Herman and Katnip, an almost forgotten cartoon pair.
Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery, if it is then Famous Studios' animated cat and mouse series certainly flattered MGM's Tom and Jerry.
Given that any mouse and cat cartoon is going to have some similarities with any other cat and mouse cartoon, the resemblances of the characters is still quite striking.
Herman the mouse in particular bears a strong resemblance to Jerry the mouse.
Katnip the cat did not look quite so much like Tom the cat, but you would be forgiven if you thought you knew where the inspiration for the cartoon character came from.
The plot lines of the two animated series' were pretty much alike too, but then most all cat and mouse cartoons are.
A lovable rouge of a cat chases a cute endearing mouse but cute mouse gets the better of the cat in the end. Lots of violence throughout the show.
Herman and Katnip are not remembered like MGM's cat and mouse pair are. Not only perhaps because they appeared on cinema screens later than their more famous rivals, but also because the personalities of the pair were possibly not quite as engaging.
Also, the Famous Studios' cat and mouse show did not have anywhere near as many later television airings that T. and J. enjoyed.
If H & K lacked anything personality wise then they tried to make up for it with the action. For action read, blowing each other up, one sending the other over a cliff, the 100 ton weight gag, and so on.
With so much emphasis placed on the violence it has been said that this cartoon show inspired the inclusion of Itchy and Scratchy in the Simpsons.
There seems to be some dispute about how many Herman and Katnip cartoon shows were made.
This could be because early in their career both characters made appearances in other Famous Studios' cartoons.
Herman often had encounters with other cats, and those 'toons may get mistaken for H&K episodes.
Katnip had often appeared in cartoons pitched against a guileful crow called Buzzy, the crow usually got the better of the cat.
Both characters spoke, and this was one difference they had to T&J.
The mouse was voiced by Arnold Stang who later supplied the voice for Top Cat.
There is quite a similarity between the mouse's voice and that of Leo Gorcey of the Bowery Boys. Syd Raymond supplied the voice for the cat.
Herman Mouse and Katnip Cat made their last cartoon appearance in 1959.
Perhaps the most famous of all the animated cats, Felix was the cat that kept on walking. This lovable little fellow held sway as the ' King of the cartoon characters', but then something happened to take away his crown... Find out what here > Felix the Cat.