Customer Review

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finest home video release the esteemed cat and mouse team has received, October 23, 2011
This review is from: Tom & Jerry: Golden Collection, Vol. 1 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Clark Douglas, DVD Verdict --The first attribute is the chronological structure, which I imagine many fans (myself included) will be thrilled about. The first 37 Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts (beginning with their 1940 debut "Puss Gets the Boot" and continuing through the 1948 installment "Professor Tom") are presented in order over two Blu-ray discs, and it finally gives us an easy way to observe the subtle evolution of the characters over the years. The first impression one gets from watching these early Hanna-Barbera installments is that the famously antagonistic dynamic between the characters was firmly in place from the very beginning; there aren't any of those odd early shorts in which the characters feel like mere shadows of the icons they would eventually become (despite the fact that Tom looks a little strange and is named "Jasper" in his very first outing).

Animation purists will be pleased to note that this collection has indeed preserved the shorts as they were originally released, meaning that some of them do indeed contain moments of racial insensitivity. It's a little startling to see occasional gags with the characters in blackface or moments in which cheap shots are taken at other cultures, but as the disclaimer at the beginning of the disc notes, to remove these moments would be the same as pretending they never existed. They also serve as a valuable peek into the era in which the shorts were made; a snapshot of societal norms which we have thankfully put behind us. Parents may want to use discretion before showing some of these shorts to their kids (at the very least, some of this material might serve as a valuable discussion-starter), but it's for the best that these shorts have been preserved in their original form.

Still, the most exciting thing about this set is that we finally have the opportunity to watch these shorts in hi-def. While there are admittedly shorts which look a little soft, dingy or weathered, there's no doubt that these remastered shorts look dramatically better than ever before. The level of detail is superb throughout; one can fully appreciate the busier moments of animation. Colors have a lot of pop, and blacks are deep and inky. It's such a pleasure to see these 'toons looking so terrific. Audio is also strong, with the energetic Scott Bradley scores holding up rather well after all these years and blending nicely with the chaotic sound effects thrown into the mix. Supplements are generous, kicking off with nine audio commentaries featuring assorted animation experts. You also get the previously released featurettes "How Bill and Joe Met Tom and Jerry" and "The Comedy Stylings of Tom and Jerry," plus the new featurette "Vaudeville, Slapstick and Tom and Jerry." Finally, you get the dance sequence featuring Jerry and Gene Kelly from Anchors Away and a "The Midnight Snack" pencil test.

-Full review at dvdverdict.com
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 27, 2011 12:53:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2011 12:53:50 AM PDT
Slight clarification: This is NOT how these were originally released to the theaters in the 1940's, this is how they were seen during their re-issue to theaters in the 1950's.

The original 1940's nitrate negatives have been lost for years. Gone are the original title cards (these here are the 1950's re-issue titles & logos), and gone are the wartime jokes that were removed because "modern" audiences of the 1950's would not enjoy or understand them. Some archival nitrate prints are known to exist with the original jokes, but they are few and not included here. The truth is that we don't know how many of these cartoons were altered in the 1950's because the original masers are lost to compare them to. Only those rare archival nitrate prints that exist show what is missing from those cartoons today.

Otherwise your review is good.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2011 5:49:55 PM PDT
A. Gammill says:
Although I'm delighted that the cartoons are being presented uncut, it still kind of bugs me that the studio feels it has inform me of what is "right" and "wrong." Disclaimers like that are insulting, to me anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2011 3:46:42 PM PDT
Rift Corbitt says:
So pretty much a case of the best we'll ever get. At least it's vastly superior to all that came before.

Posted on Nov 6, 2011 6:12:14 PM PST
Hy, I would like to know if this version comes with others audio languages or just english.

Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011 3:39:53 PM PST
Spoken Languages are : English, French & Spanish
Subtitles are :English, French & Spanish
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