Mouse into Space is a Tom and Jerry animated short film released on April 13, 1962 (copyrighted 1961). It was the fifth of the thirteen cartoons in the series to be directed by Gene Deitch and produced by William L. Snyder in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
|Mouse into Space|
|Directed by||Gene Deitch|
|Story by||Tod Dockstader|
|Produced by||William L. Snyder|
|Starring||Allen Swift (uncredited)|
|Music by||Steven Konichek (uncredited)|
|Animation by||Jindra Barta|
Ludmila Kopecná (uncredited)
|Backgrounds by||Background paint:|
Bohumil Siska (uncredited)
Miluse Hluchanicová (uncredited)
The short begins with Jerry reading a magazine, in which they announce "that life is much better in space for a mouse" and Tom stealthily places a revolver to Jerry's head and shoots, but Jerry reacts quickly and avoids his death. He gets angry and continues reading, but Tom plants a bomb but just before Jerry explodes the throw, exploiting Tom.
Jerry reads that there are no cats in space, so he packs up to head off to space. A sad Tom tries to convince him to stay putting a hammer, a revolver, and even a bomb on his head, but Jerry ruthlessly ignores him and leaves home, saddening Tom. Jerry enlists as an astro-mouse, and after passing the test he proceeds to the rocketship. Tom falls into depression and drinks alcohol on an evening walk, and in his intoxicated state he sleeps in a tube that was actually the gasoline hose of a rocket. By night, a fuel truck arrives and a man resembling Tom’s owner from Down and Outing and High Steaks gets down to connect the hose to the fuel tank of the truck and turns the crank, releasing gasoline into the hose. Tom wakes up from the noise but unfortunately the gasoline has already drowned him so he tries to swim above, but moments later the astronaut hits the launch button, igniting the gasoline into fire. Tom climbs above the fire before it reaches him and eventually the bottommost part of the rocket falls off once the rocket enters space so Tom manages to survive. But the astronaut hits the number 2 button so the bottommost parts of the rocket again release fire and fall off and Tom jumps to the main rocket every time the bottommost part he is standing on falls off, until only a small conical capsule remains on the main rocket.
When he opens the capsule he is very happy to see Jerry, jumps into it, then moves Jerry's chair making it spin fast. While he laughs incessantly, Tom accidentally presses a button that makes the capsule spin and completely change its track into a loopy zigzag and the force of the spinning capsule coupled with a loosely-hinged door easily pushes Tom out of the capsule sending him flying in space but slowly due to zero gravity. A different capsule manages to collide into Tom, and when he opens it he finds a Soviet Bulldog resembling Spike. The frightened Tom flees but not knowing how to move fast in space he cannot defend himself from a stampede of moonstones, out of which one traps him inside it. As a lost Jerry navigates the capsule into space he senses a falling stone and he turns the capsule so the pointed tip splits open the moonstone, releasing Tom. He is now in Earth's gravity zone and falls down, but as his downward velocity increases a piece of the moonstone stuck to Tom's waist heats up to such a point that Tom shoots out of the moonstone but not fast enough to escape the gravity zone and falls to the earth in pieces as Jerry laughs at his predicament once he realizes that Tom was stuck in the moonstone he cracked. Jerry's capsule calmly lands in the space center when its in-built parachute activates.
Tom barely reaches home seeing Jerry is proud and jumps through the window with a hammer, gun, and bomb, but he drops those items after instantly noticing that Jerry won a medal for his successful space trip. He merrily greets Jerry and Jerry merrily greets Tom back before asking him to light a cigar for him. Instead of the cigar, Tom treacherously lights his shiny medal to set him on fire and kill him, but it backfires since the medal turns out to function as a jetpack as well, and Jerry now from his medal jetpack gives chase to Tom, forcing him to pack up his belongings and move out of the house. Jerry cheerfully waves goodbye to Tom as the cartoon closes.
In their book The Encyclopedia of Cartoon Superstars: From A to (almost) Z, authors John Calwey and Jim Korkis noted that while the Deitch shorts "were never as funny as the classics, they did have a quirky style all their own", believing that Deitch "was able to maintain the inner side of the characters by having them show occasional feelings". In Mouse into Space, as "one of the more bizarre examples", Tom becomes "so full of despair, that he takes to the bottle!".