Tom and Jerry is an American series of animated short films created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbara for MGM. The first entry, Puss Gets The Boot, featuring prototypical versions of the characters called "Jasper" and "Jinks" on studio model sheets respectively, was released in 1940.
Each cartoon stars Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse. Tom usually attempts to catch or eat Jerry, often without success. Other recurring characters include the maid Mammy Two Shoes, the bulldog Spike, his son Tyke, a duck named Quacker, alley cat Butch, and orphan mouse Nibbles.
In 1975, MGM licensed the characters to Hanna-Barbara's animation studio, who produced a new series of Tom and Jerry cartoons for The Tom and Jerry/Grape Ape Show. Tom and Jerry were depicted as friends, as opposed to friendly enemies.
In 1980, Filmation produced and released The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show. Droopy was also featured in cartoons on the show.
In March 1986, Turner Entertainment bought Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. They quickly sold MGM back due to unforeseen financial issues, but were allowed to keep the studio's pre-1986 library of films and their characters.
In 1990, Hanna-Barbara produced and released Tom and Jerry Kids, which aired on Fox Kids in the United States. Here, Tom and Jerry were depicted as children. Droopy, along with his son Dripple, also appeared in new shorts.
In 1992, the first movie Tom and Jerry: The Movie was released.
In 1996, Time Warner bought Turner Entertainment, who owns the property to this day.
Warner Bros. Animation, also owned by Time Warner, has produced direct-to-video Tom and Jerry movies annually since 2005, along with the 2006 TV show Tom and Jerry Tales and the 2014 TV show The Tom and Jerry Show (not to be confused with the 1975 cartoon show produced by Hanna-Barbara).