Hey folks, Valkor here. When it comes to classic cartoons, without question Tom and Jerry toons are usually the best entertainment you can find. While I love Bugs and co and all their zany antics, it’s always fun when you can watch a cat and mouse kick the shit outta each other. Well Warner Home has released a specific collection of the old Tom and Jerry Toons, though not a set I’m particularly fond of, it still damn good watching plus it’s produced by none of than Chuck Jones, who also wrote and directed some of the shorts. I give you “Tom and Jerry – The Chuck Jones Collection”.
This 2 disc set contains 34 shorts for which Chuck Jones had a hand in. They feature a revamped Tom and Jerry, which is an improved look from their classic design. They’re antics are a bit watered down from the earlier shorts. But it’s all about the cat and mouse baby because they still rip, explode, chop, torch, slice and dice into each other. But as a whole they are still friends and when one is in trouble the other steps in to defend. Usually the stories with Jerry as the victor, sometimes it ends with Tom and sometimes it’s a draw.
But you can always tell a Chuck Jones cartoon when you see it. I remember when I First watched “Stay Tuned” with John Ritter. One of the channels he clicked to was a “Chuck Jones” Tom and Jerry-esqe and yelled out “That’s a Chuck Jones!” and besides Tex Avery, his style is the only one I recognize and can attach his name to it whenever I see it.
Extras include “Chuck Jones: Memories of a childhood” which has Chuck narrating his life, done up with animation done by him. It’s interesting to get a look into his life interspersed with original animation as well as some bits from Looney Tunes shorts. It’s an interesting look into his life and one you shouldn’t pass up.
The second extra is “Tom and Jerry… and Chuck”, which is a look at how Chuck was put onto the Tom and Jerry shorts and what he brought to the table to make the characters all his own. It’s narrated by June Foray, who also did voice work for Chuck in some of the Tom and Jerry shorts (along with the greatness of Mel Blanc).
On with the review.
It’s Tom and Jerry! Two friends who love to hate each other! It’s simplicity at its finest: take one cat, add one mouse, put them together and watch comedy ensue. The shorts have been digitally re-mastered so they’ve been cleaned and look brand spankin new. Audio is nothing special, but they do sound great. Overall a fine package.
Ok in all honesty, I’m not the biggest fan of these particular shorts. Whenever I see Tom replace the MGM lion in the opening, I always let out a groan. It’s not that they’re bad, they’re just lacking in the fun that the older shorts have. The fun of watching Tom and Jerry shorts is the fact that they really try to destroy one another, no holds barred. There’s never any blood, never any gore, it’s just fun (fantasy) violence. In Chuck’s shorts, the pacing is slow and the action is sometimes uneventful, plus the characters… lack character. If you ask me to name just one ep of this set that stands out, I can’t think of one. But ask me about some of the older, Hanna – Barbara shorts and I can name a few, like the “Is you is or is you ain’t mah baby?” ep, or any of the Mammy shorts. What about eps with Spike and his son? Or Mammy?
Don’t let my dislikes dissuade anyone from picking up this set, because there are still laughs to be had. What the hell it’s Tom and Jerry, you really can't go wrong. Even my nieces and nephews, who I let watch this set, loved it. And yea ok I will admit I liked it too. It’s not full of the over the top senseless violence that I’m used with Tom and Jerry, but it makes me appreciate the man behind the toons and all that he’s done for the genre. So out of TOV 5 stars, I give the Tom and Jerry – Chuck Jones Collection 3 stars. And it’s been Valkor tested and TOV approved.