Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection 3
Tom Cat, Jerry Mouse, Spike Dog
Created by Joseph Hanna and William Barbera
35 Cartoons including 15 remastered
2 DVDs
Warner Home Video 2007

This review features 7 Tom and Jerry clips. The small print on the back of the Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection Volume 3 box reads “intended for the Adult Collector and May Not Be Suitable for Children”. Gimme a break: this is the stuff most of us grew up on watching Saturday morning cartoons and I do not believe any of us became racist or tried to hit an enemy with a frying pan or telephone pole after watching these cartoons. Cartoon violence is cartoon violence and the “racist” moments in this 2 DVD 35 cartoon set are no worse than some of the stuff you see in Wayans brothers movies, Drawn Together, Itchy and Scratchy, and various edgy shows on Comedy Central; the difference is when it was made.

Tom and Jerry cartoons made by MGM were always considered poor cousins to Warner Brothers’ stars like Bugs Bunny and Tweety and Sylvester. The 35 cartoons here represent the William Hanna, Joseph Barbera years at MGM. Chuck Jones may have done Tom and Jerry cartoons after 1957 but the really good ones were Hanna Barbera creations. Unfortunately, only 15 of the cartoons, all on DVD 2 and in thin widescreen have been remastered. The other twenty still look pretty good though there are dust, stuff, and specs visible through most. Of these 35 cartoons in the Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection Volume 3, 3 are supposed to be remakes though the new version is totally different from the original version

Fans of Tom and Jerry will certainly appreciate Spotlight Collection Volume 3 but wish there was some chronological order to the cartoons or even dates indicated. It is this lack of attention to detail one of the things that make this release less impressive that it could have been and drives collectors mad. Not being a collector or connoisseur of Tom and Jerry, I cannot say if these cartoons are complete or not or if the third volume of the  Spotlight Collection is complete or not. The disclaimer claims the cartoons were not edited and I tend to believe it as the first cartoon, A Mouse in the House, features the original Mammy Twoshoes and not the whitened touched up version of the Chuck Jones day nor the voiced over more educated character.

All I know is I like cartoons, I like Tom and Jerry, and I enjoyed the cartoons in this 2 DVD set. Yes, it would have been nice if they had all been restored. I found it interesting that even way back when the compilation clip episode was not a new invention: Jerry’s Diary has Tom reading the diary so you can get short bits of past cartoons. It also features a short bit of Tom in blackface -after he, logically enough, stuck his head in a brass kettle after the dynamite stick he put it there with Jerry did not go off– so again it seems these cartoons were not edited.

Cartoon fans will recognize the rather annoying Quacky Doodle in Southbound Duckling when the domesticated duck tries to fly south and Jerry tries to stop him. Not to be a spoiler but Tom gets to win one this time. Quacky  makes a couple of other appearances, notably in That’s My Mommy which is supposed to be a remake of Hatch Up Your Troubles but is totally different aside from the baby bird bonding to the wrong species premise.

Special features in Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection Volume 3 are Cat and Mouse: The tale of Tom and Jerry or the story of the Joseph Hanna William Barbera MGM years. This is a very interesting half hour long feature that provides a lot of interesting information such as Tom And Jerry won 7 Academy Awards and some back story to the various people behind the cartoons. This is a really interesting documentary though it is hard to get over the hippie looking guy holding a Tom doll. There is also Tom and Jerry Tales: The Karate Guard a 2005 short and the last contribution by Joseph Barbera.

Other Warner Brothers Cartoon DVD collections:

Hong Kong Phooey The Complete Series review

Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1 review

Magilla Gorilla The Complete Series (includes Ricochet Rabbit and Punkin Puss) review

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