Director: Gene Deitch
Release Date: August, 1962
Stars: Tom & Jerry
Rating: ★★★½

‘The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit’ is based on an original idea and this makes the short arguably the best of the Gene Deitch Tom & Jerry cartoons.

Nevertheless, the initial idea of a ‘Tom and Jerry cartoon kit’ is badly developed, as it is based on two extended gag routines: one featuring water melon seeds, and another focusing on Jerry’s judo skills (which the animators confuse with karate).

The cartoon is rescued by some clever gags and by daring monochrome featureless backgrounds, creating a fairly surreal atmosphere. The dancing animation, too, is nice to watch, and the montage in which Tom learns boxing is well-timed for a change. Moreover, this short contains probably the most original gag of all Gene Deitch’s Tom & Jerry cartoons: the one in which Tom’s thinking process makes his eyebrows knit a sweater.

Watch ‘The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 123
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Dicky Moe
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Tall in the Trap

‘The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit’ is available on the DVD-set ‘Tom and Jerry – The Gene Deitch Collection’