The background was developed from the original Tom and Jerry model sheets. A model sheet is a group of character drawings illustrating different poses and expressions of a cartoon character. Because a number of artists worked on a single cartoon, these sheets were circulated to the animators to give a uniform look and feel to a character throughout the production.
Tom and Jerry first appeared under the names "Jasper" and "Jinx" in the 1940 classic "Puss Gets the Boot". That same year, "Puss Gets the Boot" won an Academy Award for best short cartoon.
From 1940 to 1958, Tom and Jerry was written and directed by then animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, and produced at the MGM Studios. Several studios produced Tom and Jerry cartoons in the 1960s, including Chuck Jones' Sib Tower 12 Productions. It wasn't until the mid-70s that Hanna-Barbera took control, once again, of the wily cat and diminutive mouse.
The Hanna-Barbera-drawn versions of Tom and Jerry won several Academy Awards - more than any other cartoon in animation history.