2010 marks the 70th anniversary of the release of the very first Tom & Jerry cartoon. To mark the occasion, Warner Bros. has released a new Deluxe Anniversary Collection DVD featuring 30 cartoons that span nearly every aspect of the Tom & Jerry legacy. Animation enthusiasts and collectors who have picked up the Spotlight Collection releases will probably be a bit disappointed. However, if you're a fan who just wants some cat-and-mouse antics at a reasonable price, this set is for you.
The cartoons on this set are spread across two discs. The first disc contains 20 cartoons from the Hanna-Barbera theatrical era. The shorts are featured in chronological order and include all seven Academy Award winners and two shorts which were nominated for Academy Awards.
It would be easy to assume that multiple cartoons that just feature a cat and mouse fighting each other would get boring. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera were so inventive in their stories and execution that boredom never sets in. The first disc includes great cartoons like the Academy Award winner "Quiet Please!" where Tom tries to keep Jerry from waking up the slumbering dog Spike.
It also features memorable cartoons that stray from the norm. "Mouse in Manhattan" is a wonderful cartoon that has Jerry touring the sights of New York without Tom. "Johann Mouse," another Academy Award winner, has the duo begrudgingly teaming up to entertain audiences because Jerry dances whenever Tom plays classical music on the piano.
Disc two is a good example of how enduring the characters of Tom & Jerry really are. It's also a good example of how difficult it is to follow Hanna and Barbera's theatrical run. The disc begins with classic sequences from the MGM movies Anchors Aweigh and Dangerous When Wet. The excerpt from Anchors Aweigh is Gene Kelly's memorable dance with Jerry while the excerpt from Dangerous When Wet has Esther Williams swimming with both Tom and Jerry. Three cartoons from the Chuck Jones theatrical era also appear on this disc.