Happy 76th Birthday Tom and Jerry!
I'm a day early, but I just couldn't wait to celebrate Tom and Jerry's birthday; which is February 10. So as promised earlier this week on the Facebook page, I've uploaded some more images. Actually I uploaded a lot of images, 236 to be exact! There may be some duplicates with what is already in the gallery, but that is to be expected with a picture gallery that has 1,337 images.
Not only did the picture gallery get an update, but I also added 3 new wallpapers for desktop and mobile screens!
In other news, I was going to do a few minor "under the hood" updates to Tom and Jerry Online, but as I dug into the code a bit I discovered what a real mess the code base. So, you know what that means...I'm going to be redesigning this site. It might be a major one this time with new additions and hopefully better accessibility. Stay tuned!
Okay, so I've been very distracted from this site, but I'm as usual planning more updates. This first round is a bunch of pictures in the gallery! Head there now!
Peace on earth and good will to ALL!!! including cats and mice!
Hope you all have a great time with family and friends!
Finally got a chance to watch Tom and Jerry Spy Quest. Here are my thoughts:
So where to do we begin. Tom is going to the beach minding his own business when Tyke comes along and barks at the unsuspecting Tom. This introduces the running gag of Tom flipping out anytime a dog barks at him. After Tom calms down we are then introduced to Jerry who is also at the beach. Jerry sets up his spot unbeknownst to Tom who sets up his beach spot right in Jerry's sun. Well, Jerry is having none of that and decides to poke Tom with a sharp object thus setting up the rivalry and the back and forth battles with each other. Jerry is kind of a jerk in this instance. During the ensuing chase we meet up with Johnny Quest and his pals. Bandit freaks out Tom with his barking and Johnny apologizes right before these new pals are attacked by three flying Hench cats that seem to be rather familiar (*see Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes).
Poor Tom, he's just wanting to mind his business. The Hench cats begin chasing Quest and our duo when Tom is startled by Bandit's barking again. This barking causes Tom to freak out and become this ultimate fighting machine that takes out the Hench cats. This bit with Tom freaking out reminds me of the old Three Stooges short where Curly becomes this unstoppable force when "Three Blind Mice" is played...am I showing my age here...yeesh! Anyway, Quest and our duo make their escape with the help of Race Bannon.
After the get away we are introduced to the villain, Dr. Zin (voiced by the awesome James Hong) and the Hench cats and find out his plans to capture Dr. Quest, which if I recall correctly was the premise of every Johnny Quest cartoon. I already have a beef with the Hench cats because they introduce one of them as are "Rainman" type and I just can't stand that cliche'.
Really like how they updated the original Johnny Quest intro to include Tom and Jerry. Very fun sequence, would love to have seen an entire episode done that way. After this we end up in Quest labs and find out why Dr. Zin is wanting Dr. Quest. Dr. Quest shows off his latest invention, a Q-sphere that can solve the world's energy crisis and the thing that Dr. Zin is most likely after for some nefarious purpose. A couple mishaps at Tom's expense and we are off to dinner. Unfortunately, a very hungry Tom is given a skimpy dinner, which causes him to be Hangry. In the middle of the night, hungry Tom gets up and futzes with some buttons by a door so that he can get something to eat and inadvertently such the security system down. This leaves the lab vulnerable to an attack from the Hench cats.
The Hench cats arrive while Tom is trying desperately to eat something while Jerry is preventing him from doing so. The cats and mouse begin to fight in the lab. The commotion gets the attention of Quest and gang but the Hench cats get away with the Sphere, Dr. Quest, and Race. Now the kids and Tom and Jerry make plans to rescue Dr. Quest, Race, and the Q-sphere. The adventure begins.
Off the gang races to find Dr. Quest, cut to the Dr. Zin's lair and I have no words for how bad this bit of villain and Hench cats are so I'll move on. The Quest jet is on the way and are attacked by Robot Drone Missiles, Tom freaks out a bit from Bandit's barking, ugh. The Jet crashes and they all make it out safely and land in Moldovistan. The heroes make it to town where they are chased by goons and rescued by Race's old flame, Jezebel Jade a mercenary/club owner. They go to Jade's club, where a belly dancer is on stage performing, and strike a deal for her helping our heroes.
Off the heroes go in Jade's hovercraft while Jade goes on stage to perform. GAH! Droppy is singing! SINGING!!! WHY, WB? WHY!...sigh...so during Jade's song, the goons are thwarted and our heroes escape to Dr. Zin's lair only to get caught be Dr. Zin. Okay, I love the fact that Dr. Zin's lair is in a volcano.
So Tom and Jerry have managed not to get themselves captured, while Quest and crew have. Dr. Quest is forced to set up the Q Sphere in Dr. Zin's volcano that seems to be a "Battle Island" that can fly. Back in the dungeon, Bandit is levitated by Hadji to a vent where his going to find Tom and Jerry. I can see the barking coming into play for Tom at some point.
Okay, we have some exposition about Race and Jade, Dr. Zin and Dr. Quest's back story right before the Q Sphere is activated and the island rises in the air and flies straight to Washington, D.C. As the island flies toward its destination, the heroes escape from captivity and try to foil Dr. Zin's plans. What follows is lots of chasing and fights. Tom ends up using his freak out from dog barks to lay waste robots, Hench cats and eventually Dr. Zin. However, Dr. Zin manages to escape. The Dr. Quest eventually takes out the flying volcano island with a convenient missile that was hiding under the Washington Monument. However, our heroes can't make it off the island, but they get rescued by Jade and Droopy (who was keeping a watchful, distant eye on our heroes) and everything is back to better now. Our heroes get a medal from the President, voiced by the original Johnny Quest.
The Good: I'm afraid that I really don't have much good to say about this latest Tom and Jerry meets someone. I've watched this movie twice now and I can't find much to like about it except for the really nice beginning credits. I wish this whole movie was animated like the opening title sequence as the animation was raw and energetic. A great throwback to animation of old. I'm convinced that it was a play on the old opening sequence from the original Johnny Quest cartoons.
The only other good thing that I could say about it was the comment the President made when the Washington Monument missile launched. That got a great big chuckle out of me. The President, in the Oval office, looks out to see the Washington Monument lift off and says to his people, "Why wasn't I told about this?". It was delivered in such a deadpan way that it was funny to me.
The Bad: Le sigh....where to begin. The animation was really jerky and too exaggerated at times. It didn't feel consistent to me and it wasn't smooth like what I think of with Tom and Jerry cartoons. I couldn't put my finger on why until after the second viewing when I finally realized that this Tom and Jerry Spy Quest is really more of a Johnny Quest movie guest staring Tom and Jerry. Unlike some of the previous outings with Tom and Jerry the cartoon's theme's were of a younger audience, within the first 8 minutes you could definitely tell this was for a much older audience. Particularly the sand mermaid scene with Tom and the dance number with Jade *shudder*. Hence my saying this is more of a Johnny Quest movie than Tom and Jerry.
Dr. Zin. I don't watch much Johnny Quest so I'm not really familiar with his character, but a caricature like that character in 2015 should probably raise an eyebrow or two....moving on.
Jerry is kind of a real jerk to Tom in this one. Tom wasn't paying much attention when he covered Jerry's beach spot, which set Jerry off to attack Tom. So a simple mistake pretty much ruined Tom's day with Jerry decided that Tom's his new hobby. Every time Tom tries to eat or get away, Jerry is always there to starve him or put Tom in harms way. It got old after awhile.
Gah, the tired cliche of some goon as the Dustin Hoffman "Rainman" character. Please, stop with this character. It's overdone.
The Ugly: Okay...Why is Tom such a sniveling scared cat that turns into this berserker fighter when a dog barks at him. Seriously! Any time a dog barks, and there is always some dog that barks at him, Tom is triggered into this blind, hysterical rage. It's played for laughs more often than not and it comes in handy rather conveniently in spots. The worst offense is when Tom is trying to get the courage to fight the Hench cats at the end, but can't do it unless a reluctant, confused Bandit barks at him.
WTF! Why must Droopy always make a cameo in a Tom and Jerry movie? Some please explain this to me? I've come to loathe seeing Droopy in any of these recent cartoons. Don't get me wrong here, I LOVED the original Droopy cartoons when they were done by TEX AVERY, separate from Tom and Jerry. These Droopy cameos are a taint from the Tom and Jerry Kids cartoon era, it's the only explanation I have for why he keeps showing up in Tom and Jerry movies. And another thing: Droopy singing! It was awful...terrible...it was part of the Jezebel Jade number which was ridiculous in and of itself and certainly not for kids under 12. Totally out of place for a Tom and Jerry cartoon.
Overall, this wasn't bad for a Johnny Quest movie, but this was a terrible Tom and Jerry film. It's definitely for older kids who like Johnny Quest. I'm not a huge Johnny Quest fan, I watched a few cartoons here and there over the years and never got into it. As a Tom and Jerry cartoon it was lacking. Jerry is an aggressive mouse that's really abusive to Tom and Tom is kind of a complacent punching bag that just wanted to mind his own business.
We start off with the a great aerial of London and some clever thievery by a trio of cats. The cats pull off a diamond heist using some nifty Steampunk gadgetry and are then chased by a bunch of constables on the roof tops. The cats do some great bits of parkour before they jump off a building and glide to a mystery man riding a horse where the drop the diamond to him.
The next morning we are introduced to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson and Jerry who seems to be another of Holmes' assistants. Jerry lives with Sherlock and is a regular on his cases. As Jerry runs and errand for Holmes we are bump into Tom on his way to see Mr. Holmes with an urgent letter. Tom is minding his business when a series of unfortunate events, with Jerry leads him to Sherlock Holmes. This sets up the "battles" between Tom and Jerry as Tom was a bit indifferent with Jerry at the beginning and now there is a grudge.
Tom is the valet of Red Hot, an engaged high society type that is moonlighting as a lounge singer and is being blackmailed because of it. Holmes and crew arrive at the lounge where Red is singing, it's nice to the the City Wolf and the Country Wolf make a cameo. After the act we find that Red is being blackmailed in a similar fashion as one of Holmes' other cases, "The Redheaded League". We also find out that Red's home is next door to an embassy that is housing a rare diamond.
Spike and Tyke are guard dogs, go figure, that are supposed to guard the jewel, well you know how that goes, the cat burglars snag the jewel while Spike is teaching Tyke the ropes of being a guard dog. The cat burglars make a daring escape, much like in the beginning. Tom and Jerry and company head back to Red's house only to find that the diamond has been stolen from the embassy and that the police are on the way. Our crew splits up with Holmes and Watson searching for some leads in the clues that they have, leaving Tom and Jerry to help protect Red.
Cut over to Scotland yard where we meet up with, SURPRISE!, Droopy and Butch the Dog who are on the case of the missing diamond and the suspect Red...along with all of Scotland Yard. Our intrepid officers of the law give chase to Tom, Jerry, and Red. Our heros, duck into a church where we then meet up with Nibbles, an Irish Catholic priest and brother to Jerry. Nibbles hides Tom, Jerry and Red throughout the church while Droopy and Butch search. Eventually, our heroes slip from the Police and run through the streets of London. Meanwhile, Holmes and Watson are oblivious to the fact that they seem to be on wild goose chase in the countryside.
Back in London we go to Professor Moriarty's house, who sent Red to find Holmes, and is apparently an old family friend. It is then revealed the Moriarty is behind all diamond heists as he has created this heat ray in order to melt a hole in the Tower of London to steal the crown jewels. Tom, Jerry, and Nibbles rescue Red, but not before Moriarty steals the crown jewels. Meanwhile, Holmes and Watson finally realize they've been duped head back to London to go after Moriarty and gang. A fun chase through London ends with Holmes capturing Moriarty and returning the jewels.
Everyone is happy and Red marries her fiance, the City Wolf.
I enjoyed this. This cartoon was really well paced, the animation was smooth and dynamic. There were a couple of running gags and slapstick action that got a good laugh out of me. The story was simple and safe and focused a lot on Tom and Jerry who didn't try to subvert each other but worked as a legitimate team, all be it begrudgingly. Tom and Jerry really seemed to have a lot of personality in this, at least more than the one-dimensional persona's of some other Tom and Jerry Direct to DVD. The other really nifty aspect about this Tom and Jerry is the bits of Steampunk technology that Professor Moriarty uses in his crimes.
Tom seems to be more clumsy as the movie goes, could be because he gets hit in the head...a lot. Tom is used as a punching bag a lot for some laughs and it gets old after a while. The other bad thing about this is that Sherlock Holmes and Watson really don't have much screen time and when they do the characters are kind of caricatures of themselves. It's hard to explain but they just fit the stereotype of who you think Sherlock Holmes and Watson to be. Now, that is kind of a nitpick point considering that I'm technically not the target demographic for these cartoons.
Let's talk about Nibbles....why do the producers of these cartoons have to give this poor little mouse THE WORST accents?!?! I swear! Several of these direct to DVD movies have been very unkind to Nibbles in the most embarrassing way. Thankfully it's not as bad as "Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale"; that accent on Nibbles was a crime. The other thing about these Direct to DVD is that all of the characters from the MGM cartoons have to have some sort of cameo and they usually are perfunctory. It's fun to see Spike, but I don't need to see him teaching Tyke in a rehash of "That's my Pup" in every single appearance in these movies. Droopy and Butch the Bulldog were part of the MGM cartoons but never part of Hanna-Barbera's run at MGM and it annoys me whenever they make an appearance. Red Hot and the Wolves were fun characters in this movie so they get a pass since their inclusion made sense to the story.
This is a fun romp at only an hour. The story was cute and had a great pace with some fun adventuring and mystery that the kids would enjoy.
So after the previous DVD viewing, I needed some other Tom and Jerry cartoon to purge the memory of it. So I sat down and watched Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers. So here are my thoughts on this Direct to DVD:
Tom and Jerry are two sailors aboard a pirate ship, captained by Red Pirate Ron who talks through his parrat because all he can say is "YAR", that is caught in heavy storms on the sea. When a particularly large wave crashes on deck it brings with it a glass bottle with a treasure map leading to the "Lost Treasure of the Spanish Mane". Tom and Jerry fight for the map only to lose it to the Captain, who; as it turns out, has been searching for this treasure of 40 years. Red Pirate Ron brothers, Blue Pirate Bob and Purple Pirate Paul, have also been searching for this lost treasures. As the ship sails to Yo-Ho-Ho Island where the treasure is buried they encounter Blue Pirate Bob's ship.
It turns out that when these pirates where young and aboard their mother's pirate ship they found this map, but fought over it resulting in the Pirate mom taking all their maps from from them and putting them in bottles and dumping them out to sea. Anyway, as Tom manages to get his paws on the map again we find out, from the ghost of Don Diego de Clippershears, that a terrible curse will befall them if the map is not returned to bottle before sunset. This doesn't happen due to the battle between Blue and Red Pirates, which results in the curse awakening the long dead pirates of the Spanish Mane who seizes Red Pirate Ron's Ship.
The rag-tag pirate crew make their way to Yo-Ho-Ho Island where both Tom and Jerry are able to get the map back and look for the treasure. Meanwhile the Red and Blue Pirates are also looking for the treasure, Tom and Jerry, and fighting amongst themselves. Tom and Jerry also encounter Purple Pirate Paul who has been on the island for 10 years and not be able to find the treasure....not sure how that happens but whatever. Anyway, Tom and Jerry manage to outwit Purple Paul and find the treasure, but alas the ghost of Don Diego awakens and leads Tom and Jerry on an elaborate Rube Goldbergesque hunt for the buried treasure. Both Tom and Jerry manage to outwit the traps, working together and getting a bit of treasure as they sail off to live on their riches...and then go back to chasing each other.
Well, I will have to say that this is truly the first Direct to DVD movie that understands how important the music was to the original Tom and Jerry cartoons. The soundtrack is featured very heavily in the action and movements of all the characters especially Tom and Jerry. This movies also heavily relies on some of the old cartoon sound effects, especially Tom's scream. The animation is pretty solid hand-drawn work and very fluid. I enjoyed how clever traps were to find the treasure. The other stand out of this is how Tom and Jerry interact with each other. There is the obvious rivalry and not the overt chase for the sake of chasing.
For the love! The endless "YAR","yar", "YAAARRRR" from Red Pirate Ron and Blue Pirate Bob really gets old. REALLY! It doesn't help that the parrot companions on each captain's shoulder is annoying too as they translate the grunts and the yars. The funny thing is that Purple Pirate Paul actually talks normally and has a parrot that yars and grunts. The traps that Tom and Jerry have to go through, were elaborate, but ended up being ridiculous with each progressive solution.
Captain Ron's "yarring" really got annoying after more than a half hour of watching this. But my biggest beef with Shiver Me Whiskers was there hardly seemed to be a break in the chase scenes. One right after the other of endless running, chasing, dodging, fighting. It became exhausting watching this. Now I get that Tom and Jerry chase each other...it's kind of their thing; but there comes a point of being excessive after an hour of chases.
Overall, I think this one of the closest the new Tom and Jerry's have come to the magic of the MGM era. It is a testament to Joseph Barbera still being alive at the time and excutive producing; which is good since the previous Tom and Jerry he was involved in was awful.