Tom And Jerry Tales: Volume Five – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

When I was a kid growing up, the Tom And Jerry cartoons that I saw were the originals from decades ago which would walk a very thin line today. There was plenty of violence and enough stereotypes to make any ethical movement completely freak out. There was the black housekeeper who seemed to be a direct descendent of Aunt Jemima; even though we never saw above her knees. Tom and Jerry used to batter the bejeebers out of one another with mouse traps, frying pans, bats, and just about everything else they could get their hands on. They were amazing cartoons that always kept my interest no matter what the storyline of each one was. It’s quite a shame that today’s version of the famous cat and mouse team can’t do the same.

Tom is a common housecat that has a huge distaste for a mouse named Jerry who also lives in the house. Other then them not liking each other; they constantly try to outdo one another by force. Tom tries to get Jerry out of the house and Jerry does what he needs to do to Tom in order to stay put. You’ll never hear them say a word, but they really don’t have to. It has always been the focus put on their actions and feud that makes the duo so popular and has kept them in the spotlight for so long.

As an animated series stays on the air; it’s going to get overhauls as long as new episodes keep being created. The premise may stay the same, but usually the animation changes and sometimes new characters may be introduced as well. One of the biggest problems I find with this newer version of Tom And Jerry is that some of the episodes take away from what their foundation is built upon, their feuding. The episode entitled “Monster Con” brings in all sorts of old school monsters and has Tom and Jerry dealing with them more then each other. What bugs me most about this episode is that we are shown the monsters’ and humans’ full bodies and faces. One of the traits of the original series that made it so special was never showing more then a human’s legs so that the focus could remain on the animals (the stars).

The DVD claims that we are given twelve episodes, but that isn’t entirely true. Each episode is actually comprised of three short (five to six minute) shorts that have nothing to do with one another. Not that they need to relate because all we need is Tom and Jerry and it should be all gravy right? You’d think that, but the modernization of this classic cartoon pair has really taken a lot of the fun out of it. They are barely in the house anymore as you’ll see them at the pool, at camp, in a castle, and numerous other places. Both of them slap on some protective gear to skateboard and partake in extreme sports. Tom And Jerry still remains an interesting and fun duo, but instead of being able to watch for hours like I used to; I find it hard to sit through more then one single (three shorts) episode at any time.

Episodes

Invasion Of The Body Slammers
Monster Con
Over The River And Boo The Woods
Xtreme Trouble
A Life Less Guarded
Sasquashed
Summer Squashing
League Of Cats
Little Big Mouse
Bend It Like Thomas
Endless Bummer
Game, Set, Match

The episodes are shown in Full Screen format and the animated shorts have made a nice transfer to DVD with bright colors, sharp animation, and everything looking very good.

The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound and there is nothing to complain about here as this is more then adequate for the series.

TrailersTiny Toon Adventures Season One Volume One, Freakazoid! Season One, It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and Lego Batman


I really hate what new technology, modern day advances, and different politically correct groups have done to some of my favorite cartoons and shows. I’d give anything to see Jerry slam Tom in the face with a golf club and hear that shrill voice scream, “THOOOMM-AAASSS! Git that mouse!” But alas, that will probably never happen again. Just like poor Speedy Gonzales who got the boot, but that’s a totally different story I won’t attempt to get into here. While this series isn’t awful, it just doesn’t appeal to my taste and bias for the original. There’s too much variation in location and way too much talking going on although I’m happy to report none from Tom or Jerry. At least that was kept sacred. No special features here, but not like I expected them. Little kids may get kicks out of these cartoons since they are obviously aimed at today’s little ones. But for you adults who still love cartoons; do yourself a favor and pick up the golden oldie version of our cat and mouse tag team.

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Warner Home Video presents Tom And Jerry Tales: Volume Five. Created by: Hanna-Barbera. Starring (voices): Don Brown, Sam Vincent, Michael Donovan, Colin Murdoch, Frank Welker, and more. Running time: 88 minutes. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: August 12, 2008. Available at Amazon.com