Thursday, May 7, 2009
Life is far from simple in the world of Tom and Jerry, but there are many lessons to be learned from each encounter.


First and foremost, Tom and Jerry is really about friendship. Not just regular TV friendship, but the kind of friendship that involves the real complications of being different and being friends despite those differences. They may horse around a lot. Sometimes it is not very gentle (just like 5 year old boys, in my experience), but over all, they choose to engage with each other regularly and sometimes they put their friendship to work for a joint cause (most often, against Spike the dog.)

Conflict Resolution

This one is pretty obvious really. Tom and Jerry routinely find something to argue about. They are creative in how they work to solve the problem and, for the most part, they always come to resolution. They work hard and try different methods; and eventually, something works. Problem solved. What better lesson is there about solving life's problems, big and small?


Tom and Jerry may not always get along, but when someone else tries to threaten the careful balance of their relationship there is hell to pay. When Spike gets involved and tries to get either cat or mouse on his side, it usually ends up backfiring some how.


Life isn't fair, but we can be happy despite unfairness. Sometimes Tom wins and other times Jerry gets the upper hand. They both end up happy at times and frustrated other times when they don't get what they want. Just like when we go shopping....we don't always get what we want there either! What self-respecting parent doesn't want their kids to understand that message?

Culture, Sociology, History, & the Fine Arts

Many episodes of Tom and Jerry are set to a spectacular score or involve a variety of fine art experiences, such as conducting symphonies, figure skating, painting, and dancing. Many episodes even have an historical setting, such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the French Revolution, and the Great Depression.

In addition, Tom and Jerry are representative of cultural issues of their time. They may not always be appropriate for today's PC culture, but that is also a topic for discussion. What an interesting education our kids would receive if we talked to them about how contemporary cultural and sociological issues even affects cartoons, such as Tom and Jerry.

So next time you sit down to berate this cat and mouse duo, sit back for a minute and reflect on what Tom and Jerry can teach us. Maybe you will discover something to appreciate after all.


Anna said...

You left out a bunch of my LEAST favorite things: violence, racism, classism, sexism. Down with Tom and Jerry!

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