Thursday, November 24, 2011

Toon Legends: Tom & Jerry (1965)

CBS added some star power to its Saturday morning lineup in 1965 by picking up the classic Tom & Jerry shorts, with new, made-for-TV title cards created for the show, a practice that would be repeated a year later with the acquisition of The Road Runner, and subsequently, The Bugs Bunny-Road Runner Hour when Bugs arrived at CBS in 1968.

The newer material used on the show was created by legendary animator Chuck Jones, who was producing the Tom & Jerry theatrical shorts for MGM at the time, and had also produced the first two Dr. Seuss specials for the studio (How the Grinch Stole Christmas & Horton Hears a Who) & CBS. After two years, however, CBS moved Tom & Jerry to Sundays, where it would remain for the final five seasons of its run, ending in 1972.

As we all know, Tom & Jerry would subsequently return four more times. First, they were reunited with creators William Hanna & Joe Barbera for 2 seasons at ABC (1975-77), but as best buds instead of enemies due to non-violence sanctions imposed during their first network go-round, which would explain why they were moved to Sundays. The duo then returned to CBS for 2 more years, this time under Filmation's auspices, but with MGM co-producing, and back to the traditional chase format (1980-82). Then, H-B got the pair back, and, with Turner co-producing served up Tom & Jerry Kids, which aired as much as six days a week on Fox (1990-94), spawning a spin-off series for Droopy. Finally, the last series, Tom & Jerry Tales, aired on Kids' WB! on the CW network (2006-08). Over the next few days, we'll be reviewing the individual shows.

Edit: 7/9/14: "Rock 'N' Rodent", which was originally included, was deleted by YouTube. We'll repost it separately. Meantime, Cartoonsintros has the opening montage, partially edited:

Rating: A+.

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