The 1990s was one of the greatest decades in the history of television broadcasting. NCB and ABC were at the top of their game with their “Must See Thursday” and “TGIF” programming blocks. And CBS and Fox each had afternoon cartoons for kids to watch after a long day at school. Sadly, those days are gone. Thankfully though, Warner Home Video has given audiences that grew up in those days of quality programming yet another piece of their childhood with the release of Tom and Jerry Kids Show: The Complete Season One. This two disc set is one more part of what has been a small wave of welcome releases from WHV this year that includes: Tiny Toon Adventures Vol. 3, Animaniacs Vol. 4, the brand new release of Taz-Mania: Season 1 Vol. 1, and the upcoming releases of Tiny Toon Adventures Vol. 4, and Taz-Mania: Season 1 Vol. 2 just to name a handful of releases.
Tom and Jerry Kids Show: The Complete Season One includes the first thirteen episodes from this show that some considered part of the “kiddie-fication” of cartoons. The term in general was in reference to certain cartoons being reduced in quality in order to make them more kid friendly. The cartoons in question included: Looney Tunes, The Flintstones, and Scooby Doo Where Are You? The term “kiddie-fication” was generally used in a negative connotation in regards to their kid friendly spinoffs. Those that used that term couldn’t have been more wrong in using such a label especially in the case of Tom and Jerry Kids Show. That’s because a show such as Tom and Jerry Kids Show was (like Tiny Toon Adventures) less a “kiddie-fication” of its more adult base show than a way to indoctrinate young viewers into the world of said show slowly. And there is nothing at all wrong with doing this. If anything, it helps to keep alive the legacy of Hanna-Barbera’s classic cartoons.
The transfers from the original tapes look outstanding. The quality of the footage could not have been better. Little to nothing was lost in the transfer from the original tapes to DVD. Even when viewed on an HDTV, it still looks quite impressive. That’s a testament to the work done by the show’s artistic staff. Even when viewed via a computer’s DVD drive or on a home DVD player, the video quality still shows that it has stood the test of time. The same can be said of the show’s audio side. Fans of HB’s classic cartoons will recognize the company’s recycling of its music. Much of the music used in this more modern take on Tom and Jerry was also used in The Jetsons and to a lesser extent, more modern Flintstones direct-to-DVD features and certain episodes of A Pup Named Scooby Doo. This trademark of Hanna-Barbera’s cartoons is another welcome addition to Tom and Jerry Kids Show. Having that familiar older music back once again makes older audiences’ sense of nostalgia even stronger in watching this modern classic.
The high quality of the show’s transfers alone makes Tom and Jerry Kids Show: The Complete Season One worth the money for fans that grew up with this cartoon. The double-disc set’s packaging is another positive to the overall presentation. As with multi-disc sets from other companies, this set follows what is quickly becoming the standard by placing one disc on its own place on a plastic insert inside the case. The second disc is placed comfortably on the back portion of the box also in its own spot. This manner of packaging is both smart in terms of protecting the set’s discs and in terms of ergonomics. It keeps the case for the DVD’s the same size as that of a regular single-disc DVD package. So it saves space on audiences’ DVD/Blu-ray racks, and protects the product inside.
As one should be able to tell by now, Tom and Jerry Kids Show: The Complete Season One is an enjoyable nostalgic trip down memory lane for long-time fans of the Tom and Jerry franchise. It’s just as much a welcome introduction to this generation’s younger viewers. For all the positives to this set, it isn’t without one minor flaw. That flaw is not in the art, the transfers, or even the packaging. The flaw in question comes from the discs themselves. Rather than actually coloring in the designs on the discs, they were painted over with a single, flat color, leaving just enough open space to make a wild guess as to the design on each disc. Consumers would have to put each disc up to the light and tilted each one in order to get an idea of the designs. The same thing was done with Animaniacs: Volume Four and with Tiny Toon Adventures Vol. 3. It’s a minor flaw with this set (and the other sets mentioned). So luckily, it doesn’t take away too much from the overall presentation, even though it would have been nice for WHV’s people to have taken care of this aspect. Had that been done, this might have found itself at the top of this critic’s list of the year’s best new children’s DVD and Blu-ray releases. Regardless, it still has found a place on the list in question. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via the WB Shop at http://www.wbshop.com/product/tom+and+jerry+kids+show+the+complete+first+season+1000348871.do?sortby=ourPicks&from=Search. Fans of all things WB can keep up with all the latest WB home releases on the WB Shop website at http://www.wbshop.com/home.do.
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