One of my all time favorite animators and contributors to Warner Bros.’ Termite Terrace, it’s nice to see Tex Avery being given the best treatment. His shorts haven’t aged at all, they’re still wildly funny, absolutely insane, and you’re guaranteed to laugh a few times, even if these shorts aren’t exactly your bag. As a hardcore animation fan, “Screwball Classics” has so far chronicled some of the best from Avery, all uncut and in their original format. Volume 3 offers a lot of the same classic Tex Avery toons that are always worth re-visiting.
Warner Animation props up the long rotted corpse of “Tom and Jerry” long enough to produce what I’m sure they hoped would be a blockbuster big screen adaptation. For a series that’s been languishing on video store shelves with cheaply made, watered down animated movies for years, it’s not a surprise that “Tom and Jerry” is about as bland as ever. It’s also not at all surprising that Tim Story is the man called on to deliver such an inoffensive, forgettable, mishmash of weird ideas and concepts.
I grew up watching Tom and Jerry and have remained a fan well in to my thirties, despite their troubled history. Despite the great Hanna Barbera MGM shorts that made me laugh, there’s also the god awful Chuck Jones’ shorts, the watered down remakes, and reboots, and of course the endless string of cheaply made straight to DVD animated sequels where the pair duke it out.
With the upcoming big budget movie hitting limited theaters and VOD this week, I thought I’d list my top five all time favorite Tom and Jerry shorts. While I’m skeptical that “Tom and Jerry” will be anything but mediocre, I still hold a place in my heart for the Tom Cat and Rascally Brown Mouse.
What are Some of Your Favorite “Tom and Jerry” shorts?
There will never be anyone who can top the original Tom and Jerry shorts, but I’m surprised that “The Tom and Jerry Show” comes shockingly close to the original successful formula. This time, rather than hand drawn animation, we’re forced to endure flash animation, and that’s what holds down an otherwise fun series. What’s the point of flash animation for a tried and true comedy duo? I don’t understand it.
If you go into “A Nutcracker Tale” expecting full blown Tom and Jerry mayhem involving burning hands, cut tails, and knives to the butt, then you’re going to be disappointed. We’re now at a time of sheer confusion where a cat cutting a mouse’s tail is crossing the line yet we’ll willingly allow our children to watch MTV. Censors and the FCC can never seem to make up their damn minds, anymore.