Pent-House Mouse (1963) Poster

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Doesn't quite work.
Inkwell76518 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Pent-House Mouse, the first of the Chuck Jones Tom & Jerry cartoons is quite funny, but has a lot of unnecessary buisiness that slows it to a crawl at times.

[Possible Spoilers]

Tom is a luxury cat in a penthouse while poor Jerry is starving on the streets below.(Jerry ties his tail around his waist to stop his stomach growling) Finding a lunchbox at a construction site, Jerry visualises the contents = a full Jerry. While chowing down, the girder the lunchbox was setting on rises to the top of a skyscraper, then the lunchbox falls off! Tom, taking a nap is hit by the empty lunchbox, looking up sees food falling and adds bread + lettuce + Jerry + bread = mouse sandwich! Tom catches the "sandwich" in a baseball mit. After this opening, the cartoon slows down, the gags are non violent, a hallmark of the original series and puzzling (Jerry jumps into Tom's mouth and from inside, pulls Tom's ears and eyes closed.)Also missing,for me anyway,is the sound effects of the original. Tom's "Ahhh!" every time he gets bashed is sorely missed. Chuck Jones claimed his difficulties with the series was from working with characters that he wasn't familiar with. The series got better later on, as he found his own style. It seems all the different incarnations of Tom & Jerry reached their peak when they went their own way instead of imitating Hanna & Barbera. The Rembrant Studio's "The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit" (1962) is a good example of this. While basically a good cartoon, it's an uneasy start for Chuck Jones, whose cartoons got better as he progressed.
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A huge improvement over what was seen with Gene Deitch, but a long way from being one of the classics
TheLittleSongbird9 February 2013
Tom and Jerry always has been one of my favourites. A vast majority of the cartoons of the 40s up to about 1956 are classics or very, very good. The ones made when Fred Quimby was no longer in charge were not quite as good but more than watchable with some foibles. The Gene Deitch cartoons however are, with two exceptions(and they're mediocre at best), abominations. The Chuck Jones output generally is mixed in quality and none are what I consider classic Tom and Jerry, but what's for certain is that it is a huge improvement over what was seen before with Deitch. The music is upbeat and catchy, there are some amusing moments, Tom and Jerry are likable characters, some of the colours in the animation look quite nice and the pent-house proves to be a good setting. Some of the animation though is rather scratchy, especially in the character designs(Tom in particular looks odd) and the story is rather routine and not very surprising. But what was disappointing about Pent-House Mouse was that while it was Tom and Jerry in name and there were the characters it didn't feel like the classic Tom and Jerry I loved and still love to this day. I can understand though as this was the first Tom and Jerry cartoon with Chuck Jones at the helm, but there are one too many pieces of evidence that give away that Jones was still trying to find his feet, as seen with the rather plodding pacing, the lack of the classic cartoony violence, sound effects that seemed too restrained and the rather too-generally-organised gags(some are amusing though). Overall, not among the classics but a long way from being a disgrace. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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Chuck Jones takes over.
BA_Harrison12 May 2017
As a kid, I never used to enjoy the Chuck Jones T&J cartoons all that much, despite being a big fan of Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang; however, having just sat through all thirteen of director Gene Deitch's contributions to the long running cat and mouse series, I have a new-found admiration for Jones' work.

Tom and Jerry are inescapably Jones in style, reminding me at times of Sylvester and Speedy Gonzales, and they definitely take a bit of getting used to, but the gags are on point and the animation is slick, with the action accompanied by perfectly acceptable music and suitable sound effects (none of the reverberating electronic bleepy nonsense that helped to make Deitch's cartoons such a challenge).

As far as the story goes, Jones plays it safe for Pent-House Mouse, with a simple set-up that allows for plenty of gags: Tom is lounging in a swanky high-rise apartment while Jerry is on the street starving. When Jerry sneaks into a builder's lunchbox, he is hoisted up into the air by a crane, falls from a great height, and is caught by Tom, who turns the mouse into a sandwich. Cue lots of cat and mouse action, most of which is pretty funny (the 'flag pole unscrewing' gag is priceless!).

6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.
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