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|Index||11 reviews in total|
A true classic from the normally overrated TOM and JERRY series, features the MGM animation staff at its finest...the scene where Jerry 'ice skates' with the table decoration dolls may be animation's finest hour. Also, the scene where the subway windows flash by will make you believe that animation's true geniuses were NOT at Disney or Warners. A must-see cartoon.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I loved Tom & Jerry as a child--even more so, I think, than the short
films of Disney and Warner Brothers. Like pretty much any kid who grew
up with TV, I'd gladly embrace almost any kind of animation show to
entertain me, but there was something special about this cat and mouse;
particularly the original Hannah-Barbara shorts from the 40s. Though I
do watch these things much less often than during childhood, I enjoy
them perhaps even a bit more now; not only do I still find them funny,
but they downright impress me. To create and establish two
personalities so fully-rounded and endearing, while essentially
neglecting the availability of spoken dialogue, is incredible. The
"dialogue" of Tom & Jerry is the wide variety of facial expressions,
body language and, not to forget, wonderful music. Coyote & Road Runner
adapt a similar formula but aim for rather one-dimensional slapstick in
comparison; their personalities are nowhere as nuanced (even complex)
as Tom & Jerry. Don't get me wrong, I liked Road Runner a lot too while
growing up, but one doesn't truly need to see more than one short to
get the picture. Tom & Jerry, on the other hand, provided many
different and unexpected twists in their stories (in the first decade
or so, anyway).
One example of such an "uncharacteristic" Tom & Jerry-short is MOUSE IN MANHATTAN. Tom is barely involved in the story at all, as Jerry has decided to leave their farm for a life in the big city. We follow his struggles in this new way of life, as he is almost run down by many a car and later on mistakes a little doll for being a real lady. In Tom's absence, the humor turns out less cruel than usual; we may not laugh at Jerry's naive mishaps in the same way we do when Tom screams out loud in pain, but it's still very funny in a more tender manner. The soundtrack is particularly wonderful; much like in the films of Charlie Chaplin (who composed music to his own films), the melodies in Tom & Jerry do not necessarily strive to match the action in the films by being "funny," but often evoke a somewhat romantic touch. I'm not sure if the smaller kids would enjoy MOUSE IN MANHATTAN as much as some more fast-driven Tom & Jerry-shorts, but to me it's certainly a favorite. Very charming and even beautiful. (This review has since been somewhat revised and updated, Jan. 2013)
This is a beautiful cartoon. Instead of following the usual chases of Tom and Jerry, "Mouse in Manhattan" follows Jerry Mouse as he gets tired of the country and opts for big city life. The animation and music recalls the Fantasia 2000 feature of "Rhapsody in Blue" (especially when Jerry is dancing with the dolls). Both are absolutely stunning. I was smiling throughout the whole cartoon; my favorite "Tom and Jerry," just above "Heavenly Puss." A triumph.
There are no chases in this "short," which is a little strange only
that the cartoon was part of a DVD that advertised Tom & Jerry's
This is simply of story of Jerry running off to the big city. He sees Tom sleeping one day and leaves him a note that says: "Dear Tom, This country life is getting me down. I'm off for Broadway and the bright lights. Goodbye forever, Jerry."
Well, "forever" doesn't turn out to be long as the mouse finds out the glitz and glamor also has a lot of dangers that the quiet country doesn't have. This turns out to be a good moral lesson about "the grass being greener...."
There is some really nice artwork here. You really get the feel of New York City back in "the old days." Kudos to the animators here.
Jerry, bored with life in the country house where he and Tom are staying, leaves a note under Tom's paw while he is sleeping, saying that he is leaving to check out the city life... This cartoon is more charming than funny, although there's enough of the latter to please loyal fans. Scott Bradley's music is among the best he has done in the series, and some bits are quite sweet. Check it out!
This cartoon has T&J living a quiet life out in a cosy country cottage.
Tom is bored with country life and decides to leave for the Big Apple
one night. Writing a goodbye note to Tom, he catches the next train to
his new, exciting life.
When he gets there he discovers that Manhattan is not so inviting to small rodents. Everywhere he goes, from Grand Central to posh dinner parties, he is tormented with the rude idiosyncrasies of big city life. Eventually landing in a dirty alley, he is run out of town by an army of hungry stray cats.
Back the cottage, the still sleeping Tom (who does nothing else in this cartoon) has not yet read the note, which Jerry promptly tears up before going back into his mouse-hole. Better the Devil you know huh?
Those who choose to write off the Tom and Jerry series as a violence orgy should be directed toward any television playing this little jewel, which is practically a solo endeavour for the rodent half of the duo, and which suggests that Jerry's finest moments of dancing may not have been with Gene Kelly. See this one. Own it if you can.
And this is coming from a big fan of theirs, honestly I loved Mouse in Manhattan. It is not their funniest or zaniest, but visually it is by far one of their best. Plus I love it, because it was one of my all-time favourite cartoons when I was a child. At 18, I still adore Mouse in Manhattan for several reasons. It has a very nice and simple story, and while it isn't laden with humour like Yankee Doodle Mouse for example there is some nice strong humour abundant. And the sentiment was there too, not cloying in any way but actually quite moving in spots. The soundtrack is gloriously upbeat and rousing, while the animation, with the colours, landscapes and backgrounds is drop dead gorgeous. Also Tom and Jerry are both on top form here. Overall, in my opinion this is one of Tom and Jerry's best. 10/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having got fed up of rural life Jerry writes Tom a letter letting him
know he is leaving. He rides on a train to New York and sets about
seeing the city; along the way he gets into a few scrapes; he gets
stuck to a piece of chewing gum in Grand Central Station, gets washed
down a drain only to emerge from a manhole into the traffic and a trip
up a skyscraper almost leads to him falling from great height after
climbing up a candle near the window to get a better view and toppling
it. It isn't all danger though he enjoys seeing some attractive women
and has a dance with a succession of small dolls that are acting as
place card holders on a dining table. Ultimately though he realises the
city isn't the place for him so he heads home; tears up the note he
left for Tom then kisses him!
This 'Tom and Jerry' short is unlike any I recall seeing before in many ways; most obviously it hardly features Tom at all, and when we do see him he isn't trying to do anything violent to Jerry! While in New York Jerry might get into a succession of scrapes but there isn't the sadistic malice one gets in most of these cartoons. At one point he encounters some scary alley cats but he just flees without the usual turning of the tables we expect when he fights Tom. Most of what happens is clearly there for the animators to show off their skills; and I must say it looks very good. I wouldn't want all Tom and Jerry cartoons to be like this but as a one off this tamer instalment made a refreshing change so is well worth watching.
There's a lot of good that can be said for this cartoon; the
backgrounds are rich, lushly colored and full of nicely done art deco
details. The animation is up to the usual studio standards of the time,
which are unquestionably higher than those of the present day. However,
I find it tedious for a number of reasons.
The Music: It's definitely not up to Scott Bradley's usual standards. Although it's probably supposed to be evocative of a "Great Gatsby" setting, it ends up being dreary, sleepy, repetitious AND monotonous (repetitious and monotonous are not the same, as Beethoven's 5th Symphony attests). Since most people (including me) tend to close their eyes when they yawn, there's a lot of the visual part of the cartoon that will be missed by the average viewer.
The Storyline: I'm not giving away any secrets that aren't already in the plot summary - country good, city bad. This is a common theme in films, both animated and live, from this era. It's a misplaced nostalgia for a nonexistent rural idyll, which, in the present day, is reflected in a similar nostalgia for "values" that never were.
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