Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Deitch Treat!

Speaking, as we were in OUR LAST POST, of things badly drawn, we segue to this great news!  CLICK HERE for the details of a completely unexpected coming DVD set! 

But, wait... You say something is "badly drawn", like these things from Charlton Comics below...

...but you are excited over the news of its coming?  

Yes, because the Tom and Jerry theatrical cartoons, produced by Gene Deitch in the early 1960s, may be "badly drawn"...

...certainly when compared to their Hanna-Barbera predecessors...

...and their Chuck Jones, "post-decessors"... 

...but they are FUNNY!  

Like the (literally) "Out of the Box" thinking approach to "The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit".  

Or, the almost "other-worldly" quality to "Landing Stripling".

And, let's not forget my favorite of Deitch's run... the great "Dicky Moe", starring the distinctive voice of THIS ACTOR!

As you can see in THIS POST, I've been lamenting the lack of Gene Deitch's Tom and Jerry cartoons on DVD for quite some time.

Now, on June 02, 2015, they will finally arrive!  And there will be some NEW EXTRA FEATURES!!!  We don't see that very often from Warner Home Video these days!  

I will be there waiting for all of it... probably muttering the name of  "Dicky Moe"... over and over again!  


joecab said...

And I checked with Jerry Beck to see if the "Cartoon Kit" episode had the narration restored, and it does. (Back when T&J was airing on NYC's WPIX in the 1980s we got the narration-less version; I assume it was dropped because of the line about the coffee and cigarettes.)

I've got a weird fascination with those Deitch episodes that I've never been able to explain. Or understand.

Joe Torcivia said...

As do I, Joe C.

…Though I think I “understand” it. That whole “sixties-era” of theatrical animation fascinates me because, in large part, I didn’t fully realize at the time that it even existed.

By then, theatrical cartoons (certainly the best ones) had moved onto television – and some great original TV productions were being created as well. But, that animated theatricals “hung-on” through that era, with some of them even stretching into the ‘70s (even if they were mere shades of their ‘40s and ‘50s predecessors) is, as I say, fascinating.

Tom and Jerry, in particular, is an anomaly in that – unlike Warner Bros. and certainly Walter Lantz – it ostensibly “got worse” (Deitch – though this is a subjective view, as I like a large number of them) and THEN “got better” (Jones).

And now, if I’m not mistaken, all of the theatrical Tom and Jerrys will have been released on DVD… except for the two of Hanna-Barbera’s that were quashed by Warner Home Video for content. I was hoping those would be included in the more fancy, pricy Blu-ray sets, but the Blu-rays did not continue beyond Volume One, alas.

joecab said...

Which is funny because when I first saw the post-MGM T&Js my immediate reaction was "worse" and "better" but as I got older I came to appreciate and kinda like the Deitch ones, but just kinda shrug my shoulders at the Jones era as good as it looked. The Deitch cartoons are like the "brutalist architecture" scene of American cartoons.

Which Deitch episodes are your faves? Wait, no, don't tell me ... save it for your release review! I was going to list the ones I like beyond the usual ones mentioned (Dickie Moe, Cartoon Kit) but it's maybe half a dozen so it's kind of pointless when there were only 13 of them made.

Joe Torcivia said...

I, too, grew to appreciate the Dietch T&Js, after initially looking at them as something alien. Until the ‘80s, when I rediscovered certain cartoons in syndication, I’d only seen the H-B ones from the sixties CBS SatAM “Tom and Jerry Show”. Both Dietch and Jones’ versions were unknown to me until the early ‘80s.

My faves are pretty much as listed: “Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit”, “Landing Stripling”, and my favorite “Dicky Moe” (thanks to Allen Swift). I’d also add “Sorry Safari” for a total of four really great ones out of 13. That’s really not such a bad percentage – and one that I expect to rise, once I see the rest of them again.