Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Life and Times of Tom and Jerry - Part 2

OK, since news of the latest Tom and Jerry Direct-To-DVD movie has been unleashed (and coming this August apparently), leave us turn back the clock and see how time has treated these two well...

The last Tom and Jerry theatrical short was released in 1958 (Tot Watchers), at the time when MGM Cartoon Studios closed down and Bill and Joe went to create Ruff and Reddy and Huckleberry Hound (among many others) for television.
However, MGM still wanted more, so in 1961 they hired out Gene Deitch (Nudnik, Tom Terrific, Clint Clobber) to create 13 "new" shorts, which were animated at Snyder's Rembrandt Films in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
These are deemed one of the least favoured T&J shorts due to Deitch's unusual and surreal take on the animation, style and sound effects (and yet, in a strange sort of way, I've become rather fond of a few of them thanks to multiple viewings on Cartoon Network...!)

The following 34 cartoons from 1963 were produced by Chuck Jones of Warner Bros fame in Hollywood, California (when Jones himself was fired after working behind WB's back with the UPA feature-length Gay Purr-ee), with direction shared between him, Maurice Nobel and Abe Levitow. Even Jones admitted, though he had Mike Maltease to help with storyboarding, that not even he could make his Tom and Jerry cartoons as funny or fast-paced as those made by Hanna-Barbera, though they were still worthy of gaining a DVD Release all the same.

And here's an example of how Chuck handled them:

After 1967, MGM decided to let go of T&J - but that wasn't the end of it...

Until next time!

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