As you might know, I am a huge Tom and Jerry fan. I've watched everything from the classic shorts to a couple of episodes of the new Tom and Jerry Show which I've already stated that I didn't like. The classics (1940-1958) remain the gold standard for the franchise. Sadly, most everything since then has been derided with the exception of Tom and Jerry Kids which was a decent spinoff babies effort and Tom and Jerry Tales which got better as it wore out, but got unceremoniously axed by the CW. Yet, as good as the classics were, there were some duds among the 114 shorts in the Hanna-Barbera era. Here I present the ten worst:
10. "The Egg and Jerry" - This is nothing more than a Cinemascopic remake of "Hatch Up Your Troubles" and it shows as the scenes are clearly inferior to the original.
9. "Feedin' the Kiddie" - Same thing except this is a remake of "The Little Orphan" which won an Oscar.
8. "Tops with Pops" - Again the same thing, except shot-for-shot of "Love that Pup".
7. "The Vanishing Duck" - A pseudo-remake of "The Invisible Mouse," this time with Jerry and Quacker with the vanishing cream to have some fun with Tom. The execution is not there as it was in the former short.
6. "Happy Go Ducky" - Yes, I know Quacker is supposed to be a baby duck, but he shouldn't be written that dumb.
5. "Tom and Cherie" - By far the worst of the Mouseketeer shorts as this is nothing but a Tuffy (aka Nibbles) torture porn as he's a messenger boy for Jerry and his girlfriend. What did Tuffy do to deserve that?
4. "Downhearted Duckling" - Quackers sees himself as the "Ugly Duckling" and is driven to the point where he wants to be eaten by Tom. To see Quackers brooding like this until the ending is quite painful, but nothing compared to another short two years later).
t-2. "Busy Buddies" - Yes, it's one of the two with the negligent babysitter and the baby crawling towards danger while Tom and Jerry try to rescue him. (In all likelihood the inspiration for my least favorite segment of Animaniacs in Mindy and Buttons). As if that wasn't bad enough.....
t-2. "Tot Watchers" - They made a second one! What's more depressing about this was this was the last short of the Hanna-Barbera era. Having this at a construction site does not make this funnier given that Popeye had to chase Sweet Pea in one earlier. Speaking of depressing.....
1. "Blue Cat Blues" - Who thought this was a good idea? It starts with a depressed Tom on the tracks waiting for the train and Jerry just looking on because "it's better this way." Tom has a girlfriend, but a richer rival in Butch takes her away and Tom is willing to sell himself to slavery (literally) to win her back with sadly predictable results. Of course, it ends with Jerry having a girlfriend and someone else taking her away because of contrivance and the short ends with both Tom and Jerry depressed, on the tracks, as the train whistles get louder. That's how the short ends. It is far and away the most disturbing short in the entire franchise and one that, in retrospect, should never have been shown on television (it was aired in reruns often in the 1980s on local affiliates) and dumped from the Spotlight Collection DVDs instead of "Mouse Cleaning" and "Cassanova Cat". ("His Mouse Friday" is in Volume 3.) Thankfully, Cartoon Network had not shown it as often.
So that's my 10 Worst Classic Tom and Jerry shorts. For a bonus, here's a Bottom 3/Top 3 for the other two sets of theatrical shorts:
Gene Deitch Era (1961-1962)
3. Down and Outing
2. Mouse into Space
1. Dicky Moe
1. The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit
2. Carmen Get It!
3. It's Greek to Me-ow!
Chuck Jones Era (1963-1967)
3. Duel Personality
2. Love Me, Love My Mouse
1. The Year of the Mouse
1. The Mouse from H.U.N.G.E.R.
2. The Cat Above and the Mouse Below
3. Is There a Doctor in the Mouse?
That's all for now. Next Lists will be dealing with the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic series.