The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio was the in-house division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) motion picture studio in Hollywood, responsible for producing animated short subjects to accompany MGM feature films in Loew's Theaters. Active from 1937 until 1957, the cartoon studio produced some of the most popular cartoon series and characters in the world, including the famous cartoons Barney Bear, Droopy, Screwy Squirrel and George and Junior, but particularly its most important creation, Tom and Jerry.
Prior to forming its own cartoon studio, MGM released the work of independent animation producer Ub Iwerks, and later the Happy Harmonies series from Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising. The MGM cartoon studio was founded to replace Harman and Ising, although both men eventually became employees of the studio. After a slow start, the studio began to take off in 1940 after its short The Milky Way became the first non-Disney cartoon to win the Academy Award for Best Short Subjects: Cartoons. The studio's roster of talent was benefited from an exodus of animators from the Schlesinger and Disney studios, who were facing issues with union workers. Originally established and run by executive Fred Quimby, in 1955 William Hanna & Joseph Barbera, the writer-directors of the Tom and Jerry cartoons, became the heads of the studio. The cartoon studio was closed on May 15, 1957, at which time Hanna and Barbera took much of the staff to form their own company, Hanna-Barbera Productions.