Tom chases Jerry around a pool hall. Jerry's fairy godmouse arrives, and Jerry tells the story; she gives him an invisibility potion. Jerry uses this to do some creative barbering on Tom, ... See full summary »
Tom chases Jerry through city streets, gets run over by a streetcar (twice), and follows Jerry into a department store. In the toy department, they have some fun with radio-controlled cars ... See full summary »
Jerry, with the help of a mouse friend, is lowered on a fishing line, abuses the sleeping Tom in various ways, and is yanked away before Tom sees him. First, he hits Tom with a fireplace ... See full summary »
Tom is on the canals of Venice, singing opera. He ends up on a cruise ship, where another cat tricks him out of Jerry (who Tom has just caught), then mirrors his every move. Eventually the ... See full summary »
Tom chases Jerry around a high-rise apartment, and then around the ledge surrounding the building. They torment each other with a compressed air horn. Jerry goes down a drainpipe and Tom ... See full summary »
It is hard to dislike Tom and Jerry in general, but many people have found fault with individual periods of the duo's existence. The best shorts come from the team of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, although there are a lot of theirs that I am not fond of at all. Then came the nightmare named Gene Deitch, who made the most abysmal of Tom and Jerry cartoons, with ugly animation, sounds, plots, and characters. He thankfully didn't make too many shorts. Next came an improvement with Chuck Jones, Abe Levitow, and Ben Washam. To be honest, I don't care much for Jones's Tom and Jerry cartoons. They aren't bad, but they are often not good. Many times Jones tried to apply his Roadrunner formula to Tom and Jerry, and it just doesn't work. Jones did some off the greatest Warner Brothers cartoons ever, but he never seemed to grasp Hanna-Barbera's magic. I think what I like least about Jones's shorts is that they are mostly indistinguishable. There normally isn't any one thing that can be used to describe a central plot in each one, and Jones would title the shorts with something that is a parody of some other title or phrase (e.g. `I'm Just Wild About Jerry,' `Jerry, Jerry, Quite Contrary,' `The Unshrinkable Jerry Mouse,' `Ah Sweet Mouse-Story of Life'). I can hear a title of a Hannah-Barbera short and immediately know what the short is, but not with most of Jones's shorts. The titles contribute greatly to problem of being indistinguishable. They also tend to be one-sided, making us unsympathetic to Tom every time a la Roadrunner cartoons. I always get a kick out of shorts where something happens to Jerry, too. The one-sidedness makes them a little less funny. The later shorts by Levitow and Washam are better than a lot of Jones's, I think, in that they have a central plot and are funnier.
However, `Duel Personality' is probably the funniest of Jones's Tom and Jerry shorts, and this is why I am commenting on it. Like the plot description says, the two are fed up with the usual chasing escapades and are having a series of duels to settle the matter once and for all. Of course, every single thing they do backfires on the both of them. Jones spares no expense at laughs. Each situation is very funny, and for once no side is taken. They try pistols, swords, cannons, and, easily the funniest bit, slingshots. And it all ends in a very funny scene that really surprised me the first time I saw it. Now, there are other good Tom and Jerry cartoons by Jones, but they don't get much better than this, which is funnier than a lot of shorts from the other directors. If you see this one on, be sure to watch it. While Jones won't be remembered for his work on Tom and Jerry shorts, at least he made some gems like `Duel Personality.' Zantara's score: 8 out of 10.
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