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Airing Date: June 1, 1996

Dee Dee’s Room

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Stars: Dexter
Rating: ★★★★½

In this episode Dexter tries to retrieve a bread slicer from Dee Dee’s room.

Dexter treats his big sister’s realm as a foreign planet, and enters it in a space suit. The humor comes mostly from Dexter’s pompous, overblown voice over, making the events much more exiting than they really are.

There’s strikingly little animation in this episode, as many scenes are done in stills, and many movements done in only three or four drawings, with no inbetweening whatsoever. This visual style does add to the dreamlike atmosphere that permeates this episode. It thus is a great use of limited animation as an artistic choice, not necessarily an economical one.

Directors: Paul Rudish & Genndy Tartakovsky
Stars: Dial M for Monkey
Rating: ★

Dial M for Monkey: Huntor

‘Dial M for Monkey’ never were a successful addition to the ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’, but the ‘Huntor’ episode is particularly disappointing.

In this episode Monkey has to battle a lion-like alien hunter with an Australian accent. This is a particularly talkative opponent, and Huntor’s rambling fills almost the entire soundtrack.

This alone accounts for a tiresome watch, but this episode also demonstrates that the ‘Dial M for Monkey’ doesn’t share the same eye for design as the surrounding ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’ sequences. The character designs are more generic, more like the dull 1970s Hanna-Barbera designs than Dexter’s 1950s UPA world, and the color schemes are uninventive and ugly. In fact, ‘Huntor’ emulates the cheap, ugly and forgettable cartoon style of 1970s Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoons too much for comfort. The 1970s were a low point for studio animation, and I don’t want to be reminded of that, thank you.

The Big Sister

See the post devoted to this episode

‘Dee Dee’s Room/Dial M for Monkey: Huntor/The Big Sister’ is available on the DVD ‘Dexter’s Laboratory Season One: All 13 Episodes’

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: October 22, 1949
Stars: Tom & Jerry
Rating: ★★★★½

Jerry's Diary © MGMJerry’s Diary’ is Tom and Jerry’s first compilation cartoon.

However, Hanna & Barbera even make this cheap form of cartoon making upper class: ‘Jerry’s Diary’ contains lots of original footage and has a surprisingly good story of its own. Only after 1’56 the compilation starts, to end one and a half minute before the cartoon ends itself.

In the encompassing story an anthropomorphized radio tells Tom that it’s ‘be kind to animals week’, so Tom is persuaded to give Jerry little gifts. He knocks on Jerry’s door, carrying flowers, a box of sweets and a pie. Jerry’s not in, however, and inside his home Tom discovers Jerry’s diary, which he can’t resist reading.

Enter the compilation, which features scenes from ‘Tee for Two’ (1945), ‘Mouse Trouble’ (1944), ‘Kitty Foiled‘ (1948) and ‘Yankee Doodle Mouse‘ (1943). Tom gets so annoyed reading this stuff that, when Jerry finally does show up, he throws the pie at him, smearing him against the wall and leaving the little mouse in complete bewilderment.

After this cartoon, four other compilations would follow, up to their very last year of theatrical cartoons, 1967. However, none of these would reach the high standard of ‘Jerry’s Diary’.

Watch an excerpt from ‘Jerry’s Diary’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 45
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Love That Pup
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Tennis Chumps

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