Tom and Jerry was a cartoon I watched growing up, but it wasn’t one that resonated with me to the point where I was excited to see that they were getting their own updated movie, nor was I worried that it’d somehow “ruin my childhood,” as some people like to cry out, as if that’s a thing any modern remake has the ability to somehow do. If anything, I was indifferent, as the recent Woody Woodpecker live-action/animated movie somewhat soured me to studios randomly grabbing characters from an old cartoon, slapping them into a modern-day setting and just assuming that making an entertaining movie isn’t required because audiences will be too blinded by nostalgia to notice.
Luckily, however, when it comes to Tom and Jerry: The Movie, entertainment comes first and it remains the top priority throughout the film’s surprisingly lengthy hour and 41 minute runtime. One thing that must be known is that the story is ridiculous and never really takes itself seriously, which was actually refreshing. It’s established rather quickly that the majority (if not all?) animals in this world are 2D animated, but they’re not viewed as animated…they’re just animals. People see Tom playing the piano in the park early on, and they gather around to listen, not surprised at all that he’s a cartoon. So, from here we know the rules of the world are that the slapstick comedy that Tom and Jerry are known for can happen in this world and it’s not something that would shock people. It’s just a part of how things are.
The gist of the story is that Jerry wants to find a place to live in New York, Tom wants to play the piano for a living, and Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz) wants to find a job and her place in the world. Kayla is the lead human character in the story, and Chloë does a great job of bridging the gap between the humans in the film, and the animated characters, as she’s the main one who interacts with Tom and Jerry throughout. So after Jerry gets in a scuffle with Tom early on, causing Tom’s piano to get broken, Jerry seeks refuge from Tom’s wrath in the Royal Gate Hotel and decides to make it his home. Kayla has just procured herself a temporary job there through questionable means, and her first task is to rid the hotel of its new, unwelcome rodent guest before a high-profile wedding taking place there that weekend. To do this Kayla gets Tom hired on, and the pair set out to evict Jerry before it’s too late.
What works so well is that the movie just lets itself be enjoyable, and if you know Tom and Jerry then you know what kind of hijinks to expect. What is surprising is how the film actually doesn’t get redundant in its jokes, as one would think there’s only so many times you can see Jerry foil Tom’s plan before it gets boring; however, the film does a good job of balancing out the slapstick with other comedic moments, while also keeping the wedding storyline moving along at a solid pace. As long as you’re aware that ridiculous things will happen, such as the hotel manager hiring Tom as long as he can wear a cap and nametag, then you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s silly, but it works.
The supporting cast is filled out with Michael Peña, who plays the film’s “villain,” though I use that word lightly, as he’s not really in the wrong, but he’s also not one who is totally above board in his actions when it comes to outing Kayla as a fraud. There’s also fun comedic work done by Rob Delaney, who plays the hotel manager, Patsy Ferran, who is the unpredictable hotel Bell Girl, and Colin Jost, who plays the groom-to-be. Everyone plays their part in light-hearted fashion, and it really works as a fun ensemble.
Tom and Jerry: The Movie is just a silly, fun, entertaining flick that the whole family can enjoy. Heck, it’s just my wife and I and we both had smiles on our faces the entire time; so even if you don’t have kids and are looking for a break from the seriousness that the world has thrown our way over the past year and a bit, Tom and Jerry: The Movie is a surprising, yet welcome escape that can be had from the safety of your living room.
Video & Audio
The film looks incredibly vibrant, with wonderfully complimentary colours to help Tom, Jerry and the rest of the animated gang all pop beautifully when on screen, while also not sticking out like they aren’t really part of the world. Even the dark, dingy alleyways are bright and, well, they’re still dingy. The visuals just look really clean throughout, which helps keep the viewer engaged in the happenings on screen instead of being distracted.
The audio is also top notch, with a fantastically fun, fairly hip-hop heavy soundtrack that may or may not work in the eyes of some, but I thought fit in with the fun, over-the-top nature of the flick. Whether you like it or not, the beats are powerful and hit hard, but blend nicely with the dialogue and sound effects, which also deliver nicely, especially with all the slapstick comedy throughout.
Deleted Scenes – I tend to avoid deleted scenes, as they’re often cut for a reason and aren’t really worth checking out and the same can be said for these ones here. Director Tim Story introduces all but the first clip and explains why they were cut. Unfortunately the first clip is one that I would’ve liked to have heard why it was cut, as it actually introduces Tom and Jerry, as well as their rivalry and why it is they both find themselves homeless and in New York. I’d wager it was time related, as the film is already a pretty hefty length for a feature like this; however, while the pair didn’t really need a backstory, it would’ve helped just give a quick catch-up to those who may not have grown-up with them. It’s not a big deal, but it is the one scene out of everything cut (there’s 13 and a half minutes worth of material here) that was worth anything.
Gag Reel – This is a three-minute gag reel that kids may or may not enjoy, but it’s not really a good gag reel and some of the jokes are forced with sketches of Tom and Jerry delivering their gag.
Bringing Tom and Jerry to Life – This is a 14-minute feature, and the main one worth checking out on the disc. It delves into the making of the movie, some behind-the-scenes info, the cast and crew talking about why they got on board, filming in England, the animation team that brings the characters to life, and so forth. If you want to learn a bit more about the movie, this is the one to check out.
Tom and Jerry’s World – This featurette comes in at just over 4-minutes and sees the cast and crew talking about working with Tom and Jerry as though they were real actors on set. It’s harmless fun, but a fluff extra nonetheless. This one is likely aimed more towards the big Tom and Jerry fans out there.
The Feud: #TeamTom vs. #Team Jerry – This featurette is 4-minutes in length and sees the cast and crew talking about the ongoing feud between Tom and Jerry, how they fight like siblings and how there’s no end in sight.
Jerry’s “A House For a Mouse” – This is a 4-minute featurette that plays like a reality show, where it showcases the type of home Jerry is looking for, and how he scavenges around to bring his vision to life.
A Tom & Jerry Guide to New York Wildlife – This is a five-minute featurette that kid’s may enjoy, as it breaks down all the animated wildlife in the film with a few little tidbits on each.
Inside the Wedding of Ben and Preeta – This is a five and a half minute featurette that plays sort of like an Entertainment Tonight episode, focusing on Ben and Preeta, while also mixing in some cast and crew interviews.
A Scene Comes to Life – There are two scenes here, one is Ben and Preeta’s wedding, and the other is the animal lockup. Both show some of the behind-the-scenes work it took to bring them to life, while also mixing them with previous interviews we’ve already watched from the cast and crew. If you watch all of these, some of the clips can get redundant, so it’s best to just watch the few that interest you and leave it at that.
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents Tom & Jerry: The Movie. Directed by: Tim Story. Written by: Kevin Costello. Starring: Tom, Jerry, Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Rob Delaney, Patsy Ferran, Colin Jost, Pallavi Sharda, Jordan Bolger. Running time: 101 Minutes. Rating: PG. Released on Blu-ray: May 18, 2021.
Tags: Chloe Grace Moretz, Colin Jost, Michael Pena, Patsy Ferran, Rob Delaney, Tom and Jerry