Judge Franck Tabouring doesn't like mice or cats, but for Tom and Jerry he'll gladly make an exception.
Masters of the chase: Tom, Jerry…and Chuck.
The most entertaining cat-and-mouse duo returns to DVD once more, and this time, they're engaging in battle Chuck Jones style! Warner's Tom and Jerry: The Chuck Jones Collection offers 34 hilarious cartoons from the 1960s, and here's what this two-disc set has to offer:
Looks like quite the splendid collection, right? Diehard Tom and Jerry fans will undoubtedly have tons of fun exploring all of these Chuck Jones-produced cartoons, which differ slightly from the episodes of the previous two decades. First of all, Tom and Jerry look a little different here, with the cat getting thicker eyebrows and the mouse receiving larger eyes and ears. Just compare some of these shorts to those of the 1940s and '50s, and you'll easily be able to tell the difference.
Content-wise, Chuck Jones' collection of Tom and Jerry chases also boasts several changes. Most of these shorts feature plenty of pop culture references, and you'll also see some of these episodes have a recurring psychedelic undertone. Furthermore, some of these cartoons are still a little more violent than the more recent ones. Tom still expresses a strong desire to eat Jerry, and they both don't shy away from inflicting a bunch of pain on each other. Consequently, it shouldn't come as surprise that the back cover of this DVD collection includes the following statement: "Tom and Jerry: The Chuck Jones Collection is intended for the adult collector and may not be suitable for children."
Violent or not, I remember watching most of these shorts as a kid, and back then, they certainly didn't harm me in any way. My favorite episodes were "Guided Mouse-Ille" and "Advance and be Mechanized," and revisiting these jewels on DVD brings back some great feelings of nostalgia. Plus, each of these great cartoons are still just as entertaining and hilarious. Two other all-time favorites of mine are "Bad Day at Cat Rock" and "Jerry, Jerry, Quite Contrary."
Tom and Jerry collectors should also be pleased to know that the cartoons on this set are presented in a solid 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen format. The image quality is mostly clean, and the colors strong enough for a remastered version. The discs' audio transfers work just as well.
The bonus material on this set features "Chuck Jones: Memories of a Childhood," an incredibly enlightening 26-minute documentary about Jones' life, his inspirations and his fantastic career. Featuring plenty of interesting, emotional interviews with the late animator, this piece is one you shouldn't miss at any cost. His stories are compelling, his insight intriguing and watching and listening to him reflect on his life proves to be quite a wonderful viewing experience. The special features also includes "Tom and Jerry…and Chuck," a 20-minute documentary that takes a closer look at how Jones got to producing these Tom and Jerry episodes. Just as entertaining and memorable as the previous piece, this one features additional interviews, photographs, and a bunch of interesting trivia that will give viewers a better insight into Jones' work.
The selection of cartoons alone makes Tom and Jerry: The Chuck Jones Collection worth the investment. Packaged nicely and with more cat-and-mouse action that you can possibly handle, this collection pays a solid tribute to one of the greatest animators in history.
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