I wanted to find out what was the most viewed Tom and Jerry short on YouTube tonight, and it turned out to be Salt Water Tabby with 24.4 million views. But this is no ordinary copy of the short; it has a completely new dialogue track in a Moroccan Arabic dialect by Bouchana Abdelilah. By comparison, the non-Arabic version (i.e. the boring original) of Salt Water Tabby has a mere 346,000 views. Why does a remixed version of a classic short have seventy (yes, 70!) times more viewers than the original? And will an Arabic voice-over make any cartoon funny and popular? In that case, Allen Gregory could’ve used a whole lot of Arabic. I don’t claim to have the answers to such questions, but I’m intrigued by this YouTube anomaly.
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