23. April 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

So…over here on the left is a DVD box set that I bought for my boys this week.  38 episodes of Tom and Jerry!  It was $14.99 at our local Baker’s (read: Kroger) grocery store.

My boys LOVE Tom and Jerry!  I loved Tom and Jerry cartoons when I was little.  I fondly recall watching the shorts on Channel 27 back in the early 80s in Norfolk.

This particular box set is special because it has the short “Puss Gets the Boot”, which was the very first Tom and Jerry short…so old that Tom isn’t even called “Tom”.  He’s “Jasper” here.  In fact, “Puss Gets the Boot” is the very first time William Hanna and Joseph Barbera worked together in 1939.

I’m looking at the back of the box, which typically has the description of the DVD, playing time (320 minutes!), MPAA rating, etc.  There’s also this line:

“TOM AND JERRY SPOTLIGHT COLLECTION VOLUME 2 is Intended for the Adult Collector and May Not Be Suitable for Children.”

WHAT?  Are they serious?  Because of the violence?  The perceived racism of Mammy Two Shoes (a character inspired by Hattie McDaniel’s Mammy from Gone with the Wind)?  What’s it doing on Cartoon Network and Boomerang if children shouldn’t be watching it?

The beginning of the first DVD in this set has an introduction by Whoopi Goldberg, who discusses the racist themes and violence and emphasizes that while it’s funny to see the characters perform in such ways, it doesn’t mean such behavior is advocated.  At least Whoopi is supportive of allowing viewers to see the cartoons the way they were originally drawn…many of the Mammy Two Shoes episodes had her edited out and replaced by a seemingly white woman.

Anyway, I found that rather interesting, that disclaimer about Tom and Jerry not being for children.  My kids love it, and I don’t think they’re going to become criminals or juvenile delinquents because of what they watch on these DVDs.