Friday, 13 May 2011

The Life and Times of Tom and Jerry - Part 4

The late 80's and early 90's was the period when "kiddiefying" popular characters became the "trend", and not even Tom and Jerry could escape it. Thus Hanna-Barbera Productions, along with Tom Ruegger, created and produced Tom and Jerry Kids which, for the most part, was the closest attempt at reviving the characters and their slapstick violence to date. Also involved were Droopy (with son Dripple), Spike and Tyke (in an Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy-type role) and Tex Avery's Wolf and Red (alias McWolf and Miss VaVoom here).

By this point, Hanna-Barbera's company had really upped their game in terms of animation, so seeing these guys in full movement and doing what they do best over the next 4 seasons made this a far better attempt than the various outsourced areas before. Although one still wonders why ONLY Tom and Jerry were deaged if; A) they were now allowed to get away with the same wild humour as before; and; B) if none of the other main characters were "kiddiefied" either.

Whilst we on the same page, does anyone else remember the other character exclusive for this series - Calaboose Cal, Wildmouse, Slowpoke Antonio, Clyde and Kyle Cat...?

Nope. Thought not. I am officially old =P

Come the release of the Boomerang Channel in 2001 (when it used to air all classic cartoons on a regular basis), The Mansion Cat was especially made for it, the first "new" T&J short produced and directed by Bill and Joe (featuring the voice of Joseph Barbera) and also the last short made before their company became absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation. It was an attempt to recapture the classic humour and set-up in a modern-day setting, with Tom and Jerry (proper "ages" once more) resorting to using modern appliances and devices in exchange of the "old hat" hammer and anvil.

In all, it gained some mixed views and would have been best left alone. But no...

Next time: Tom and Jerry join Scooby-Doo on the marketing cart.

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