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Subject: Gene Deitch Tom & Jerry (on Cartoon Network): Your reactions?

Written By: Zelek2 on 11/22/15 at 2:52 am

I know this should technically go in the "Before the 1970s" forum, but since few people post there, and since users like @mqg96, @ocarinafan96, @#Infinity, and @Eazy-EMAN1995 enjoy discussing early 2000s Cartoon Network, I'll post it here.

What were your thoughts on the early 60s Tom & Jerry shorts that would air on CN back in the day (and still air to this day)? A lot of fans I know say they were horrid abominations, but I know others who surprisingly think they were "avant-garde masterpieces". ;D Most people I know who watched CN in the 90s or early 2000s claimed they were "scarred for life" or given "acid nightmares" by these shorts.

Here's one of the better ones, in my opinion:

Subject: Re: Gene Deitch Tom & Jerry (on Cartoon Network): Your reactions?

Written By: #Infinity on 11/22/15 at 5:46 am

Hugely overrated show.  It's a one-note slapstick premise, and not even executed very effectively.  The design of Tom is simply too adorable for the character's constant abuse to have comic impact.  A lot like the Trix Rabbit, you pretty much start to wish Tom would just get a break after all of the abuse that Jerry puts him through.  Sure, Tom probably wants to eat Jerry, but that once again reinforces the discourse between the character designs and the setup.  If you look at a title card for the show without knowing what it's all about, you would think the titular characters are best friends, not at war with each other.

In my opinion, the Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner Warner Bros. shorts take on pretty much the same premise as Tom and Jerry, but done much more effectively.  Both of the main characters have specifically comic designs and don't look like pets you'd want to cuddle with at home.  Wile E. Coyote comes off as smugly mulish rather than desperately curious, while Roadrunner seems so confident in his invincibility that it never looks like he has to even try to save his own life.  In Tom and Jerry, it feels like we're being forced to sympathize with Jerry simply because he's way smaller than Tom (even though you don't want either of them to be in trouble), whereas in Roadrunner, the punchline of one character perpetually hunting for the other and always failing follows through perfectly, since it matches the characters themselves.

Perhaps a lot of Tom and Jerry's success is simply due to timing.  Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner didn't debut until nearly a decade after the first Tom and Jerry short, by which point the Warner Bros. style of animation was established enough that the industry was more accepting of edgier looking characters.  Back in 1940, when Tom and Jerry first arrived, the animation world was still stuck in its bouncy, goody two-shoes look.  Just the fact that this cat and mouse show was so slapstick-driven was enough to break animation boundaries at the time.  Regardless, Tom and Jerry has not aged nearly as well as Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner, at least in my opinion.  As a kid in the early 2000s, I remember laughing extremely hard at the latter, whereas the former never made much of an impact on me at all.

Subject: Re: Gene Deitch Tom & Jerry (on Cartoon Network): Your reactions?

Written By: Baltimoreian on 11/22/15 at 9:12 am

I actually like the Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry shorts. They seem okay and Deitch seems to be one of my favorite Tom and Jerry animators aside from Chuck Jones. Those were the days when I used to watch them a lot on Boomerang before it rebranded in early 2015.

Subject: Re: Gene Deitch Tom & Jerry (on Cartoon Network): Your reactions?

Written By: mqg96 on 11/22/15 at 12:20 pm

The Tom & Jerry shorts I don't like are the Chuck Jones ones. The original Hanna-Barbera Tom & Jerry shorts have the best animation.

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