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Tom & Jerry - Disturbing news if true...

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by the_pauley, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    Bad news for anyone who has been looking forward to these R2 releases.

    The idea was great. Releases of all the T&J shorts with twenty-odd titles per disc. What could be more straightforward?

    You may well ask.

    My copy of Volume One, released last week has gone straight back to HMV for a refund. Almost every episode has been "politically corrected". Unbelieveably, the character of Mammy-Two-Shoes has had her voice re-dubbed with a twee, distinctly non-black voice. No more the famous cry of "Thomaaaas!".

    I would love someone at MGM to explain to me what is / was / ever will be offensive about a woman with a strong black Southern accent? It was after all the actress Lillian Randolph's real voice. Tune into any American documentary / talk / reality show today and you'll still hear black women speaking in just such an accent. Just what is the problem?

    A couple of episodes have also had some "blackface" humour cut out. You know the stuff where the cat gets his face blackened by an explosion and a banjo plays "Camptown Races", etc. Granted these jokes are a tad squirm-inducing these days, but at the same time I think viewers are able to make allowances for the era that these films were made. Censorship and revisionism is far more disturbing. If MGM were so concerned, then a short intro to the set outlining the period the films were made in and justifying their inclusion on an historical basis would surely have averted any criticism.

    There is also an episode missing from the running order of Volume 1. For some reason "Million Dollar Cat" is missing. Haven't seen it so can't say why, but I suspect more political correctness.

    The episode listing for Volume 2 (released in May) on Play.com has a couple of omissions, including "Mouse Cleaning". This episode was the first episode to be "corrected" in the late '60s-early '70s, with Mammy's voice being overdubbed and a "blackface" joke being replaced by newly-created animation. But for some reason even this censored episode is not included. Incidentally the version of this I have recorded from a BBC transmission in the late '80s is the original, uncensored version, even though a doctored print was available from 15 years previously.

    But there's more confusion to come. When I went into HMV to return my purchase I noticed a 2 disc "Collector's Edition" of Volume 1 & 2. The individual discs of Volumes 1 and 2 have 24 cartoons each. However this "Collector's Edition" offers 50 cartoons in total, but confusion is added by a running time of 84mins and 93mins for each disc. The running time of the stand alone disc of Volume 1 with 24 cartoons is listed at 177 mins, so how come 50 shorts on the 2 disc set run for the same time?

    And what are the 2 extra cartoons? No one at HMV could offer any explanation and there is no track listing on the packaging of the 2 disc set. Confused? Me too!

    Part of me hopes against hope that the "Collector's Edition" might be just that - aimed at the serious collector and containing episodes and material missing from the single disc versions. Nice thought but unlikely. I'd be grateful if anyone can give me any information on this.

    So what are the alternatives? Apparently there is a 3 disc version of varying quality from some R3 country with all episodes uncensored, but with the rather cheeky insertion of the DVD manufacturer's logo in place of the MGM lion on every cartoon!

    There is talk of an uncensored Japanese collection in the pipeline, and then a R1 USA box set (although I'll bet money this will be "corrected").

    Personally I'll be boycotting the R2 releases and will be telling MGM just why I'm doing so. Perhaps a few more similar complaints might have an impact?

    Well - p****d off or what? :(
     
  2. cybersoga

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    Censoring art is always wrong whatever way you look at it.
     
  3. shaunthedude

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    this really really gets my back up. There was a conversation a while ago about the dambusters dvd in which they were going to change the name of the main charaters dog. Luckily they left it alone. BUT as for Tom and Jerry, I cant believe that at all. Im sure the lady you mentioned whose voice has been deleted would be insulted at this, and if she were still alive would agree with what we say. The world has gone MAD
     
  4. HMHB

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    I saw a review of this DVD on DVDTimes and decided not to buy it as they have obviously completely ruined it.
     
  5. Simon6776

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    I had ordered all 6 from Play, but I've just cancelled the rest of them. Guess I'll have to stick to my VCR versions for now. :thumbsdow

    I'm surprised HMV let you return them, The_Pauley, because it doesn't say on the packaging that they are the 'uncut', or 'original' versions.

    Just seen on http://www.ezydvd.com.au/ that there are some R4 versions coming out in July. No details yet, but distributed by Warner Bros again. :(
     
  6. Joe Pineapples

    Joe Pineapples
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    thanks for the heads-up Pauley - i'll be leaving these well alone.

    Incidently, the versions they show on the digital cartoon channels are usually those same censored ones, but there is one that has suprisingly left alone - an episode where Tom has to keep the house clean, which ends with it being completely filled with coal. Tom pops up from the coal and tries to swagger off - vintage stuff:)

    Dean
     
  7. Azrikam

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    Sadly, you'll probably never see many of these old classic cartoons intact again, unless someone who appreciates them buys up the rights. John Krisfaluci (sp?) of Ren and Stimpy fame was very active in restoring classic cartoons. I know the old Spumco website (now dead) went into some great detail about classic cartoons that had been edited by political correctness. (including lots of old Loony Toons war-time shorts)
     
  8. PoochJD

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    Morning,

    I nearly bought the 2-disc version, for a birthday treat for myself! Looks like it was right for me to put this back on the shelf.

    Pauley: You said: "When I went into HMV to return my purchase I noticed a 2 disc "Collector's Edition" of Volume 1 & 2. The individual discs of Volumes 1 and 2 have 24 cartoons each. However this "Collector's Edition" offers 50 cartoons in total, but confusion is added by a running time of 84mins and 93mins for each disc. The running time of the stand alone disc of Volume 1 with 24 cartoons is listed at 177 mins, so how come 50 shorts on the 2 disc set run for the same time?"

    The answer to that is easy: a simple printers error. Each single disc, should run just around the 90 minute mark, and the total running time for the two-disc version, should be about 3 hours.

    Shame about the censorship, especially voice-dubbing. I can partly understand censoring the actual animations, (although I don't actually approve of this), but it frustrates the hell out of me why animations can't simply be left intact and uncut! If their is any dubious content, simply pass it uncut as a "PG" certificate, and put a warning note on the packagine or on the animations themselves, so that people can get a historical perspective on the fact, and then be allowed to judge for themselves.

    Pooch
     
  9. Simon6776

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    So what the general opinion on the R3 releases of these, available from HK Flix and Poker Industries? The availability seems quite sparse, but you could probably build the complete collection from both sites.
     
  10. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    No, the point is that the single disc version of Volume 1 runs for 177 mins, with 24 shorts. This is right as each short is about 7 minutes+ each.

    So the two disc set with 50 shorts should run just about 3 hours per disc.

    There may be hope on the horizon by the way with the R1 4 disc box set due in September. Someone is mailing me info concerning this and I will post it when received.
     
  11. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    What about this box set on e-bay? If it can be confirmed as uncut, it's got to be worth a punt!
     
  12. cybersoga

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    Bootleg.
     
  13. andy572

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    Funnily enough, shaunthedude, I caught some of a program called 'Big Screen Britain', just this afternoon. It happened to be about this very film and included mention of the dog, with an evidently embarrassed Richard Todd giving comment and explanation (something akin to 'of its time').

    A quick search on imdb brought forth The Dam Busters and some pertinent (to this topic) comment within bob the moo's user comment (the first displayed).

    Going round again, my brother and I were talking of film, animation-censorship and these 'PC' times, just this morning. There's not much I want to add at this point; but thank you for the 'heads up', the_pauley :smashin:

    <sigh>
     
  14. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    Care to elaborate? The seller has lots of positive feedback, and states: "We do not sell bootlegs or screeners. All discs are Originals, official released in Asia."

    I admit to being an e-bay newbie, but I was seriously considering ordering one of these. :(
     
  15. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    Some more up to date info.

    Apparently the PC police have deemed scenes with Tom disguised as a Chinese man unaccetable, as well as scenes with Red indian feathers and tomahawks. It's all getting a little bit silly isn't it?

    There are two Japanese box sets containing all but about 9 of the original cartoons. Both are identical but one carries the sticker "Uncut Version". All of the cartoons are in their original form.

    However it's pricey at around $280 (US) plus shipping and customs charges.

    There is a legit VCD collection from Hong Kong which contains 6 discs uncensored. Would be interested to know more about this E-bay set.

    There is a Russian set with 141 uncut shorts. There is also an Asian set of the first 92 shorts. Apparently none of the ones made after these first 92 came under the PC brigade's wrath so this set could be a starting point for a complete collection.

    The original uncut masters still exist as all the shorts were released completely untampered with on laserdisc "The Art of Tom and Jerry" about 7 years ago.

    There is some hope with the US box set due in September.

    Talk is of a 2 disc and 4 disc collector's version a la the "Looney Tunes" set earlier this year.

    Jerry Beck of cartoonresearch.com has been closely involved with Warner/MGM on these sets. While he is contractually bound not to talk specifics about projects he is working on, he has stated that fans should be "pleased" with the upcoming box sets, and that they will be a much "improved" alternative to the R2 sets currently available.

    The company are not completely averse it seems to releasing the uncut titles. There are a few R1 single disc collections with many untampered with versions of the shorts. One disc "Tom and Jerry's Greatest Chases" apparently has 12 uncut versions and one "butchered" (by all accounts) episode. So here's hoping with the box set.

    Disney got round similar problems with their limited edition collector's tins. Some of the cartoons on those contained "blackface" jokes, but the same cartoons on mass market discs are censored. That seems to be the solution. Aim the complete, uncut collections at the collector and aim the compilations at the kiddy market.

    I want to hear "THOMAAAAAAS!" on DVD :(
     
  16. Setenza

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    Simon 6776, it sounds like your Ebay auction is this one that The Pauley refers to:

    There is also an Asian set of the first 92 shorts. Apparently none of the ones made after these first 92 came under the PC brigade's wrath so this set could be a starting point for a complete collection.

    I'm actually going to purchase this set on the strength of this. I resurected a thread recently celebrating the R2 releases. I'm glad the censorship was spotted before I invested in them.

    I find all this retrospective censorship very insideous. The depiction of the racial staus quo, no matter how unpalleteable to day, is actually historically important, and to tamper with it is wrong.
     
  17. Simon6776

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    Yeah, that's interesting, Pauley. The thing is, what if we wait till September, only to find that the R1's are still censored, and by then, the Asian versions have disappeared? It's a bit of a gamble, me thinks.

    I wonder why they have to be tight lipped about the future R1 releases? It's not like we never hear about future releases beforehand. Look at Lord Of The Rings - we knew there would be extended versions of all the films even before the first one was released! If we could get some concrete information, at least we'd know where we stand. I'm still tempted to go for the Asian box set on e-bay. Even if they turn out to be duffers, it's £30 (incl shipping), for 6 discs, which would probably be fairly re-saleable.
     
  18. Simon6776

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    Xusia Of Delos, you posted while I was writing. :D I'm even more tempted, now someone else has taken the plunge, in fact, I can just see my credit card trying to escape from my wallet as we speak! :devil:
     
  19. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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  20. the_pauley

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    I'd be very wary. This seller is advertising two Disney DVD box sets, one of which contains "Bambi" and another of which contains "Cinderella" neither of which have ever officially been released on DVD.

    First ever DVD release of these titles will be 2005/2006.
     
  21. Simon6776

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    Well, I have to admit, it's starting to smell a bit, especially as this other set with different packaging has now also appeared. Ho hum... what to do? :suicide:
     
  22. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    I'm inclined to wait and see what the R1 set that Jerry Beck is involved with is like. Beck is a devoted 'toon archivist and is dedicated to restoring and preserving classic animation.

    It's highly unlikely he'd be involved with any "politically corrected" versions, as that's exactly what he devotes his time and energy campaigning against. He seems pretty adamant that anyone contemplating buying the R2 sets should wait till they see the R1 box. Other than that he is contractually bound to silence until nearer the time of release.

    Meantime the first in a series of 10 single disc collections is released in Japan this month, but as yet I have only seen them on Japanese sites with no details as to content (well not in English anyway).
     
  23. Setenza

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    I just went over to HKflix.com and they show that the Asian 6 disc set and single DVD's are now out of print. They were released on the Budha Label.

    Be they bootlegs or not. I've just purchased the boxset from Ebay. I'll keep you posted when it arrives.
     
  24. Simon6776

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    Got my T&J Box Set off e-bay today. I might be easily pleased, but I have to say I'm quite impressed. The image looks reasonably clean, the sound is Dolby Digital, and... and... AND... IT'S THE UNCUT VERSIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :clap: :clap: :clap: :smashin: :smashin: :smashin:

    Well, I haven't actually seen them all (still on disc 1), but Mammy Two Legs has definitely got her voice back! Only trouble is, the menus are all in Chinese, as is the text on the back of the box, so there's no way to easily navigate the discs. It also has Chinese subs, but you can switch these off.

    If anyone wants to point me towards one which is blatantly cut in other versions, I'll try to check it out to confirm further that they are all uncut.
     
  25. Badboybez

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    Got mine today and I'm well chuffed:D :D :D :D :D

    Its going to take a while to watch them all!

    Badboybez
     
  26. Simon6776

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    Yes, I thought the bubble had started to deflate, as the sound was different on the second disc (only out of centre speaker), but I've been laughing my socks off, especially at one I don't remember seeing before called "Flirty Birdy". Just seen the classic "Tee For Two". :rotfl:
     
  27. Setenza

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    Got mine today. As referred to earlier, the Budha Video logo has been overlayed on the MGM logo.

    As far as I'm concerned, the quality is acceptable. I rather like all the Chinese Menu's having a few R3 titles. It's a bit of a talking point.

    Here are some pics of the packaging and an essential screen grab. I will not be:censored: :thumbsup:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  28. nabby

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    Did you get hit for import duties/VAT, Xusia?
     
  29. Setenza

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    Nope, paid £22.95 via Pay Pal and the goods arrived yesterday via courier. The actual DVD case is a double amray size and weighs 308g (according to the office post scales).
     
  30. Simon6776

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    I think mine actually shipped from the UK. Can't be certain as I've chucked the packaging now. No customs sticker on it anyway. Came via UPS.

    The discs are certainly of varying quality. Has anyone else noticed the sound sync is about half a second out on Disc 3? The Chinese Language track is OK, but the English language track is out.
     

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