Tuesday, 24 July 2012

                           TOM N JERRY

This little-seen and remembered, Hanna-Barbera produced, ABC Saturday Morning 1975-77 revival of the 1940-58/1961-67 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon short series featuring the Academy Award-winning cat and mouse duo has been my all-time favorite version for many years. In fact, it's my all-time favorite Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Period. And this is the world's first and only known web site devoted solely to the preservation and perpetuation of the 1975 version of Tom and Jerry! Here, in a much toned down, non-violent, Yogi Bear/Boo Boo-esque format (in order to satisfy ABC-TV Broadcast Standards and Practices), the long-popular Tom and Jerry, after years of rivalry, have become the best of friends (and Jerry dons a red bowtie, so the animators would be able to "fragment" his movements), in episodes wherein they roamed the world competing in sports, enduring on-the-job misadventures, running afoul of dastardly villains, solving mysteries and helping others. Having purchased rights from MGM to produce new Tom & Jerry cartoons for TV, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, T&J's brainchildren, screened some of their best MGM theatrical-era T&Js for ABC execs. They laughed heartily at the antics of T&J then sighed because it was a shame that network Broadcast Standards and Practices rule out such violence on Saturday Mornings, and thus begatThe New Tom & Jerry Show. But, out of respect for the characters who helped them pave the way for their newfound careers, H&B refused to cure Tom and Jerry of their all-too familiar trait: their uncanny inability to speak. Except for an occasional gulp, chuckle, gasp, pant, shriek and mumble provided by veteran Hanna-Barbera voice actor John Stephenson, Thomas "Tom" Cat and Gerald "Jerry" Mouse were entitled to their right to remain silent. (After all, theydid win 7 Oscars, didn't they? It's the least they could do!) And Spike (seen @ right), a recurring regular in the T&J theatrical releases, was also brought back by HB to be a recurring regular on New Tom & Jerry. Trivia footnote: New Tom & Jerry's animation director, Ed Barge, and key animator Ken Muse had a history with Hanna-Barbera and Tom and Jerry: they animated the bulk of the classic Hanna-Barbera MGM T&J shorts in the 1940s and '50s; the late Xerographer Robert "Tiger" West worked for MGM as an assistant on the T&J cartoons between 1950 and 1953.


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