2 New Tom & Jerry Cartoons on HBO Max! - Forum.
ToonStar95
2021-02-20T18:07:58Z
Well, this is a surprise!

Today, HBO Max has unexpectedly dropped two new "special" Tom and Jerry shorts from the team behind Looney Tunes Cartoons. And just in time for their new movie, too!
S. C. MacPeter
2021-02-20T18:15:49Z
They were both really good! I know quite a few people aren't happy with the violent take of the new Looney Tunes shorts, but with Tom & Jerry it works really well!!! I hope they release more of these soon!!!!!!!!!!
PopKorn Kat
2021-02-20T19:54:16Z
To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. This is, by far, the truest-to-form Tom & Jerry media I've seen since Tales, and most newer movies and iterations just haven't done it for me, so this is a surprising return to form.

The art style is pure eye candy, and dare I say it has better color styling than Looney Tunes Cartoons? (Specifically, color contrast on both the backgrounds and characters is a lot better.) You can tell the designers ate, drank, and breathed the 40s Tom & Jerry shorts. The subtle shadow underneath the lineart is also a nice touch.

The only complaint I have is how HBO Max advertises the shorts. They're not on the "Just Arrived" page, they're not advertised on the landing page to my knowledge, and I had to use the search bar to find them. Better promotion ("Get a zesty slice of cat-and-mouse mania before the new Tom & Jerry movie hits theaters and HBO Max!") would definitely help.

Jim Soper said that more shorts will be posted throughout the week.  Can't wait to see them! As pointed out by several other people, Soper's phrasing probably referred to the art he was going to post, and not the shorts on Max. My bad.
Lee B
2021-02-21T01:32:18Z
Originally Posted by: PopKorn Kat 

To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.



I agree wholeheartedly. I enjoyed those two shorts immensely more than I did the Looney Tunes cartoons, which had left me pretty cold, despite the fact that a number of people here did like them.

I also thought they did a great job on these with the sound design, the screams and other effects seemed closer to the originals than the Karate Guard type remakes from years ago.

A thought that kept going through my mind while watching these was how much they benefitted from the lack of dialogue. (The Japanese sushi chef notwithstanding.) Without some of the talky weirdness of the Looney Tunes Cartoons, these just kept moving at a nice clip with plenty of legitimate old fashioned Tom & Jerry style violence to hit you with.

And a quick thanks to those of you who posted about those here...if you hadn't, I wouldn't have had any idea that these had been added.
Gnik_LJN
2021-02-21T03:38:42Z
Doesn't Jim Soper's "Posting more through the week" mean more production materials to be revealed by him on Twitter?
PopKorn Kat
2021-02-21T03:48:33Z
Originally Posted by: Gnik_LJN 

Doesn't Jim Soper's "Posting more through the week" mean more production materials to be revealed by him on Twitter?



I just realized that seconds before I read your post. (Soper's wording was admittedly pretty vague.) Shame if there's only two shorts, but I'm gonna owe up to spreading potential misinformation.
S. C. MacPeter
2021-02-21T04:32:03Z
This may sound hot, but I would argue these are the best T&J shorts since HB. No disrespects to the other teams, but I always found most of them were interested in doing things, and most Spike and Tony shows relied too heavily on dialogue and story telling, and the timing felt too even (I never got into Tales because of that issue). These shorts somehow get everything right about why HB's shorts are so iconic while still doing what they want
nickramer
2021-02-21T05:27:20Z
Sounds like they did their homework.

To be fair, a lot of H-B shorts had a character talking. Heck, it happened in the first short!
wiley207
2021-02-21T15:26:11Z
Originally Posted by: S. C. MacPeter 

They were both really good! I know quite a few people aren't happy with the violent take of the new Looney Tunes shorts, but with Tom & Jerry it works really well!!! I hope they release more of these soon!!!!!!!!!!



I agree that the violence we've seen in some of the new Sylvester and Tweety cartoons does work much better with Tom and Jerry, even if it gets to be "Herman and Katnip"-like levels of violence at times.
But anyways it's nice that both the Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry are getting equal tip-top treatment again, compared to much of the last couple of decades. And since it's the same crew as "Looney Tunes Cartoons," despite being uncredited as usual I can still tell Ken Young did the sound design/editing here, since at times it still does sound like one of the 90s Nicktoons he worked on (like "Rocko's Modern Life" or "The Angry Beavers"), and the H-B sound effects also kind of fit better here than they do on "Looney Tunes Cartoons," particularly the "Shell screaming whine down" (which actually originated from MGM Cartoons, no less!)
S. C. MacPeter
2021-02-21T18:42:51Z
Originally Posted by: wiley207 

I agree that the violence we've seen in some of the new Sylvester and Tweety cartoons does work much better with Tom and Jerry, even if it gets to be "Herman and Katnip"-like levels of violence at times.



I still don't get the issue with that. New people will always mean new sensibilities, and new takes aren't a bad thing at all, considering other takes on Tom and Jerry have been much lower down

2021-02-24T06:29:55Z
I agree these are visually the best T&J have looked since the 1940s! The pacing is pretty good too. I did find the comedy itself lacking though (mostly seemed like gags with no setup). Hopefully they'll get more comfortable and learn to open up the situations more so the gags pay off better. Can't wait to see more!
Mesterius
2021-02-26T00:43:48Z
Am I the only one here who doesn't think these are the greatest Tom and Jerry shorts since the originals? I watched the second one, "The House that Cat Built", and also took a quick glance at the first. And...

I halfway expected these to be mostly ToonBoom tweening and not proper hand-drawn animation, so I'm not gonna say that part came as the biggest disappointment. But even aside from that, "The House that Cat Built" felt really, really off. They're trying their damndest to create a facsimile of the early 1940s shorts, but they fail. Everything in this short - the expressions, the gags - feels like it's dialed up to 11, but without really understanding what gave Hanna and Barbera's original cartoons their charm and appeal.

A few of the problems:
1. Tom doesn't scream or laugh half as often in a vintage cartoon as he does here. If you do it ALL the time, it loses its impact, and becomes tiring/annoying rather than funny.
2. Jerry is on top for too much of the film. In the classic shorts (especially from the 40s), there was a better balance, even if we knew Jerry would win in the end 99% of the time.
3. Not that I'm surprised, but many of the poses and facial expressions are too far over in Clampett-land. This made more sense to do for Looney Tunes than for Tom and Jerry (and even in the case of the former, I think it would be better if visual styles could vary). What we end up with as a result is a weird, uncanny-valley hybrid between MGM and Warner of the early-to-mid 40s (and animated in digital cutout to top off the feeling of weirdness).
4. And finally: the scene where Jerry NAILS TOM'S FEET to a board is the most disturbing violence I've ever seen in a Tom and Jerry production. Nothing in the original shorts - or for that matter, in any iterations I've watched before - comes even close to feeling THIS painful. Utterly and completely off-putting. More violent does NOT automatically mean better.
2021-02-26T14:48:19Z
This is kind of what I was driving at. A better study of the original T&Js would help, but I feel the bigger problem is a lack of comedy education generally. How do you do a giant cat house with a funny design.... and not an elaborate gag that slingshots Tom all over it? There are no comedy writers anymore, at least none rising to the top of the industry. If they understood comedy, they could better understand the specific style of the original T&Js.
Gnik_LJN
2021-02-26T16:27:18Z
I think "House" is the lesser short since "On A Roll" has more inventive visual gags and more consistent character designs.
Mesterius
2021-02-26T23:40:53Z
Originally Posted by: Gnik_LJN 

I think "House" is the lesser short since "On A Roll" has more inventive visual gags and more consistent character designs.



I watched "On a Roll" too, and it is s a little better. It seems to be proper hand-drawn too. But the gags didn't do much for me here either. It might be these films caught me in a bad mood, but I dunno...

Also, Tom's fur looks too dark. I almost get the feeling they based it on some of the official Warner restorations with off-looking color.
nickramer
2021-02-27T06:22:47Z
Originally Posted by: Traveling Matt 

I agree these are visually the best T&J have looked since the 1940s! The pacing is pretty good too. I did find the comedy itself lacking though (mostly seemed like gags with no setup). Hopefully they'll get more comfortable and learn to open up the situations more so the gags pay off better. Can't wait to see more!



I wouldn't really label the MGM storymen of animated cartoons (or any of the other studios) comedy writers, TBH. They were in a league of their own.