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Ghost Canyon

'Tom and Jerry: The Chuck Jones Collection'
(Chuck Jones / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2009 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: The classic cartoon chase involving forever frustrated feline Tom and mightily mobile mouse Jerry got spun in new and deliciously inventive ways when animation legend Chuck Jones set up shop at the team’s home studio and produced the 34 wonderful shorts in this Deluxe 2-Disc Collection.

DVD Verdict: As much as this collection doesn't hold - for me, at least - all the "classic Tom and Jerry cartoons" of the 1940's and '50s, it's safe to say that this collection is still a wonderment of ceativity and fun even today.

All 34 of the Chuck Jones 'Tom and Jerry' shorts are included along with two new documentaries - although watching those were not as much fun as reliving all these wonderful cartoons!

These shorts were the most lavish, most fully animated theatrical cartoons of the 1960's. It is curious, however, that with the large budgets and Chuck Jones' genius on tap, these cartoons are not better. In the documentaries, Jones himself likened his version of Tom and Jerry to his Road Runner series, which really does not do them justice! I mean, Tom is less self-destructive than Wile E. Coyote, and Jerry less smugly complacent.

Also, this is not the era in which the cartoons were winning Academy Awards. Those cartoons are included in 'Tom and Jerry: Spotlight Collection, Vol. 1-3.' Do be aware that there was considerable controversy over these Spotlight Collections in which cartoons were edited in the first two volumes and two cartoons were not even released in the third. Just thought I'd mention that fact.

Anyway, presumably, there was only so much you could do with a nonspeaking cat chasing a nonspeaking mouse! Voice veterans Mel Blanc and June Foray were on hand to supply whatever grunts, groans, and giggles were required and (thankfully) after 20 years won seven (7) Oscars. But it's rather incredible what Jones and his crew - most of whom were part of his Warner Bros. team - did find to do with the characters over those many, oh so many years! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

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