Warner Bros. // 2006 // 294 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 30th, 2010
Ah, the return of cartoon violence!
Warner Bros. modern resuscitation of one the most recognizable franchises in the world of animation is decidedly old-school. The first season of Tom and Jerry Tales recounts the misadventures of the most famous cat and mouse slapstick team in history, updated with clean animation and contemporary sensibilities, but rooted firmly in the traditions of way-back when. Meaning Tom chases around Jerry and ends up in a world of hurt as a result.
Like I said, old school. Tom gets flattened, inflated, run over, squashed, flayed, crushed, and frozen into a block of ice. The new series employs the orthodox Tom and Jerry playbook, and though I was never that big a fan as a child, I can appreciate the conservative approach to the re-launch. In an age of whining and oversensitivity, it's refreshing to see an animated cat get smacked around once in a while.
The two-disc set features 13 episodes, each show chopped up into seven-minute shorts, typically tied together with a theme -- dinosaurs, space, construction work, the ocean. While Tom and Jerry are usually pitched as adversarial, there are episodes where the two work together and even share a bed (!). Here, the common antagonist is usually an ill-tempered bulldog or a scruffy rival tomcat.
This is a good series, attractively animated, well-paced and the episodic-shorts approach is beneficial. Tom and Jerry are both mute (thankfully) and only a few side characters will utter dialogue; the show is largely silent, driven by the on-screen mayhem and the soundtrack. No school like the old school.
A simple DVD set: (clean and colorful) full frame, mono sound and no extras.
Not Guilty. Just don't tell the SPCA.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French)
Running Time: 294 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated