Tom and Jerry Tales Volume Two DVD features 12 brand new cartoons made for the new TV series. This cat and mouse cartoon has been around for some sixty years. Tom and Jerry were first stars at MGM thanks to the animation work of the famed Hanna-Barbera team. The duo then had a couple of bad years in Eastern Europe before finding some new life under famed director Chuck Jones and Hanna-Barbera studios. The series was recently revived and the result is pretty good.
Tom and Jerry Volume 2 features twelve all-new made for TV cartoons and most are pretty good and quite entertaining. One thing that is certain is the animation is sometimes visually superb as in Octo Suave, the first cartoon on this DVD. I was visually blown away by it to the point I thought it was computer animated. Another quite good-looking and funny cartoon is Fire Breathing Tomcat where Tom has to slay a dragon: there are some very fresh and original gags here. Even the old routines like the dueling sorcerers bit in Medieval Menace have a new twist or two. The Itch features a remake of an old Joe Barbera story.
My favorite of favorites in terms of writing has to be Digital Dilemma. Tom builds himself a computer, uses Jerry as a mouse, they both end up inside the computer a la Tron. There are a lot of literal jokes here computer geeks will appreciate such as the firewall bit. Look for a cameo by Droopy in Tomcat Jetpack, one of the three technology themed cartoons
The cartoons come in four blocks of three episodes so although you can choose each cartoon individually the first cartoon in the bunch features the opening credits for the Tom and Jerry Tales show, a minor irritant. Each 3 cartoon block features a common theme. For example the first three cartoons are water and beach related, the next three are medieval and castle based and so on.
Particularly visually interesting are the last three Tom and Jerry cartoons where the stories take place at the fair. The colors here are simply stunning and kind of make up for lesser story lines.
The biggest difference between these new cartoons and classic Tom and Jerry is that it is obvious the new ones are made with kids in mind. There are no in jokes or references to movies, Hollywood celebrities, famous events or people as there was when the cartoons were the opening act to MGM movies.
If there is one common weak point to the twelve Tom and Jerry cartoons in the Tom and Jerry Tales Volume 2 DVD it is that the ending to some cartoons is a bit weak. It is as if the director and writers came up with a really good bunch of scenes and thought they could figure out the ending when they got around to it.