Judge Clark Douglas wouldn't know what to do with a mouse if he ever actually caught one.
Our review of Tom And Jerry: Fur Flying Adventures, Volume 1, published February 8th, 2011, is also available.
One flustered feline + one resourceful rodent = 14 wild and wacky cartoons!
While genuine Tom and Jerry enthusiasts already have many of the cartoons featured in this collection via a series of superior previously released DVD sets, parents just looking for a random batch of cat n' mouse fun to keep the kiddies busy for 99 minutes will probably appreciate what Tom and Jerry: Fur Flying Adventures Volume 2 has to offer. Still, animation enthusiasts should be warned that there are a number of significant problems with this set. Let's tackle these toons one by one…
• "Tops with Pops": A vintage Hanna-Barbera short in which a prankish Tom attempts to bother poor Spike and Tyke. As you might expect, this plan goes rather badly for the cat. It's a solid effort, but this widescreen short is given the non-anamorphic treatment. That's inexcusable in 2011.
• "Monster Con": Alas, we've also got some of the lame Tom and Jerry Tales shorts thrown in with the genuine classics. This wheezy monster parody suffers from weak dialogue, unimaginative slapstick, and a synthesized score that never approaches the inventive orchestral work done on the older shorts.
• "Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl": A Bugs n' Porky-style piece in which Jerry interferes with Tom's efforts to conduct a symphony.
• "Of Feline Bondage": You might expect a detailed examination of S&M tendencies of Tom & Jerry's relationship, but instead you get the unexpected arrival of a mouse fairy with magical powers. Jerry manages to persuade her to deal with Tom once and for all. It's well-directed by Chuck Jones and a bit more diverse than the usual Tom n' Jerry short.
• "Saturday Evening Puss": The lady of the house goes out for the night, and Tom invites all his feline pals over for a party. It's very much a Tom and Jerry variation on the cat party from The Aristocats.
• "The A-Tom-inable Snowman": Tom goes skiing and encounters a giant dog. Intriguingly, this Chuck Jones short begins with a pre-credits sequence, a rarity in animated shorts.
• "Surf-Bored Cat": Tom goes surfing; much chaos ensues.
• "Snowbody Loves Me": Jerry takes shelter from the snow inside Tom's house, which causes Tom to experience a series of Dali-esque horrors (no, really!).
• "Duel Personality": Jerry officially challenges Tom a duel. Surprisingly, they both take this much more seriously than you might expect. A very enjoyable piece.
• "Is There a Doctor in the Mouse?": Since this short does not feature a scene in which a doctor gives Jerry a colonoscopy, the answer is a resounding "no." This short is good-natured fun, though.
• "Haunted Mouse": Less of a horror short than you might expect, but still engaging stuff.
• "The Declaration of Independence": Another Tom and Jerry Tales short. What god-awful music this piece has.
• "Kitty Hawked": Another awful Tom and Jerry Tales short, this time spotlighting the Wright Brothers.
• "Which Witch": A final Tom and Jerry Tales short to conclude the disc on a sour note.
The transfer quality varies from short to short, with the widescreen shorts tending to look the sharpest and brightest. Some have a few flecks and specks, but there's no color bleeding or other significant issues. Audio is quite solid for the most part, as the music, sound design and minimal dialogue comes through with clarity. There are no extras on the disc.
There's some good stuff in this collection, but the Tom and Jerry Tales shorts are insufferable and the non-anamorphic presentation of "Tops with Pops" is quite discouraging. Too bad.
The shorts are hit-and-miss, but the collection as a whole is guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• IMDb: Tom and Jerry Tales
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