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Cartoon CultureCGIExperimental

Tom & Jerry Short Remade With CGI Anime Girls

This a Japanese fan-made experiment in which the 1956 Tom & Jerry short Down Beat Bear is remade in CGI with anime girls in the roles of Tom, Jerry, and the dancing bear. The characters don’t appear to be random and likely represent some part of fandom of which I’m not aware. Even lacking that context, I still think it’s a fascinating piece of work, not so much for its animation or technical merit as for its resurrection of (and reverence for) classic theatrical animation in a completely unexpected setting.

In the video below, the new version of Down Beat Bear is synced up alongside the original MGM short directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. The full-screen version of the CG short can be viewed here. The film was made using a fairly recent freeware PC animation program called MikuMikuDance. (There is also a more recent spinoff of the software called MikuMikuMoving.)

  • Cadistra

    The characters are from a game series called “Touhou,” a Japanese bullet-hell shooter.
    As to what the hell is going on – I couldn’t tell you if I tried.

    • AmidAmidi

      Thanks for the explanation!

      • Chris Sobieniak

        These things happen.

  • Noela

    Honestly, I just ended up watching the Tom & Jerry side the whole time. The anime side did nothing for me.

    • Johnny

      I don’t see why it would unless you’re a fan of these characters.

      • Eva Louise

        Can’t it just be delightfully silly? So surprisingly spot on in a way?

    • Steven Bowser

      That what I was going to say.

  • MM

    this brings me back to when these characters appeared in another animation awhile back called Bad Apple.

  • Why?

    Why? Why??? Sorry this comment doesn’t doesn’t add the discussion. But the question must really be asked. Before you answer “Why not?” I say, there are a million other things out there that would be just as weird, and a lot more interesting.

    • T.

      This was an experiment. The artist(s) presumably were playing/learning or at the very least trying something different. It might not have much entertainment value for us here on CB, but I’m sure there was some purpose to it from the creators or for the fanbase it’s attributed to.

    • Henry Cohn

      I can definitely see why we sometimes question the ‘point’ of a remake, but there must be something attractive about them, besides money. One point about remakes is that they keep the stories of the past relevant, and bring them to a new audience. Have you ever heard of Aby Warburg? Also, I think that once we begin to question what the animators could have been doing instead, we delve into murky water.
      There may be nothing strictly original about this film at all, but because it is an allusion to a time, place and style different to itself, and also because Amid Amidi says so, it deserves to be considered interesting.

    • Funkybat

      I assumed the point of this was a mix of “homage” and a desire to explore surreality.

  • Brittany

    That long arm stretch was kinda creepy coming from an anime girl but it made me laugh. I thought it was funny for a fan-film, reminds me of that recent Monsters Inc fan-film, cheap-looking CG seems to be a trendy gag suddenly. I liked how they tried to match the cartoony head wobbles & stuff, if only they were able to do more with the facial expressions..

  • William Bradford

    haha that’s one way to study the classics

  • Mike Scott

    That was awesome. Blocked out the Tom & Jerry side, enjoyed the recreation a lot.

  • ddrazen

    It’s worth noting the details. Although the anime side included shadows beneath the characters and Hanna-Barbera didn’t. the radio power cord in the anime looked hinky compared to the classic animation. It’s also a reminder of how Hanna-Barbera made classic animation tools work (stretch and squash, exaggeration) that aren’t part of the anime bag of tricks unless you’re talking about anime that are off the hook to begin with such as “One Piece” and “Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt.” But at some point the comparison game wears a little thin because the anime is doing something outside its skill set; it’s like comparing “Bambi” with “Angry Birds” and calling them both animations about nature. It helps explain why Studio Ghibli went with a more expressionistic style for “My Neighbors the Yamada” instead of the Miyazaki house style.

  • Landon Kemp

    Makes me wonder what it would be like if they did this with other Golden Age cartoons, like Looney Tunes or Tex Avery’s MGM output…

    • Moon

      That’s the job they’d give Michael Eisner if they hired him at a trillion dollars as an executive advisor.

  • AC

    The animation is really weird and floaty but I’ve always wanted to see Tom and Jerry gags applied to female characters so…yay. What a lot of work so I respect the decision to randomly remake this shot for shot.

  • FloralStars

    This is pretty awesome! I love how it syncs up perfectly!

  • Steven Bowser

    Here are two worlds I never thought I’d see come together. I wonder why they chose this particular cartoon to imitate. It’s really interesting.

  • Martin Cohen

    Next: What’s Anime, Doc?

  • George Comerci

    It’s always cool to see anime in CG. Makes me have hope that we’ll someday have a CG anime flick by Disney or Pixar (just a dream of mine :P). As for the short itself, it matched up to the original quite well, and I have to say, I was impressed. :)

    • BigHero6

      What about Disney’s next movie, Big Hero 6? There’s probably going to be a lot of anime-inspired moments in that…

    • Funkybat

      About the only thing that can make anime more annoying to me is making it in 3D CG. This would have been more entertaining (though still bizarre) with traditionally-animated anime characters and backgrounds.

  • Michel Van

    This is odd to watch those to together
    yes i like the original better…but
    the CGI anime is quite good in quality of Animation, made with a PC Freeware !

  • Funkybat

    Funny, since some people think the Chuck Jones Tom & Jerry shorts are themselves blasphemy. I love both the true classic Hanna & Barbera shorts, as well as the Chuck Jones ones. Can’t say I’m too fond of the Czechoslovakian ones or a lot of the later iterations where they are talking or going on magical adventures as frenemies or something.

  • Funkybat

    Well, that was surreal.

    I found the idea and implementation to be amusing in a weird way the first couple of minutes, but by the end I was waiting for it to end, since the novelty had worn off. Funny & odd to see them “break” the animation with things like the drawn-looking blur/swipe when the girl representing Tom jumped out of her chair and let go of the newspaper. Part of what made 3D cartoons finally work was adding in stuff like that that was originally missing from CG.

  • Who needs Principles?

    If by “fascinating piece of work”, you mean, in the Train Wreck sort of way, then yes, I agree with you.
    Why would *anyone* spend this amount of time and effort just to make a poorly animated rip-off of a classic cartoon?
    They have successfully shown how to remove all the appeal, and the other 11 principles of animation out of a piece though. So….kudos on that.

  • Tim

    The animation is just really bad, on so many levels, at least Steamboat Willie was funny in it’s badness. I could only get through 40 seconds or so of this one.

  • Vince Vazquez

    “I still think it’s a fascinating piece of work” – you said it! I am constantly surprised by what people do with their Hatsune Miku fandom, and using that glorified music video creator for this kind of work is sort of mind-blowing. I found the low-fi visuals very charming, and man, a lot of it may have been clunky, but their timing was perfect and they did a good job replicating some very specific bits and pieces. Those double-takes were on point :)