Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Doubling Down on Troilus and Cressida

Our next Tom and Jerry cartoon is called Tom and Jerry in The Hollywood Bowl... whew!  Wotta moniker.  And if you're feeling a bit cynical on this, the day after Thanksgiving... yup, it's a virtual remake of The Cat Concerto.  It's the same old Hollywood story: when you have a success like The Cat Concerto, especially at the Oscars, it just begs remake, so you get a larger budget, you get bigger stars... the same producer... alas, it seems the trilogy was never completed.  Tom and Jerry didn't practice enough, so they never got to trash ... I mean, play Carnegie Hall.
I do like that opening theme, however.  I'll give you that.  And they decided against using the same music that every cartoon like this uses... you know, the music from The Cat Concerto and Rhapsody Rabbit... okay, I'll look it up... the Hungarian Rhapsody, that's the one.  But once the credits are over, the formula repeats.  The cat walks out amidst tepid applause.  To be fair, he's been upgraded from mere pianist to the damn conductor!  He starts conducting and everything's going fine.  Cut to the gilded mouse hole just off to the side.  To be fair, Jerry's sleep isn't disturbed this time!  He's dressed in his finest tux and is about as ready to conduct as Mozart was in Amadeus when we first meet him.  Tom doesn't like being co-conductor with the mere mouse, so he keeps heaping physical and mental abuse upon the mouse.  The mouse retaliates.  The cat re-retaliates.  Rinse and repeat.  Oh, and the cat ends up with a violin bow through his head.  You can see the bow behind his eyes.  That's apparently the visual highlight of the picture.  Remember, they didn't have Adobe Flash back then.
I'm probably just feeling pro-cat right now, but the highlight for me is probably when the cat rips the mouse's tux and tails in half.  I forget if that's the last straw or not.  But undoubtedly this cartoon has to end at some point, and once the last straw is broken, Jerry takes out his revenge on the other musicians in the orchestra... all cats, by the way.  Not a mouse in the bunch.  Jerry literally and actually saws the floor out from underneath all the orchestra.  But the show must go on, and all those that remain try to keep playing.  Tom ends up playing all the instruments himself (in particular) and getting just plain worn out (in general).  The mouse enjoys his round of applause.  We go back to Tom, and in a nice twist, also ends up falling through the floor.  That mouse must have a twin or something!

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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