Jungle Jam (1931)

Family, Animation, Short


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12 November 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
| Tom and Jerry in the jungle
The Van Beuren Tom and Jerry (as said already not the famous cat and mouse, this is a human duo that lasted for just under 30 cartoons, 29 if memory serves correct, between 1931 and 1933) series was interesting but uneven and not easy to rate as an overall whole. At the series' best, the cartoons were good, very good in a few cases. At its worst, they were really bad.

'Jungle Jam' is not one of Tom and Jerry's worst and is not one of the really bad cartoons. To me on the other hand it's one of the mediocre ones and is towards the lesser half of their filmography. There are good things, the best thing about it is the music score which is the high point of even the worst cartoons and is so beautifully and cleverly orchestrated and full of energy. The jungle setting is nice and detail and there is some reasonably good synchronisation with the music in some of the movements, more with Tom and Jerry themselves than the jungle inhabitants.

Start of 'Jungle Jam' sets things up quite nicely and the ending is fun.

However, most of the animation didn't do it for me. There are worse-looking cartoons in the series, at least the backgrounds and some of the synchronisation was decent, but it is not one of the most visually interesting ones like their debut 'Wot a Night'. Too much of it is crude and simplistic with a fair share of static moments, while the jungle inhabitants (most will call them natives, am not sure whether people will take to that term) are drawn very poorly. The way these characters are drawn and behave is likely to not fly very well with most viewers, the portrayal is stereotypical and it's not kind either.

It's a paper thin cartoon in story once again, basically song and dance interludes strung together with the only glimpses of a story being towards the end, and there are not enough gags that work in comic timing or imagination in order to not make that matter. Other cartoons of theirs have also done a far better job at the absurdist bizarreness that can often be found, that was pretty bland here. Tom and Jerry are bland generally and the jungle inhabitants are neither amusing or interesting on top of their stereotypical portrayal.

On the whole, mediocre. 4/10 Bethany Cox



Family | Animation | Short | Comedy


Release Date:

14 November 1931



Country of Origin


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