A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this show features brand-new Tom and Jerry adventures that are animated in what's considered the "classic" manner. That means two things: First, they're drawn in pen and ink, and second, they're full of gleeful, goofy, consequence-free violence in the manner of all the old Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera shorts.
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What's the story?
TOM AND JERRY TALES welcomes back everyone's favorite cat-and-mouse pair in their umpteenth TV incarnation. The content of the shorts (three per episode) follows the classic cartoon tradition pretty closely, too. Characters are flattened beneath anvils, swatted into various shapes (by rackets and waffle irons and whatnot), and generally abused, yet they still pop back up to run and chase another day. Tom (voiced by Don Brown), in particular, is still the bad cat he always was.
Is it any good?
What's different this time around? Thankfully, not the animation, which bills itself as being done in the old, pen-and-ink Hanna-Barbera style and comes pretty close to living up to the claim. Two things are missing in this iteration: the connection to the music (which was one of Tom and Jerry's great strengths in its heyday) and a certain internal logic. Once, Tom chased Jerry (Sam Vincent) primarily because cats chase mice. Sure, they might be competing for food, or Tom might think he planned to eat Jerry, but in general, that was the plot. Occasionally, a dog would be added. Tom and Jerry Tales has a lot more surrounding plot rigmarole that doesn't serve any purpose other than detracting from the basic comedic premise. Which, in the end, begs a question: Why an all-new Tom and Jerry? The best answer seems to be Why not?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Tom and Jerry's relationship. Why are they always out to get each other? Why is it funny to watch them get hurt (and hurt each other)? Why can something be funny on TV but dangerous in real life? How are the new episodes similar to and different from the old classics? Families can also discuss the difference between the pen-and-ink animation used here and in older cartoons, and the flash and computer animation techniques seen in the modern stuff. Can you see a difference? Which do you prefer?
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