If you are looking for one of my usual DVD reviews, you will be disappointed...just as you no doubt will be disappointed if you purchase the Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection, Vol. 3.
I created this mock-review as a symbolic gesture of protest against Warner Home Video's Family Division; who have consistently shown a marked ambivalence towards the classic MGM cartoons that languish in their film vaults. To date, no real effort towards the proper restoration of these cartoons has been made. Moreover, many titles in the series have been subjected to what many of us here in the Big Cartoon Forum deem as unjustified censorship.
The first two volumes of The Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection released by WHV contained cartoons that had been edited for content; the present volume completely omits two cartoons on the grounds that they are too "controversial" to be seen by the general public. WHV has blatantly withheld the release of these two titles, Casanova Cat and Mouse Cleaning; despite their printed disclaimer on the packaging, which states that the cartoons contained within the set are for the "adult collector" and therefore are not suitable for children.
The suppression by WHV (and their parent company, Time-Warner) of these two cartoons constitutes hypocrisy of the highest order. At the beginning of each disc in their DVD sets of classic Warner Bros. and MGM cartoons, WHV has also issued a disclaimer stating (in effect) that, although some of the cartoons included in the DVD sets contain examples of racial prejudices that were common to the period during which they were produced, to not present the cartoons as their creators originally intended would be the same as saying those prejudices never existed. In this case, suppressing certain cartoons in their entirety is tantamount to saying that they, themselves, never existed.
Say "no" to corporate censorship by not purchasing this set!
Postscript 02/16/08: Time-Warner recently pulled Casanova Cat from YouTube, ostensibly for reasons of copyright infringement. It would appear that they don't want anyone to be able to see this cartoon and would much rather keep it buried in their film vaults. For some reason they haven't yet pulled Mouse Cleaning from DailyMotion, but I don't doubt they'll get around to it soon.
Postscript 05/04/08: Casanova Cat has been re-posted on YouTube. Catch it while you're able, before Time-Warner yanks it again!
Postscript 07/24/08: Other members of the Big Cartoon Forum have recently informed me that the link I had originally provided for a website, on which information about Tom and Jerry cartoon edits had been posted, is no longer accessible. I tried contacting the Administrator of that website to find out the nature of the problem, but to date have received no reply. For specific information regarding the problems inherent with The Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection, Vols. 1 and 2, please refer to my earlier reviews of those DVD sets here in The Animated Word.
Postscript 08/12/08: I was able to restore the link (see above) to the Worldwide DVD Forums; which contain the excellent Tom and Jerry Censorship Comparison Guide. According to the Forum Member who had originally published the guide, someone had previously hacked into the Forums and deleted it.
Postscript 07/31/09: Warner Bros. has recently pulled Casanova Cat from YouTube; but Mouse Cleaning is still available for viewing on DailyMotion.
Postscript 11/14/09: I've updated the above links for Casanova Cat and Mouse Cleaning. The prints used in these editions are in fairly-decent shape but one has the Boomerang logo superimposed throughout. These look like they both came from the Tom and Jerry set that was released in France. There's no guarantee how long these editions will stay put on YouTube... Big (Warner)Brothers are watching!
(This post was edited by zavkram on Nov 14, 2009, 6:56 AM)