Do You Remember? #91: Tom & Jerry Kids

Ah, the 80s and 90s and their ways of getting by with a lack of originality all thanks to the success of Muppet Babies, stuff like Flintstone Kids and A Pup Named Scooby Doo and the subject of other animated shows that found ways to get by on a lack of originality by just making kids versions of classic cartoon characters, which leads us to today’s subject, Tom & Jerry Kids:

Tom & Jerry Kids is an American animated television series, co-produced by Hanna-Barbera and Turner Entertainment Co., starring the cat-and-mouse duo Tom and Jerry as children (kitten and mouse). The show premiered in 1990 and continued airing until 1994. It began airing as the first program of the FOX’s children’s block, Fox Kids on September 8, 1990.

The series is somewhat similar to the “older” version of the original theatricals, partly akin to being produced by creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, founders of H-B. In terms of violence level, they are far closer to the original cartoons than previous television adaptions such as Filmation’s The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show although somewhat milder than Hanna and Barbera’s version.

Part of it is similar to Pink Panther and Pals and Garfield and Friends. Droopy and Dripple went on to star in their own short-lived spin-off Droopy, Master Detective.

Now to be fair, I did watch a lot of this show, mostly when Cartoon Network and TBS were replaying the series, I caught it every once in a while on Fox Kids during the original run but not a whole lot, and let’s be honest, this is not the worst they’ve done with Tom & Jerry over the years.

In fact, I can give the show credit for sticking to the spirit of the original Hanna-Barbera cartoons. You see, in the time in-between the 60s and the 90s, Tom & Jerry were kind off of in this in-between zone where they kept bringing in different animation companies to recapture the spirit of the original shorts, Chuck Jones being the closest to keeping the original spirit of the classic Tom & Jerry cartoons, Gene Deitch’s run was a mixed bag, and the Filmation run….yeah, there’s a reason why Filmation worked better with its’ stories than its’ animation. So, give Tom & Jerry Kids a lot of credit for keeping the spirit and humor in the style of the classic cartoons.

The overall show itself was very fun to watch, the animation was well done, the humor was surprisingly sharp, the voice cast was really good including Teresa Ganzel and Phil Hartman as part of the cast and the show itself never really had anything too horrible about it.

Probably the biggest reason why it’s not held highly was because in that same year Tom & Jerry Kids debuted, there was another show that premiered that took the concept of kidifying classic characters and gave it a fresh new turn and that was Tiny Toon Adventures, which is easily the better show of the two bar none with a lot sharper comedy, great animation, an excellent voice cast and more in spirit of the original Looney Tunes cartoons.

That being said, Tom & Jerry Kids is still a very fun show, if you enjoyed most of the Muppet Babies knockoffs like Flintstone Kids and A Pup Named Scooby Doo then you’ll definitely enjoy Tom & Jerry Kids, it does a good job keeping in spirit of the original source material and has a lot more going for it than against it.

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Posted in Do You Remember?

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