1962 was an odd year for Tom & Jerry. MGM may have kicked Hanna Barbera out of their studio, but it was in ’62 that the studio decided to mount a major revival. Along with new Gene Deitch Tom & Jerry shorts in the theaters for the ’61-62 season, a revived effort in comic books (as Western took over publishing the property from Dell, they refreshed the brand in a new giant-sized title, Tom & Jerry’s Fun House), the studio put together a compilation of great Hanna Barbera shorts and advertised it as a feature called “Tom And Jerry” Festival Of Fun.
You’ll note in the pressbook below, that this feature was clearly aimed towards families and kids (urging theatres to give “Half-price for Mom and Dad!“). Saturday matinees were looking for fresh product at the time – and MGM scored a success with its anime release of Magic Boy the previous summer. Click thumbnail below to enlarge pressbook pages:
As noted in the pressbook above, the film used Jerry’s Diary (embed below) as the bridging material to surround the shorts. Other films included in the Festival of Fun were Old Rocking Chair Tom, The Little Orphan, Jerry’s Cousin, Professor Tom, Mouse Cleaning, Yankee Doodle Mouse, Mouse Trouble, Nit-Witty Kitty, Push-Button Kitty and Saturday Evening Puss.
Could it be the success of this compilation (along with exhibitor the disfavor of the Deitch shorts) that convinced the studio to contract with Chuck Jones to continue making the shorts in the 1960s?