Tom and Jerry's Greatest Chases (1943)
Main Menu Audio
Featurette-The "Worry Song" Excerpt
|Year Of Production||1943|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
As the name would imply the cartoons presented on this disc are a collection of chases involving Tom (the cat) and Jerry (the mouse) in which Tom invariably gets the rough end of the stick. The general theme of Tom crashing head-long into the proverbial mouse-hole in the wall is well and truly over-used.
There is a real mixed bag of cartoons, totalling 14 in all each with a length of approximately 7 minutes. Some stand out for special mention. The Yankee Doodle Mouse, made in 1943, is very much a war cartoon, mirroring the action going on in the Pacific and Europe and adding a light touch of entertainment to the theme. It is one of the Oscar winners presented on the disc. The Cat Concerto and Johann Mouse share the common theme of Tom being a concert pianist (these two are my favourites - no surprise there, I suppose), the first involving some wonderful animation of Jerry being caught inside the grand piano and being accosted on all sides by the key hammers. Jerry and the Lion involves a shy lion that escapes from the zoo and seeks Jerry's help to return to the jungles of Africa. The humour is still touching and brought small smiles of delight to my face.
Regardless of the plot in each case, Tom scores a multitude of injuries from which he bounces back, yet both he and Jerry seem to remain the best of friends. The essential difference between this and more modern efforts is the total lack of maliciousness within the characterizations.
All cartoons here are presented in their original Full Frame format, and of course are not 16x9 enhanced.
The film from which this transfer has been taken (given the vintage, possibly the only available source) is surprisingly good. Colour detail, especially, has survived seemingly completely intact with remarkably bright, solid and stable colours. This together with high colour contrast between various onscreen objects helps considerably in producing an image which, while not sharp by modern standards, is easy on the eye. Graininess is noticeable throughout, but is simply one of the casualties of the age of the film.
It is not necessarily appropriate to consider shadow detail with this style of animation, but it is certainly fair to say that the whole picture displays a uniform depth and level of detail. There was never any hint of low level noise, which I'm sure would be only too clear if it was present.
There were no compression artefacts observed and, given the material, aliasing was never going to be a problem.
The age of the film is most clearly recognizable in the amount of scratches and other blemishes on the picture. They are pretty much ever present, but it would be a mistake to be overly critical of them. They are not too damaging and certainly do not threaten the overall enjoyment of watching the material. Reel change marks are present at the end of every cartoon.
There are three audio tracks, each in the original mono. I listened to the English track and sampled each of the other two. There is very little dialogue in any case so the difference between the tracks is minor. However it did seem to my ears that the French track was recorded at a slightly higher volume level than the others, and this made it seem to be a little clearer. What dialogue there is has a variable quality - some is muted or a little hard to make out because of the particular accent or sound the actors were trying to create.
Audio sync is always as good as you could possibly expect with animation.
As is the style, music is continuous, mostly swing tunes from the 40s, but also with some classical music from the likes of Liszt and Rossini. It's generally a bit of fun.
Being original 50 year old mono recordings, there is no surround or subwoofer activity.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-K310, using S-Video output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 (125cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Richter Wizard (front), Jamo SAT150 (rear), Yamaha YST-SW120 (subwoofer)|