Tom & Jerry cartoons used to be so much fun back in the day. The mayhem, the violence, the pursuit of one cat to vanquish one tiny little mouse (and never succeeding). I remember one episode very vividly that involved Tom destroying the whole house to get to Jerry and literally killing himself in the process (well the fake cartoon dieing anyway). They probably took that off tv these days with trying to sanitize children’s programming and all. However, without Tom & …Jerry, there would be no Wile E. Coyote & Road Runner, no Itchy & Scratchy & no Rosie O Donnell & Donald Trump. (all I’m saying is that Rosie is hungry). Since those old cartoons are considered too violent (*roll eyes*) and sometimes too racist (*even bigger roll eyes*) they try to bring back popular cartoons in new tv series. They do this to try to bring back today’s viewing public back in by serving them friendly cartoons and keep the parents from suing or complaining to somebody.
Hence, we have the second volume of Tom and Jerry tales. Twelve shorts (roughly 7 minutes each) of Tom and Jerry living up a marquee they never quite get to. It has some cute moments and even recycles some old gags. There is even some good old fashioned cartoon violence (*gasp*). But it never quites get there. You never get the sense that Tom is trying to eat Jerry. He’s merely just keeping him on as a pest or something of a slave to do his bidding. I don’t expect mayhem and slaughter (well maybe I do). But sometimes when they seemingly wrap things up in these episodes they do it a little too cut and dry. Heck, sometimes it seems like they run into time constraints and just leave an episode open with too many questions. One thing I do like about this dvd is that it is themed; each set of three shorts are on the same subject. Whether it be the beach, technology or medieval themed, it’s grouped well.
The video is the standard tv definition 1:33 to 1. The picture is decent, though nothing special. Color is certainly better than the old shorts, but isn’t going to jump up and grab you either. It’s always funny to me how much gray they use on Tom even when he’s with a female cat who is dressed up to the nines. Actually, come to think of it; he’s actually naked. (alright, on to audio)
Audio is in 2.0 Dolby Digital for English and in French (Tom & Jerry cartoons are always special when put in the language of love). The dialog is clear and the sound effects are even decent. So no complaints here. Surrounds aren’t plentiful but it’s a children’s show so nothing fancy is required. Subtitles would have been nice but kids don’t need to read. That’s for them schools to teach.
Trailers: What’s New Scooby Doo? Season 2, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Vol. 6, & Ed, Edd & Eddy Season 2 (nice, would they just release season sets to Fairly Oddparents already!).
Another classic case of wanting to love a dvd but I can’t. Tom and Jerry Tales is decent, but devoid of the true magic the old cartoon shorts had. It has some good moments but ultimately fails to produce the results we hope for. The dvd seems like a budget grab with 12 shorts only amounting to 87 minutes of enjoyment. Once you realize you are truly only getting 4 half hour episodes on a single disk, you feel slighted no matter what the cost. The graphics and the audio are decent and good enough to keep most kids interested. However, you might want to look into the Spotlight collection to find those classic shorts that everybody should remember. One last note, for Droopy fans. Droopy appears in episode 9 (Tomcat Jetpack) for about all of 20 seconds; however he delivers the best line in the episode easily. Enjoy.
Beach Bully Bingo
Treasure Map Scrap
Fire Breathing Tomcat
Piranha Be Loved(By You)
Special Features List
- Trailers (3)