Animation

Tom and Jerry edited

Boomerang have made an utterly spineless decision to edit smoking references from Tom and Jerry as it's "not appropriate" for today's audience. Are they also editing Tom's mistress, a stereotypical black woman? Surely that could offend more than a cat taking a puff?

It's all a matter of catering for the 'TV as babysitter' crowd. What's wrong with using the unedited cartoon after an announcement, or adding a few minute piece at the end, it could be the jumping off point for something interesting, something (horrors) actually educational (without preaching) - kids are pretty bright when not patronised all the time.

Having said that, I can understand why they've taken this path. It's the easy path, especially when dealing with kids TV.... but what next? Will they start to edit 'Dastardly and Mutley' to remove the abuse of pigeons?

This is not the first example of revisionism. To use an example which I noticed recently, in the edition of 'Reach for the Sky' which I have on DVD they edited out the scenes with Douglas Bader's dog... (a black labrador, named 'Nigger').

Now, I can see that modern audiences may have cause to object if these things were placed into modern films and cartoons and I can see the scenes removed from 'Reach for the Sky' were not integral to the plot, so could be lost.

The scenes were mostly of Douglas Bader walking to or from his car and calling for his dog. Nevertheless, to my mind a film or cartoon, especially when released on DVD should reflect the era in which it was made. It shouldn't be messed around with later (take note George Lucas!)

I grew up with Tom and Jerry, and am not a smoker. I saw 'Reach for the Sky' at a young age and even then was able to both recognise that the name of the dog was 'not appropriate', and that it reflected the time the film was made.

If there is a perceived need to edit then the original shouldn't be hidden from view, for example in my DVD of 'Reach for the Sky' there could easily have been an option to play the 'uncut' version in the special features. The changing sensibilities of cinema make for historic interest. To take a modern example, the original cut of Star Wars is of historic interest, yet it's been messed around with and 'improved' for various releases.

Tom and Jerry may not be high art, but it is a product of the time is was made - as are so many other things. How are children to learn to deal with items from different eras if these items are hidden? That way leads to Kenneth More films being edited because adults can't deal with the (factually correct) name of a dog.

Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Tonight we went off to see 'Wallace and Grommit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit". As might be expected from Aardman animations, it is a nice little film. One with references for adults and not just the kids. The cinema was absolutely packed.

Some of the items must have been hard to script, the 'just-so' expression on Grommit's face for example.

A nice film but what is next for Aardman?

The Incredibles

Simply put, amazing film. For my money, this was the most enjoyable pixar production to date. I often found myself completely immersed, forgetting that I was looking at computer animation.

The characters were wonderful, Holly Hunter's character was particularly good.

There are some lovely visual gags, and the baby has a rather nice part to play near the end.

The slight fly in the ointment for me was the villain, who seemed a little 'plastic' - but this was actually quite minor.

The end titles were stylised, almost pink pantherish, and lacked what is almost the pixar trademark of end-titles gags.

The action was fluid, fast paced when it kicked off, and genuinely exciting. A good, fun film.