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'Tom & Jerry' cartoons remastered

Published: Friday, Oct. 14 2011 8:36 p.m. MDT

A newly remastered collection of the earliest Tom & Jerry cartoons and a Blu-ray reissue of "The Bad Seed" lead these vintage films released this week.

"Tom & Jerry: Golden Collection, Volume One" (Warner/Blu-ray, 1940-48, two discs, $34.99). All I can say is "Wow!" Warner Bros. has cleaned up the first 37 hilarious theatrical cartoons about the ever-at-war cat and mouse, collected them in chronological order and is releasing them uncut and uncensored for the first time. (To include politically incorrect reflections of the period.)

Among them are four Oscar nominees (among seven nominees), and in Blu-ray they really pop. Fans and animation buffs will be in heaven as they view this vast improvement over the "Spotlight Collections" issued several years ago. All I can say is, keep 'em coming!

Extras: full frame, 37 cartoons, audio commentaries, featurettes, sequence from the film "Anchors Aweigh" (Gene Kelly dancing with Jerry), pencil test (also on DVD, $26.99)

"The Bad Seed" (Warner/Blu-ray, 1956, b/w, $19.98). Classic scary tale of a superficially appealing 8-year-old girl, an act that masks the personification of evil as she takes a few lives when adults get in her way.

Patty McCormick is quite convincing in the title role and Nancy Kelly matches her as the child's distraught mother, with a strong supporting cast. Marred only by occasional staginess and a tacked-on, studio-mandated ending.

Extras: widescreen, audio commentary, featurette, trailer

"It's a Dog's Life" (Warner Archive, 1955, $19.95). Offbeat but enjoyable tale of a dog's troubles and how he overcomes them — narrated by the pooch (as a voiceover; no animated lips). Fine cast includes Oscar-winners Edmund Gwenn and Dean Jagger.

Extras: widescreen (available at www.WarnerArchive.com)

"The Hideaways" (Warner Archive, 1973, $19.95). Ingrid Bergman stars (but doesn't have much to do) in this adaptation of the children's novel "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler," a cute yarn about two kids who run away, hide in the Metropolitan Museum of art and vow to solve the mystery of whether a newly donated piece is by Michelangelo..

Extras: widescreen (available at www.WarnerArchive.com)

EMAIL: hicks@desnews.com

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