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Tom and Jerry's Greatest Chases, Vol. 2 [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Slicked-Up Pup
After giving his son Tyke a bath, Spike the bulldog wraps the pup in a towel and tells him in his Durante-esque voice, "Soak up some o' dat sunshine vitamin, an' I'll be back wit' a coupla chops. That's my boy!" Meanwhile, Tom is as usual chasing Jerry all over the yard. In mid-flight, Tom accidentally pushes Tyke into a mudpile. Angrily ordering Tom to clean up the pup, Spike warns the cat that Tyke had better stay clean--"An' if he ain't, I'll tear ya limb from limb." That's all that Jerry has to hear, and the rest of the cartoon finds Tom frantically trying to prevent Jerry from dirtying up Tyke with ink, paint, crayons, tomatoes, tar and anything else that's handy. Alas, it's all for naught, as Tom discovers in the truly "agitating" finale. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Jerry's Cousin
The title character in this Oscar-nominated cartoon is a tough, derby-hatted mouse named Muscles. After beating up all the cats in Hogan's Alley, Muscles receives an urgent message from cousin Jerry, who tells him of the "serious trouble" he's having with his feline nemesis Tom. Wasting no time giving Tom a going over, the Bogart-voiced Muscles warns the cat to lay off Jerry. Rather than heed this warning, Tom takes a crash course in bodybuilding--but still Muscles is able to clean his clock. In desperation, Tom calls in reinforcements, namely a trio of nasty-looking cats from Dirty Work Incorporated. But Jerry's cousin isn't called "Muscles" for nothing...and that's not the half of it! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Baby Puss
An obnoxious little girl insists upon treating her pet cat Tom like an itty bitty baby--bonnet, bottle, crib and all. It's all pretty humiliating, but Tom is willing to go along with the gag so long as he gets fed. All this changes when Jerry the mouse launches a campaign of ridicule aimed at Tom, going so far as to encourage a trio of raucous alley cats to join in on the "fun." The cartoon's endless supply of superb sight gags is matched every inch of the way by the musical score, which not only incorporates such familiar tunes as "How About You?", "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" "Strolling Through the Park", "Baby Face" and "Mama Yo Quiero", but also the singing talents of The Kings' Men quartet. And how about that cross-dressingCarmen Miranda routine? ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Bodyguard
While being pursued by Tom, Jerry takes time out to rescue Spike the bulldog from the dog catcher. The grateful hound promises eternal friendship and devotion to Jerry: "Any time ya ever needs me, just whistle." Sure enough, the next time Tom shows up to menace Jerry, Spike rushes to the mouse's defense, grabbing the hapless cat and threatening to "pound ya into pieces" if he dares lay a paw on Jerry. The situation is milked for all it's worth and then some, until Tom resorts to desperate measures--namely, a glue-soaked gumball--to keep Jerry from whistling. Scott Bradley's exuberant musical score includes snatches of such tunes as "I'm Sitting on Top of the World" and "Spreadin' Rhythm Around." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Mouse Trouble
Convinced that he can rid the house of rodents after ordering a book entitled "How to Trap a Mouse," a frustrated Tom finds his efforts to capture Jerry backfiring at every turn. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cat Fishin'
It's a peaceful day in the country, and fish are jumping in a private lagoon guarded by surly bulldog Spike. Despite this canine obstacle and a full complement of "Keep Out" signs, angler Tom is determined to go fishing. Using Jerry as "live bait", Tom casts his line into the water, attracting the attention of a fearsome-looking fish with alligator teeth. Thinking he's made the catch of the lifetime, Tom gets the raw end of the deal (literally). The end of an imperfect day comes when Jerry and Spike join forces to make Tom's miserable life even more so. This cartoon is punctuated by Tom's heartfelt screams of pain--quite a noisy display for a pantomime character. Scott Bradley's musical score includes a lively rendition of "The Trolley Song" from Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Flirty Birdy
Using cheese as bait, Tom lures Jerry into a trap--or more specifically, a sandwich. But the "mouseburger" is promptly stolen by a passing hawk, leading to a battle royal between the cagey cat and the larcenous bird. First Tom gets the upper hand, then the hawk, while Jerry manages to subject both of his pursuers to all manner of comic mayhem. Things take a kinky turn when, in an effort to distract the hawk, Tom dresses up as a sexy female bird (in a sarong, no less). Now hungry for a LOT more than mere food, the amorous hawk ardently pursues the cross-dressing Tom, a chase that ends only when the couple literally "ties the knot." The wall-to-wall musical score includes snatches of "St. Louis Blues", "My Blue Heaven"and the familiar MGM cartoon leitmotif "You're a Sweetheart". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Invisible Mouse
Once again, Tom is chasing Jerry all through the house, with Jerry using such weaponry as clocks, plates, steam irons and fireplace bellows to protect himself. Finally, Jerry takes refuge in a bottle bearing the label "invisible ink". Upon emerging from his hiding place, Jerry discovers that he has indeed been rendered invisible, and uses this advantage to grab a quick lunch--and, incidentally, turn the tables on Tom. At a loss to explain how inaminate objects can spring to life and cause him great pain, Tom is convinced that he has lost his mind...until the unseen Jerry somehow casts his shadow on the wall. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Quiet Please!
Warned by Spike that he'll be skinned alive if the dreaded bulldog is roused from his beauty rest, a fearful Tom attempts to ensure that the house remains still and silent. When Jerry attempts to undermine Tom's efforts by making as much noise as possible, a scheming Tom attempts to dose Spike with liquefied knock-out drops. Unfortunately, Tom accidentally sets off a bomb while attempting to remove it from underneath Spike -- prompting the irritated bulldog to make good on his dreadful promise. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cueball Cat
One of the most famous and most frequently reissued "Tom and Jerry" cartoons, this one takes place in a deserted billiard parlor, which Tom has invaded for a nocturnal game of pool. Trouble is, one of the pool table's pockets is the home of Jerry, who is slumbering peacefully until a ball rolls over his bed. The cat-and-mouse war is on, as Tom opts to use Jerry as the central "ball" in a hilariously violent game, which includes chalking up the mouse's head and setting the rack on fire. For a time, Jerry is literally behind the eight-ball, but it isn't long before he grabs a cue and gets even with the playful puss. What follows may well be the only pool game on record in which baseball gloves, soft drink bottles and fire hoses are brought into play. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Heavenly Puss
In one of the best-ever "Tom and Jerry" cartoons, Tom uses up all of his nine lives at once when, while pursuing Jerry, he manages to crush himself with a piano. Ascending to Heaven by way of a golden escalator, Tom's spirit arrives at the Pearly Gates, where a celestial conductor is checking in other recently deceased felines for their final ride on the Heavenly Express. But when Tom's turn comes, he is stopped cold as the stern conductor reminds him "Your whole life was spent persecuting an innocent little mouse." It looks as though Tom is doomed to the Fiery Depths, where a demonic bulldog awaits him with sadistic glee. But the conductor offers Tom one last chance: If within the next hour he can convince Jerry to sign a "Certificate of Forgiveness," Tom will be permitted entry into Paradise. The rest of the cartoon is a brilliant exercise in frantic frustration, capped by a hilarious--yet somehow touching--fadeout gag. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Jerry and the Goldfish
Jerry's best friend is a goldfish--and his worst enemy, as always, is Tom. Listening to a radio cooking show in which the ebullient French chef describes an "exquisite" fish dinner, Tom is inspired to add the goldfish to his menu. But Jerry isn't about to let his pal be transformed into a blue plate special, so he grabs the goldfish and rushes off, with Tom in hot pursuit. Temporarily safe in a glass of water, the fish must somehow be returned to his bowl without Tom's interference. Until this cartoon came around, who would have guessed that there were so many different ways to cook a fish--and so many different ways for Jerry to cook Tom's goose? (And where does Jerry get all those dynamite sticks?) ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Sufferin' Cats!
Sick of playing "fish" to Tom's "fisherman", Jerry rebels and rushes out of the house, where he collides with a raffish alley cat named Meathead. Before long a battle is raging between the two rival cats over possession of Jerry, with the crafty mouse spending the bulk of the cartoon playing Tom against Meathead and vice versa. After heaping a great deal of abuse on each other, the feline duo decides to share Jerry by splitting the mouse down the middle, King Solomon style. This spirit of "share and share alike" evaporates when the devilish half of Tom's conscience encourages him to double-cross Meathead. And so it goes until the end of the film--and when we say The End, we mean The End. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Million Dollar Cat
While playing a "William Tell" dart game with helpless Jerry as the target, Tom is interrupted by the arrival of a telegram, revealing that his owner's eccentic Aunt Harriet has willed the cat one million dollars. Tom's excitement over his unexpected windfall is dampene when Jerry points out a condition of the legacy: if Tom brings harm to any living thing, "EVEN A MOUSE", he'll be cut off without a cent. Naturally, Jerry takes full advantage of this situation after Tom moves into a ritzy penthouse apartment at 1 Park Avenue. Doing everything he can to avoid Jerry and thus resist temptation, Tom is foiled by the malevolent mouse, who gets even for years of abuse with weapons ranging from a fancy parfait to a luxurious bed. One of the few "Tom and Jerry" cartoons in which Tom has dialogue, Million Dollar Cat also boasts a lively musical score, with quotes from such popular songs as "Broadway Rhythm"and "Sleepy Time Gal". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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