Posts tagged “Joseph Barbera

Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers / Fruit Salad


Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK ReleaseIt’s a swashbuckling pirate adventure when Tom sets sail as a lowly cabin cat for the biggest, baddest pirate on the high seas: the infamous Captain Red.  Tired of swabbing the deck all day, Tom thinks his luck has changed when a mysterious bottle containing a treasure map washes on board.  Tom’s dream of finding the treasure for himself is ruined when he discovers the bottle also contains stowaway mouse Jerry.  Poor little Jerry has been guarding the treasure map and now has a greedy cat on his paws.  Will Jerry be forced to walk the plank?  Will Tom make it to the deserted island first?  The race is on and Tom and Jerry must work together to get past coconut-throwing monkeys and a giant slimy octopus, then outsmart the pirates to find the buried treasure!

2006  –  Certificate: U  –  American Film
Rating Details:  No material likely to offend or harm
5.0 out of 10

From time to time throughout my life I’ve eaten fruit salad, which often came out of a tin.  At its worst, tinned fruit salad is a euphemism for an unpalatable assortment consisting of squidgy bits of cheap apple, cubes of gritty pear and a few other, unrecognisable lumps, floating about in a sugary gunk.  If you were lucky you’d get the single, half cherry that was always immersed in this slime, or a random fragment of what the ingredients list claimed to be peach.  Certainly it never looked like the picture on the tin, which normally manifested itself as a lush, green jungle of exotic fruit trees.  Now, I really like oranges, a lot.  In fact, if I could find a woman who wanted to dress up as an orange in bed, I’d marry her tomorrow; even a satsuma or a clementine would do, I’m not fussy.  Despite the half cherry normally attracting everyone’s attention and desire, it was the occasional bit of mandarin that really sailed my boat. Absent from all but the ‘better quality’ tins, I used to desperately search for these elusive segments.  Although frequently disappointed, I never lost the urge to keep on searching, like some sort of hardened gold miner, panning the streams in an arid wasteland for that one strike that would change his life.  Now I’m an adult I have the luxury of being able to buy whole tins of fruit, containing nothing but mandarin segments in their own juice.  I buy about six a month, just to quench my perverted desires.  As Harold Macmillan said, I’ve “never had it so good.” This is a movie about searching for treasure too.

I’ve tried to work out why this isn’t one of my favourite Tom & Jerry Films.  On the surface it seems fine; they don’t talk, there’s plenty of brutality, it looks right and the music and effects sound like they’re supposed to.  Then it dawned on me; despite all the violence, most of it consists of Tom and Jerry crashing into things or being squashed.  Where’s Tom being blown up in an oven, turned inside out, or sliced up into lots of bits after being sucked into a jet engine, etc?  There’re only so many times you can watch them running into things or being thrown against something hard; the variety of animal cruelty on show is sadly lacking.  When the rating details say “no material likely to offend or harm” then you know there’s going to be a problem.  For Tom & Jerry I want them to say, “very strong bloody violence, strong torture and sadism theme featuring animals cruelty”.  The pirates and their parrots are a bit crappy too, although the skull is pretty cool and the treasure hunt part of the film does make up for its somewhat generic first section.  Oh, and the overview above isn’t accurate; Jerry’s already on the boat; he doesn’t arrive in the bottle at all!  Did the person who wrote it even bother to watch the film?

The music is pretty authentic classic Tom & Jerry.  Job done.

Recommend for pirates and parrots; and skulls that can talk like Luke Skywalker with a Spanish accent, although there’s probably not many of them about.

No chainsaws or decapitations, but one cat, (Tom of course).  And I guess there’s a good chance the skull was the result of a decapitation.

Top badass moment? Tom gets so much shit from everyone, it’s unreal; the pirates, Jerry, Spike.  In return, he really doesn’t do that much and it’s not like he wasn’t provoked.  If it ended up in court I bet he’d only get a suspended sentence, given all the mitigating circumstances.  For one brief moment he gets rewarded by the Red Pirate for giving him the treasure map.  In fact this scene feels really out of place, it’s so unusual.  When your life’s an endless round of crap, bad luck and failure, any moment of happiness is badass.  And has anyone noticed just how fit he is?  At one point, he rows a boat with five pirates in it (plus a mouse and a parrot) for what looks like hours and hours through a storm and then still manages to escape.

Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers at IMDB (6.5 / 10)

Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers at Wikipedia

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Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars: 3.0 Stars


Tom and Jerry: Blast Off  To Mars  -  Front DVD Cover (UK)Once content to duel it out here on Earth, the eternally scrappy Tom and Jerry now boldly go where no cat and mouse have gone before, when they get trapped on a spaceship bound for Mars.  After their mistaken mission goes hilariously out of control, the tables are turned on Tom when, thinking him a giant outer space monster, the Martians attack!  But what really bristles the cat’s whiskers is Jerry being hailed as the Martians’ long-long supreme leader!  Will the duelling duo put their differences aside long enough to save Earth from invasion?  They may need all of Tom’s nine lives to succeed in this extraterrestrially funny adventure.

2005  –  Certificate: U  –  USA
Rating Details: Mild violence

In the first four and a half minutes, (which includes all the opening credits too), Tom has an ironing board smash down on his head, has his head ironed, sets fire to his feet, falls into a food mixer, falls into a liquidiser, gets his head jammed in a toaster and toasted, gets trapped in a dish washer and its associated plumbing, smashes his head into a sink, gets sucked through an aircraft’s jet engine and falls 1,000s of feet though the air onto the ground.  I guess that’s the “mild violence” I was warned about.  Lucky it’s not a real cat.

I like Tom and Jerry.  In fact they’re my favourite cartoon characters of all time.  The first part of this film is great, as Tom’s attempts to catch Jerry totally trash a house.  Sadly, when we meet a few folk (and aliens) and they start to speak, it all slows down and loses it a bit.  I don’t know, but people really shouldn’t talk in Tom and Jerry cartoons; in fact we should hardly see them at all.  A few screams and such like are okay, but when they start to have conversations then that’s just wrong.  Then again, I’m probably not the demographic that this film is aimed at.  If you’re eight years old you probably don’t care about the mythology of Tom and Jerry, you just want to see ‘funny stuff’.  Having said that, the big reference to “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the fact that the President looks and sound an awful lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger, are likely to appeal to the more ‘mature’ viewer.  The bad guy’s use of a vacuum cleaner as its weapon of choice is somewhat surreal too.  What was the originator of that idea on?  It’s far from classic Tom and Jerry, but it’s still quite entertaining.  The sound is surprisingly good, if a little unsubtle at times and the music excellent.  At its best, this film could almost have been made in the 40s, but all too often it falls into more stereotypical Saturday morning cartoon land and dilutes its best down.  And how come Tom and Jerry didn’t need spacesuits on Mars, but the astronauts from Earth did?  (Okay, maybe I’m overanalysing things a bit now.)

Recommended for the Tom and Jerry hardcore; and little kids.

1 cat (Tom of course), no chainsaws or decapitations.  However, a number of heads (mostly Tom’s) do get flattered, burnt, crushed or ‘deflated’.

Top badass moment?  I’m told following your dreams in life is important, regardless of the consequences.  So I guess Tom smashing up what looked like a really nice house, with a lot of unusual African artefacts it, in an attempt to catch Jerry, is badass then.  Jerry’s such a tease and you just know he’s not the one who’s going to get blamed for the mess either; there’re words for individuals like that and they’re not nice words.

Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars at IMDB (5.4/10)