Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection

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The Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection is a series of two-disc DVD sets, released by Warner Home Video. Originally planned as an uncut, chronological set, the issued Spotlight Collection sets wound up including selected Tom and Jerry shorts on each volume. Volume one was released on October 19, 2004, volume two on October 25, 2005, and the third and final volume on September 11, 2007.

Volume 1 does not include any cartoons where Mammy Two Shoes, an African-American maid character, speaks; she is briefly seen, though not heard, in The Little Orphan. By contrast, Mammy appears in several cartoons on Volume 2, although production errors led to a mixing of audio tracks so that some cartoons include the original Mammy Two Shoes dialogue performed by Lillian Randolph, while others include redubbed dialogue tracks commissioned by Turner Entertainment in the mid-1990s to censor the Black dialect in the character's dialogue.

Contents of each volume[edit]

The following 112 shorts were directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio in Hollywood, California. All shorts were released to theaters by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer between 1940 – 1958. The original MGM Hanna-Barbera classics are a total of 114 shorts.

Spotlight Collection, Vol. 1[edit]

Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection - Volume 1.jpg

A superscripted one ( 1 ) denotes cartoons presented in the CinemaScope aspect ratio using a new anamorphic widescreen transfer. Most cartoons on Disc One are uncut.

Disc 1[edit]

  1. The Yankee Doodle Mouse
  2. Sufferin' Cats!
  3. Baby Puss
  4. The Zoot Cat
  5. The Million Dollar Cat
  6. The Bodyguard
  7. Mouse Trouble
  8. Tee for Two
  9. Flirty Birdy
  10. Quiet Please!
  11. The Milky Waif
  12. Solid Serenade
  13. Cat Fishin'
  14. The Cat Concerto
  15. Kitty Foiled
  16. The Truce Hurts
  17. Salt Water Tabby
  18. The Invisible Mouse
  19. The Little Orphan
  20. Heavenly Puss

Disc 2[edit]

  1. Texas Tom
  2. Jerry and the Lion
  3. Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl
  4. Jerry and the Goldfish
  5. Cue Ball Cat
  6. Slicked-up Pup
  7. Jerry's Cousin
  8. Cat Napping
  9. The Flying Cat
  10. The Two Mouseketeers
  11. Smitten Kitten
  12. Johann Mouse
  13. Two Little Indians
  14. Baby Butch
  15. Designs on Jerry
  16. Mice Follies
  17. Pecos Pest
  18. Touché, Pussy Cat! 1
  19. The Flying Sorceress 1
  20. Blue Cat Blues 1

Bonus features[edit]

  • Commentary by Jerry Beck on: The Zoot Cat, Kitty Foiled, and Heavenly Puss
  • "Behind the Tunes: The MGM Orchestra" (documentary on the music of Tom and Jerry)
  • "How Bill and Joe Met Tom and Jerry" {documentary on the origin of the series}
  • Jerry Dances with Gene Kelly {excerpt from Anchors Aweigh}
  • Tom and Jerry Swim with Esther Williams {excerpt from Dangerous When Wet}

Spotlight Collection, Vol. 2[edit]

Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection - Volume 2.jpg

A superscripted one ( 1 ) denotes cartoons in the standard Academy ratio presented in newly remastered versions. A superscripted two ( 2 ) denotes cartoons presented in the CinemaScope aspect ratio using a new anamorphic widescreen transfer.

Disc 1[edit]

  1. Puss Gets the Boot 1
  2. The Midnight Snack 1
  3. The Night Before Christmas
  4. Fraidy Cat 1
  5. Dog Trouble 1
  6. Puss n' Toots 1
  7. The Bowling Alley Cat
  8. Fine Feathered Friend
  9. The Lonesome Mouse
  10. Puttin' on the Dog
  11. The Mouse Comes to Dinner
  12. Mouse in Manhattan
  13. Springtime for Thomas
  14. Trap Happy
  15. Part Time Pal
  16. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse
  17. Old Rockin' Chair Tom
  18. Professor Tom
  19. The Cat and the Mermouse
  20. Polka-Dot Puss

Disc 2[edit]

  1. Saturday Evening Puss
  2. Little Quacker
  3. Texas Tom
  4. Safety Second
  5. Sleepy-Time Tom
  6. Nit-Witty Kitty
  7. Cruise Cat
  8. Triplet Trouble
  9. Push-Button Kitty
  10. The Missing Mouse
  11. Jerry and Jumbo
  12. Just Ducky
  13. Little School Mouse
  14. Tom and Chérie 2
  15. Muscle Beach Tom 2
  16. Down Beat Bear 2
  17. Mucho Mouse 2
  18. Tot Watchers 2

Bonus features[edit]

  • An introduction by Whoopi Goldberg (similar to the introduction to the third volume of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection) where Goldberg explains that the Tom and Jerry cartoons may contain racial stereotyping (particularly centered on the appearance of Mammy Two-Shoes) that may offend some modern-day viewers.
  • Audio Commentaries: Commentary on Puss Gets the Boot, The Night Before Christmas, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse, and Saturday Evening Puss by MADtv castmember Nicole Parker and Animation Historian Earl Kress
  • Documentary: Animators as Actors: Actor's workshop of where the inspiration for character personalities come from
  • Featurette: The Comedy Stylings of Tom and Jerry (featuring appearances by Mark Kausler, Jerry Beck, and MADtv castmembers Nicole Parker and Ike Barinholtz)
  • Production Sketches: 1941 Pencil Sketch: The Midnight Snack

Spotlight Collection, Vol. 3[edit]

Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection - Volume 3.jpg

Vol. 3 completes the Hanna-Barbera Tom and Jerry cartoons, save for Mouse Cleaning and Casanova Cat. According to a Warner Home Video press release, these cartoons were omitted from the set for racial stereotyping.[1] (These cartoons are presented uncut on the European PAL DVD set Tom and Jerry - The Classic Collection, with Mouse Cleaning appearing on Vol. 2 and Casanova Cat appearing on Vol. 3 of this series.)

Disc 1[edit]

  1. A Mouse in the House
  2. Hatch Up Your Troubles
  3. Love That Pup
  4. Jerry's Diary
  5. Tennis Chumps
  6. The Framed Cat
  7. His Mouse Friday
  8. The Duck Doctor
  9. Little Runaway
  10. Fit to Be Tied
  11. The Dog House
  12. That's My Pup!
  13. Life with Tom
  14. Puppy Tale
  15. Posse Cat
  16. Hic-cup Pup
  17. Downhearted Duckling
  18. Neapolitan Mouse
  19. Mouse for Sale
  20. Smarty Cat

Disc 2[edit]

(All cartoons in CinemaScope - 16:9 widescreen)

  1. Pet Peeve
  2. Southbound Duckling
  3. Pup on a Picnic
  4. That's My Mommy
  5. The Egg and Jerry
  6. Busy Buddies
  7. Barbecue Brawl
  8. Tops with Pops
  9. Timid Tabby
  10. Feedin' the Kiddie
  11. Tom's Photo Finish
  12. Happy Go Ducky
  13. Royal Cat Nap
  14. The Vanishing Duck
  15. Robin Hoodwinked

Bonus features[edit]

  • Cat and Mouse: The Tale of Tom and Jerry: a documentary on the history of the Tom and Jerry shorts, and the censorship issues the series has had to deal with.
  • The Karate Guard: a 2005 Tom and Jerry short directed by co-creator Joseph Barbera.

Controversy and Negative Consumer Reaction[edit]

The Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection sets have received intense negative consumer reaction, due to the edits in certain cartoons on each set.

The first set contained three edited shorts (The Milky Waif, The Truce Hurts and The Little Orphan), which Warner stated was a mistake. All three of these shorts originally included various characters in blackface. A replacement program was begun at the end of 2006, two years after the set's initial release. Warner Home Video has corrected the problem and the set can be purchased without any problems.

The second volume contained four shorts (The Lonesome Mouse, Polka-Dot Puss, Saturday Evening Puss and Nit-Witty Kitty) with edited sound tracks. These four shorts contained the censored Mammy Two Shoes audio track, instead of the original. However, Warner corrected the problem and the discs do contain the original Mammy Two Shoes tracks.

Consumers have also expressed disappointment at the fact that, although advertised as being "restored and remastered", none of the cartoons on the first volume are restored, having been sourced from the same transfers used for television. However, all widescreen/CinemaScope cartoons are restored in their original aspect ratios.

Complaints also arose over Mouse Cleaning and Casanova Cat being omitted from Volume 3 because of racial stereotyping, according to a Warner Home Video press release.[1] These two shorts were the only Tom and Jerry shorts from the Hanna-Barbera era not present on DVD. These two shorts can be found on the European Classic Collection DVDs. There were also complaints about His Mouse Friday presented edited on that subsequent DVD release.

Other notes on sets[edit]

  • Due to an error, Texas Tom (1950) was accidentally included on both Volume 1 and Volume 2.
  • At the end of the commentary for Kitty Foiled(1947), commentary narrator Jerry Beck had accidentally mistook Jerry for Tom("There is Tom and his feathered friend" says Beck).
  • Touché, Pussy Cat! (1954), on Volume 1, uses an unreleased stereo mix of its soundtrack. This mix is missing a few lines of dialogue present in the mono mix, specifically the character Tuffy singing "Frère Jacques" while painting an unflattering caricature of Tom (the score accompaniment to "Frère Jacques" is still present in the soundtrack without the singing).[2]
  • Touché, Pussy Cat! (1954) and Pup on a Picnic (1955) were originally produced simultaneously in standard Academy and CinemaScope formats. The CinemaScope versions (which are missing non-critical information present at the top, bottom and left sides of the frame in many shots from their Academy versions) are included on the Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collections. In addition, Touché, Pussy Cat! is included on Volume 1 and presented in a 2.55:1 ratio correctly, while Pup on a Picnic is included on Volume 3, but presented in a 1.78:1 ratio instead of a 2.55:1 ratio. This (Pup on a Picnic on Volume 3) makes characters have tall, thin-looking appearances.
  • Two other shorts (Pet Peeve (1954) and Southbound Duckling (1955) on Volume 3) were originally produced simultaneously in standard Academy and CinemaScope formats. The CinemaScope versions of each of these shorts are missing non-critical information present at the top and bottom of the frame in many shots from their Academy versions. This is not an error, but a consequence of working in both aspect ratios. Contrary to the CinemaScope versions, the Academy versions are missing information present at the left and right sides of the frame in many shots from their CinemaScope versions.
  • Also, the Volume 2 DVD states that there are 40 shorts included. However, two shorts (Pet Peeve and Southbound Duckling) that are stated to be included on the DVD back cover and inside are missing from the disc they are stated to be on. They are on Volume 3.
  • Contrary to the other versions that were on MGM/UA Home Video, His Mouse Friday (1951) is included on Volume 3. However, it is presented in an edited version. The uncut version is not included on the set. All other cartoons are uncensored, with the exception of the two cartoons that were skipped entirely.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lacey, Gord. "Tom and Jerry - Two shorts missing - Statement from Warner Bros". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved September 10, 2007. 
  2. ^ Johnson, Gay (December 8, 2004). "Review of Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection: Volume 1." Images Journal.