WHAT IT’S ABOUT
After spearheading the golden days of Looney Tunes, Chuck Jones headed over to MGM animation to take over the “Tom & Jerry” franchise in the mid-1960s. With re-designed characters, these slapstick cartoon classics revitalized the series after almost being destroyed by the wacky and bizarre Gene Dietch days. Warner Bros. has released a compilation of all the Chuck Jones selections from this series, including 34 remastered theatrical shorts on two discs.
WHAT I LIKED
I love “Tom & Jerry” cartoons. In fact, I might even consider this series to be my favorite cartoon series of all time, even beyond that of the classic Looney Tunes. There’s a simplicity of the cat-vs.-mouse storyline. Jerry is forever sympathetic, and Tom is equally dastardly. However, there are times when I find myself rooting for both characters.
The Chuck Jones shorts are quite different from the earlier waves of the series, which might make them a little odd to watch for the “Tom & Jerry” purist. However, even today, they have a fresh feel with excellent cell animation. They aren’t too steeped in their decade, save for a few shots that are more reminiscent of old “Pink Panther” cartoon styles than anything else.
Because he had such a strong influence on the Looney Tunes, Chuck Jones brought that flavor with him (as well as Mel Blanc as his key voice artist), and along with Abe Levitow, developed some of the most memorable shorts in the “Tom & Jerry” line.
Even the flashback episodes, which includes footage from the Hanna-Barbera days cut into the shorts, are funny and clever.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
I have to admit that when it comes to the Chuck Jones collection of “Tom & Jerry” cartoons, there’s really nothing I don’t like. I only wish there were more than 34 shorts available, although it is worthwhile to note that Jones did develop a few new shorts before his death in 2002. These can be found on other “Tom & Jerry” compilations, like the “Tom & Jerry Tales” releases.
In addition to the 34 remastered cartoons is the featurette “Tom and Jerry... and Chuck.” This featurette includes interviews with Jones about his development of the Tom and Jerry characters. There’s also a new documentary called “Chuck Jones: Memories of a Childhood,” which serves as an overall biography of the legendary animator.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Tom & Jerry fans wanting to relive their childhood days and share them with their kids.
Watch this clip from "Tom & Jerry: The Chuck Jones Collection"