Questions about Ton & Jerry....
I have always been a fan of the Ton & Jerry shorts and lately I have been watching more and more T&J on CN everyday at noon, but as of late I have noticed some things about the series and I had a few questions. First off, there seems to be many different "era's" of Tom and Jerry and some of the episodes they played today had him singing, talking and laughing, I was just wondering what years these were made? They animation looked a lot newer than some of the old classic shorts where the only talking Tom would do is if he yelled or screamed in pain, so my guess is these newer looking ones were made in the early 70's. Another question I had was that I was wondering what the best era for Tom & Jerry is considered to be? My personal favorite was during the era that had episodes featuring the little grey mouse in the diapers who would hang around with Jerry, those were classics to me.
I think some explaination is in order---
As far as the theatrical T&J's go, here's the low down:
Each "style" was by a different director:
Hanna & Barbera (1940-1957)-- This era of the T&J's are what many consider the best versions in the T&J series as a whole. H&B had set the style of the series---the character designs were clean, the action fast-paced and the comedic timing precise. They utilised shading and reflections to give their characters an almost-3D appearance. They also had the musical talents of Scott Bradley, whose music sounded contemporary for the time, and even utilised some familiar tunes from the MGM musicals. For seventeen years before they entered the TV animation business, they were the ONLY T&J directors.
Gene Deitch (1961-1962)-- Simply THE WORST-looking T&J's I've ever seen, Deitch's shorts had lower production standards---he did not have the same $50,000 budget that H&B had been given for each of THEIR cartoons. With only 1/5 the budget, he had a flatter style with almost-limited animation. His entire animation team was Czechoslovakian, and he had limited money left for audio, so the music and SFX are almost nonexistent. Deitch himself had not seen a T&J cartoon, but the rest of his team had.
On an interesting note, all the H&B-directed T&J's were made in Hollywood, and proudly stated so at the end of each cartoon, but the Deitch-directed shorts were made behind the Iron Curtain, so the trademark ending is sacrificed.
Chuck Jones (1963-1967)-- Better than Deitch, but not as great as H&B, Jones left Warner Bros a year earlier to form his own animation company, "SIB-Tower 12." MGM eventually bought the company and it became a part of MGM's animation division. Jones gave T&J a number of design changes---Tom was given pointier ears and darker eyebrows, while Jerry was given bigger ears and a smaller nose. Some think that if Jones had the opportunity to give T&J voices, he would have seized it since he liked verbal comedy over physical comedy. A DVD compillation of the Jones T&J's is due out later this year.
I hope this clears things up.