Hey gang, Valkor here. And it’s been quite some time since the cat and mouse duo of “Tom and Jerry” have graced the pages of TOV; what the heck, I didn’t think any more cartoons were being produced. That is until the gang over at WB Entertainment dropped this sweet new DVD on our doorstep. “The Tom and Jerry Show: Funny Side Up” offers up something old, a whole lot of new and loads of laughs. Check it out.
This brand new version of “The Tom and Jerry Show” brings back the traditional look and feel of the classic Hanna-Barbara shorts, with an all new polish as it was filmed in Adobe Flash. You can tell straight away it’s a Flash product, but that doesn’t hurt the series at all. What’s even cooler about the series is that not only has the look of the characters been brought back, but they’ve also brought back the original voices such as Tom's yelp and sound effects, which is something that has been SORELY missed in the previously released items. Hearing Tom’s classic yell brought on a wave of nostalgia and kept me glued to my seat throughout my run of the 2-Disc DVD set. Not only are the looks and sounds preserved, but old favorites make a return as well as new comers to the fold; Nibbles, Spike and Tike, Butch the Cat and Little Quacker are back as well as newbies such as Napoleon, The two witch sisters – Beatie and Hildie, and BOT. Highlights of the set include:
My Bot-y Guard (Valkor Favorite) – BOT has been given a home security upgrade, so anyone breaking into the lab or making the slightest noise will set him off. So you know it’s gonna go down when Tom makes the scene looking for a rodent snack.
Pets Not Welcome – The gang of Spike, Tom, Jerry and Nibbles go on vacation with the humans of the show. But Pets aren’t allowed in the hotel, so the family attempts to sneak them in. Of course cat + mice + dog are a recipe for disaster.
Little Quacker and Mister Fuzzy Hide - Tom has cooked up a meal not fit for the witch sisters and leaving it out it ends up in the hands of Little Quacker, which turns him into a raging beast… or does it?
Cat Napped – in homage to “Rear Window”, Tom is broken, bruised and wheelchair ridden. His only form of entertainment are these binoculars where he spots the lovely Misty. Tom’s new love interest is suddenly cat-napped and it’s up to him, Jerry and new dog pal Scarf, who also seems to have some romantic interest in Misty, to find her.
No additional extras are available on the set, though I would have loved a behind the scenes type featurette that went into the series creation, the choice to bring back the original vocals and also the design of the characters. All of this combined really brings back that classic look and feel, though it’s not completely perfect. And I’ll tell you why in the TOV Breakdown.
I had no idea that this new run of the “Tom and Jerry Show” was even on air (on Cartoon Network) and when I got the email about this series, I assumed it was for a past set, repackaged. But “The Tom and Jerry Show: Funny Side Up” is the right kind of funny I’ve been waiting for in a Tom and Jerry show for a long time; all of the slapstick and the fun that’s been missing all these years have finally returned. And what truly brings this series front and center is the original vocals, which fits in perfectly and enhances the laughs. Now the comedy isn’t as strong as the original, which I don’t think nothing will compare, but this new series stands well on its own with loads of visual jokes that will appeal to any age. The animation and designs truly sells this set well, given that the series is taken back to its original roots – Tom and Jerry matches their original counterparts almost too perfection, but with a bit more modern flair and almost as fluid, if not even more fluid, animation. The colors pop and the attention to detail is a nice touch; still not like the hand drawn original, but it works well. Funny Side Up is the Tom and Jerry I’ve longed for, for many years… yet there's something missing…
I know we’ll never get to see the over-the-top violence of yesteryears, but that’s truly what’s missing to make Tom and Jerry whole; you can bring back the design and the voice, but if the level of slapstick isn’t there such as Tom getting his tail chopped off, or Jerry narrowly missing an axe to the back to reveal a girdle underneath his skin then it’s simply isn’t “all the way the same”. I’ve accepted that aspect of the characters will never see a return and me mentioning it here is just my way of letting go and accepting the new. At least I have the classic stuff to fall back on and I have room in my heart for this new set as well.
The Tom and Jerry Show: Funny Side Up is available now and it’s a entertaining good time that can be had by all; it’s filled with a lot of laughs, a mix of old and new characters as well as other aspects of the original shorts that can truly be appreciated by all ages. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give Funny Side Up a 4.