Hatch Up Your Troubles is a 1949 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 41st Tom and Jerry short produced by Fred Quimby and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with musical supervision by Scott Bradley and animation by Ed Barge, Ray Patterson, Irven Spence and Kenneth Muse. The cartoon was produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on May 14, 1949 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer.
Hatch Up Your Troubles begins with a mother woodpecker leaving her nest for a brief lunch. The egg that she was nesting jumps up in her absence and falls to the ground, rolling into Jerry's mousehole and into his bed. Jerry wakes up to find himself sitting on the egg, which begins to hatch. Out comes a baby woodpecker who instantly takes to Jerry as his mother. The adorable, but naturally, peckish woodpecker cannot resist pecking away at Jerry's furniture.
Jerry returns the woodpecker to his nest, but the little bird follows Jerry back to his hole. Eventually, Jerry gives up on the woodpecker and orders him out. With nowhere to go, the despondent baby woodpecker wanders around the garden, where he comes across an unsuspecting Tom, who is sitting in a deckchair, drinking and reading a magazine. The woodpecker carelessly pecks slightly at the deckchair's leg. An irritated Tom pours his drink onto the woodpecker, who then proceeds to peck through the entire leg of the deckchair, causing it to fold up with Tom still sitting on it.
Mayhem ensues. Tom begins to chase the bird, who screeches "Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama!" Jerry emerges from his mousehole and decides to intervene, stopping Tom with a rake. However Tom manages to grab hold of the rake, trapping Jerry in the process, who cannot run away. The woodpecker pecks off the end of the rake, allowing Jerry to run off, and sending Tom hurtling backwards into a mailbox. Tom hurls the long remainder of the rake handle at Jerry and the bird, but the bird quickly pecks it down to a stub. In the ensuing chase, Tom swallows the bird. The bird pecks deep inside Tom's stomach, which vibrates violently. Tom drinks from a bucket of water, only for the water to seep out through tiny holes in his body. The woodpecker eventually pecks his way out through Tom's teeth, and as Jerry runs off, he runs straight into an axe and is knocked out cold. As Tom attempts to disembowel Jerry, the woodpecker continually pecks at the cat's head. Tom grabs the woodpecker in his hand and corks his beak, rendering the woodpecker useless at attacking him. Tom then ties the woodpecker to a telegraph pole. However, the woodpecker manages to free himself, and noticing that Jerry has very little time to escape, quickly performs a complicated calculation in order to stop Tom and rescue Jerry. The woodpecker pecks away at the telegraph pole which comes crashing down onto Tom's head, hammering him down into the ground.
Jerry is thankful for the woodpecker's help. However, the mother woodpecker flies into the scene. The baby woodpecker realises just who his mother is after all, and is whisked away by his mother. Jerry realises that he will miss his avian companion more than he thought he would. Just then, the baby woodpecker flies back to Jerry, gives him a big kiss and flies away again, as Jerry waves him off happily.