from “Song of the South. Thanks for clearing up my foggy memory a little!

    sob317: I’d love to find the trailer for “Tom & Jerry: The Movie,” which caused my eyeballs to windowshade-roll in their sockets with the tagline, “After so many years of fighting, they finally found something worth fighting for…EACH OTHER.”

    (projectile vomits)

  • 20 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Mar 4, 2011 at 8:38 am

    yeah I thought you might have gotten the two confused. I mean, how many DISNEY movies have kids drowning puppies in a sack? Those little bastards!

    At least Old Yeller was sick when they iced him. Those puppies in SONG OF THE SOUTH? Well, the kids were just pricks!

  • 21 bjkatcherNo Gravatar // Mar 6, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Yeah, but the whole thing was just a dream sequence, brought on by Tom sleeping with his tail in the fire grate.

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