In a recent conversation with a friend, the subject of the late and lamented Tom & Jerry was raised - particularly that it was some time since either of us had seen one of their cartoons. This conversation faltered somewhat in the lack of available evidence, until a third person contributed to the conversation - "Oh, you won't see them any more, they're just too violent. They give kids the wrong idea." How I scoffed and harrumphed at this load of old cobblers - but, the more I thought about it, it was disproportionate enough to actually be true. Disproportionate?? We live in a society where people are allowed to part with perfectly good money to go to cinemas, whereupon they watch the occupants of hostels meet with particularly gory, sadistic and horrific demises - and then leave, giddy with mirth, delightedly discussing their evening's gore-fest with similarly thought disordered individuals. That same money, I submit, could be spent on perfectly good antipsychotic medication with very few side effects. The SAME society, if this is true, withdraws two of the very greatest comedy icons of the last century, with its at-the-time groundbreaking animation because - well, because - someone's kid MIGHT get the wrong idea and throw a 5 ton anvil at next doors' dog. I strongly and actively support protecting children from things that they plainly should not experience at particular ages, and am from a childhood age where there was nothing like the protection that children should rightfully have - but, come on!
I remember the family tradition of sitting down to watch Tom & Jerry, shortly before Grandstand then Doctor Who, on a Saturday afternoon, and all of us shrieking with mirth. Other than an appreciation for slapstick humour and a fondness for cats, I have NO sustained effects or unwanted personality traits AT ALL from having sat repeatedly through this family institution. I've actually bought all three of these discs - and, apart from convulsions of hysterical laughter and frequent requests for repeat viewings, have noticed NO ill effects in my child at all. Being the responsible citizen that I am, I have also been carefully monitoring the local animal population - and can safely say that I have seen no bulldogs with anvil marks on their heads, no two dimensional cats that have clearly met with foul play at the hands of a steam roller, and no mice resembling balloons having ingested the entire contents of a carton of milk. I will continue to observe and take necessary action. And the discs themselves? If you remember Tom & Jerry, and can bring yourself to ignore the perilous warnings of 'frequent and mild slapstick violence' (really?no kidding!) these are priceless and essential viewing, superbly transferred to DVD - they're also excellent value, at 3 hours per disc. Call me irresponsible, but a wholehearted recommendation is happily cited.