WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Last year, Warner Bros. gave us an awesome “Tom & Jerry” DVD collection, with all of the old Chuck Jones cartoons. Previous years, we saw the unedited versions of the “Tom & Jerry Spotlight Collection” double-disc DVDs. This year, Warner Bros. has dropped “Tom & Jerry: Deluxe Anniversary Collection,” amassing 30 classic cartoons and features, including rare appearances from films like “Anchors Aweigh” with Gene Kelly and “Dangerous When We” with Esther Williams.
WHAT I LIKED
I’ve been a huge “Tom & Jerry” fan over the years, ever since I was a child, watching the classic cartoons on Saturday mornings and after school. One of my favorite “Tom & Jerry” releases from Warner Bros. was the “Chuck Jones Collection” last year, simply because I love Chuck Jones as an animator, and his touch to the classic cat and mouse team might have been unconventional, but it was no less brilliant.
Like the previous “Spotlight Collections,” the “Deluxe Anniversary Collection” includes a more diverse array of “Tom & Jerry” classics, starting with the early episodes from the 30s and 40s. In fact, it includes the very first cartoon in which Tom was simply called Jasper, and Jerry had no name.
The first disc is a treat with almost two dozen cartoons, including multiple Academy Award winning shorts. These are the classic “Tom & Jerry” episodes I remember as a child.
The second disc includes a more scattershot selection. The treat for these were several Chuck Jones cartoons along with the Gene Kelly and Esther Williams special episodes. I’ve always seen clips from the famous Gene Kelly performance, but it was nice to see the entire segment now in its entirety.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The first thing you’ll notice when you pop this DVD into your player is the cumbersome disclaimer telling the viewer that the old cartoons contain stereotypes. Not to defend stereotypes, but the overly politically correct and lawyer-approved disclaimer just gets annoying, especially when you’re forced to sit through it every time you watch the disc. I would have preferred the simple text-on-the-cover warning and leave it at that. (More over, these cartoons do include politically correct edits, which is bothersome from a revisionist history perspective.)
While this collection doesn’t contain the bizarre and off-kilter Deitch cartoons from the 60s, they are lacking for a complete perspective, especially when you consider the fact that they stuck in a few episodes from the cheap Saturday morning “Tom & Jerry Show” and “Tom & Jerry Kids.”
In addition to the selection of cartoons, the first disc includes “Much Ado About Tom and Jerry,” a retrospective of the famous cat and mouse duo.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Tom & Jerry fans and their kids (in spite of what the disclaimers say).
Watch this clip from "Tom & Jerry: Deluxe Anniversary Collection"