Warner Brothers has scoured its archives to bring audiences “22 chilling cartoons” just in time for the Halloween season. As a fan of old school animation, and an even bigger fan of Halloween, oh how I would love it if this were true. Unfortunately, it is nothing more but a clever ruse to get parents to shell out a couple of bucks for some largely forgettable cartoons. Even to describe them as “chilling” is a misnomer. Sure, a couple of the cartoons feature ghosts, goblins and witches of the sort, but of the 22, only a handful live up to the promise. There’s a tremendous amount of fantasy-themed cartoons on the collection and some straight up unrelated cartoons that I have no clue how they made it on to the DVD. Furthermore, the 22 cartoons that they promised? Each one of them is roughly five minutes, bringing Tom and Jerry Tricks & Treats to a grand total running time of roughly two and a half hours. Then again, I recognize that most people aren’t inclined to feel as passionately about these cartoons as I am, so if you’re looking into getting this for your children, there are a couple of things to consider.
As I understand children (which I don’t at all) they don’t have the problem of having high expectations. See, the fact that the title says Tricks & Treats doesn’t really mean a whole lot to them. So when they don’t see a ghost in an episode or a witch or anything like that, they don’t really care. They’ll just be amused by the animated antics of the cat and mouse that playfully want to kill each other. They won’t learn to be disappointed in things until they’re about my age so Tom and Jerry Tricks & Treats will probably be just fine for them.
Furthermore, each cartoon running only about five minutes might not be such a bad thing for the children or adults. It’s just about the perfect running time for kids to get bored with the minimal storyline before they move on to the next cartoon. For parents, they’re just short enough so that by the time it starts to get obnoxious, Tom and Jerry have already moved on to something else.
The one thing I will say for the collection is that it gets a cross-section of cartoons. There are some newer ones, but they sprinkle in some of the classics for adults and die-hard fans. I’m not a fan of the newer animation, but the incorporation of some of the classics makes the transgressions of the 21st century incarnation almost forgivable.
Not a total loss, but not a clear win, Tom and Jerry Tricks & Treats is a mixed bag. Sure, you get some of the cartoon classics, your candy corn and chocolate in this analogy, but you have to deal with some of the crap too, like that one awful neighbor that thinks giving out toothbrushes on Halloween is an acceptable “treat.” This one is mainly for folks with kids who want to keep them distracted for awhile. Sadly, most adult cartoon fans (yes, we exist) won’t find much merit in the collection.