Let the comedic mayhem begin! The tussling twosome of Tom, the perpetually-perturbed feline and Jerry, the mischievous mouse are at it again on Tom & Jerry 1: Fur Flying Adventures, a 14-episode collection spanning some of the best and more popular shorts featuring the famous duo and many of their favorite pals, including Quacker the adorable duckling, Tuffy the mouse, and Spike the Bulldog. Now parents can share their memories with their own children on this expanded sampler DVD release from Warner Home Video, many of which were actually directed by the legendary William Hanna and Joseph Barbera themselves.
I’m a big fan of classic cartoons from the golden age of animation, and few are more genuinely golden than the original Tom and Jerry shorts from Hanna-Barbera. Its a lot of fun to watch the characters evolve and shift their designs with the times, as the series was home to some of the most popular and respected animators of all-time (love the Chuck Jones era). More interesting is to think how – or if – many of these scenarios would play in today’s politically-correct world, as the series has all but disappeared off the airwaves these days, limiting their viewing to less-reputable methods and DVD collections such as this. There’s 14 classic episodes on here, all which I love but with a few that I love just a bit more. Like those featuring Quacker the little duckling that just can’t stay out of trouble in episodes such as Happy Go Ducky, Little Quacker, and The Vanishing Duck.
Here’s a complete listing of the available shorts on this single-disc release: Happy Go Ducky, Barbeque Brawl, Hic-Cup Pup, Little Quacker, Rock n’ Rodent, Neapolitan Mouse, Pet Peeve, Pup on a Picnic, O-Solar-Meow, Robin Hoodwinked, Guided Mouse-ille, Timid Tabby, The Vanishing Duck, and That’s My Mommy. No surprise that none of the series’ most “controversial” episodes are included here, but I never expected them to be on this more ‘family-friendly’ set.
The picture and sound for the episodes are typically good, although some are a bit worse for the wear (not surprising given the age of some of the shorts), and feature a puzzling mix of widescreen and full-screen cropping. If you’re like me and only experienced many of these classics when they happened to air on television (hello, Saturday Mornings!) then you won’t find much to complain about with Warner’s remastering process. Sadly, there’s no bonus features either, which is a real shame, and it would be really nice if they’d buckle down and release proper and feature-rich collections this series deserves, much like they previously have with their outstanding Looney Tunes collections over the years.
If you’re looking for a good Tom and Jerry fix without spending a lot of money, then Warner Home Video’s Tom & Jerry 1: Fur Flying Adventures will definitely fit the bill. It may only be a single-disc release, but it still manages to pack a solid 14 of the animated classic’s best and most popular shorts onto it, all remastered with superior picture and audio quality that makes them look and sound better than ever. Still, even this probably won’t be enough for the serious collector, and we can only hope that Warner decides to give this series a proper boxed-set treatment that packs in even more cat and mouse fun, much like they have with their outstanding Looney Tunes sets. Until then, there’s enough here to give you and your family something to enjoy while on a family trip or for just something fun to watch on family night.
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Warner Home Video