Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cartoon Round-up 5: Tom & Jerry

Today's Cartoon Round-up selection is that lovable cat and mouse duo Tom & Jerry. I can say with 100% certainty that I have seen every single Tom & Jerry theatrical short. I remember rushing to my grandmother's house after school so I could watch the Tom & Jerry show! Before there were VCRs I once used a tape recorder and recorded the audio of the cartoons. I would hit record and set the recorder next to the TV speaker. It wasn't until I played it back that there was never any dialog in most of the shorts. So all I recorded was music and sound effects.

Over their career they have had several directors that have put their own signature stamp on the duo. I would say that the most notable, classic look to Tom & Jerry would have to be the ones by William Hannah and Joseph Barbera (1948 - 1958). The others have been Gene Deitch (1960 - 1962) and the great Chuck Jones (1963 - 1967). I could always tell by the opening scene which director did that short. Each had their own style. Hannah and Barbera's usually had the MGM lion roaring in the beginning with those great classic backgrounds. Chuck Jones' intros would have Tom standing in for the lion and Jerry would come sliding into frame and resting on the "Y". Gene Deitch's were VERY unique. The style of his films were unlike any of the others. Even the music and sound effects had a very distinct sound. To this day a friend of mine and I will look at each other and just say, "Dickey Moe!" and know exactly which cartoon we're talking about. I never got into the Tom and Jerry cartoon series that was resurrected for Saturday morning cartoons by Filmation from 1980 - 1982. They just didn't have that same feel to them as the originals.

So now I present for your viewing pleasure the following Tom and Jerry shorts:

"The Cat Concerto" (1946) directed by William Hannah and Joseph Barbera

"Baby Puss" (1943) directed by William Hannah and Joseph Barbera

"Pecos Pest" (1955) directed by William Hannah and Joseph Barbera

"Is There A Doctor in the Mouse" (1964) directed by Chuck Jones

"Dickey Moe" (1962) directed by Gene Deitch

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