In my long forgotten youth, I remember Tom and Jerry being frequently shown on Cartoon Network as they slowly built their original programming. While I don’t necessarily remember laughing much at the iconic misadventures of this cat and mouse duo, I can say they definitely stuck their mark on my mind for a while, and I guess the same a lot. others of my generation considering all the memes from those classic episodes. From there, several direct-to-video films were also shown on Cartoon Network, along with a recently shot live-action film involving Scarlet Johansson’s husband Colin Jost. Suffice it to say that Tom and Jerry have managed to do well in the decades since their prime, and now have a new series on HBO Max set in New York City, possibly in connection with the new movie. It’s the second season, but I haven’t seen the first and probably don’t need it, even though I just went to New York for the first time, so maybe I can judge.
In terms of what you can expect from this new show… well, it’s Tom and Jerry. You get exactly what is written on the tin. Tom is drawn into situations or causes problems which then have consequences, while Jerry bothers him or pulls him out. Their complicated friendship and / or rivalry is portrayed fairly faithfully here, it’s not as straightforward as pure hatred and disdain, but the two end up escalating quickly. A lot of times it’s not even about Tom chasing after Jerry, just some wacky stuff going on around them and their supporting cast, like that dog or cat girl that Tom loves. However, I think there may have been a bit of a miscommunication from the editorial staff, as in those six episodes there were at least a few instances of a similar story involving Tom. who was replaced by a strangely similar cat, although in one story he was an unlucky actor and in the other he was a royal pet. Also, there was an episode with Asian portrayals that I hesitate to say was bad, but definitely dances the line there. But those were pretty much the only standout episodes that seemed worth noting.
All in all, if you want Tom and Jerry, you’ll get Tom and Jerry. If you want to show this to your kids to keep their attention, or if you’re for some reason a long-time fan of these characters (which will likely put you in retirement age), you could definitely do worse than to watch those enduring gags and tracks being crudely animated in what appears to be Toon Boom, with old sound effects that are honestly more creepy than funny from modern animation. But hey, Tom and Jerry have stayed in this business for a reason, one reason I suspect is that the heads of Warner Brothers are in their eighties, but I guess that’s a good reason to preserve them for this decade. Please, more live action movies. Unless you can actually get Scarlet Johansson this time around.