TOM & JERRY: SPOTLIGHT COLLECTION 3
MOVIE: ***** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
Studio: Warner Bros.
BY KEVIN CARR
I love Tom & Jerry. In fact, the entire MGM cartoon library is my favorite kind out there. Yes, I like the Looney Tunes, but I will always love the Tom & Jerry cartoons, along with the Tex Avery classics, the most. It goes back to my school days when the local station showed an hour of these cartoons every day in the afternoon.
Warner Bros. (who now owns this library of cartoons) has released the third volume in its Spotlight Collection, which completes the presentation of the Hanna/Barbara theatrical shorts. Many of these stories feature side characters like Spike the bulldog and Jerry’s feathered friends.
The greatest part about this DVD collection is that the shorts are presented uncut and unedited. While you can catch a lot of the classic MGM cartoons on Cartoon Network, they’ve been cut for the sensitive audience. However, these shorts on the DVD include all the inappropriate violence, gunplay and racial stereotypes. It’s not that I’m a racist, but this is a part of history, and the sanitizing of classic media borders on Big Brother thought police, in my humble opinion.
So sure, we see politically incorrect references to African Americans, Native Americans and Asians, but in a strange way, that’s part of the overall charm. In the end, these shorts aren’t meant to be evil or “wrong” (as is stated in the DVD’s disclaimer). They are a reflection of their time. And in any respect, can’t we all stop being such reactionary killjoys?
The entire Spotlight Collection is a treat for any collector or Tom & Jerry fan. Included on the two discs are 35 classic cartoons, a history of the animation team the made them and the 2005 release “The Karate Guard,” which was Joseph Barbara’s last cartoon he spearheaded.