‘Tom & Jerry‘ is a live-action/animation crossover comedy directed by Tim Story. To create the voices for the classic cartoon characters, they used archival recordings from original voice actors William Hanna, Mel Blanc, June Foray, plus additional work from Frank Welker. It was made by Waner Media and released on HBO Max.
Alley cat Tom arrives in New York City with dreams of being a piano player. Brown mouse Jerry arrives on the same day. The two of them meet by chance and start a fight in Central Park, bumping into Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz). After dusting herself off, she manages to swipe a resume from someone and presents it as her own at a five-star hotel. The owner Mr. Dubros (Rob Delaney) is impressed though hotel manager Terence (Michael Peña) does not like her. Kayla meets awkward bellhop Joy (Patsy Ferran), the volatile Chef Jackie (Ken Jeong), bar-tending Cameron (Jordan Bolger) who are preparing for the celebrity wedding of tech mogul Ben (Colin Jost) and Indian heiress Preeta (Pallavi Sharda). Nothing can go wrong, but Jerry moves into the hotel, prompting panic. Kayla recruits Tom to help her get rid of Tom before the wedding is ruined.
Tom and Jerry are two of the most iconic characters that came from Hanna-Barbera. The cat and mouse were constantly chasing, fighting, hunting, stalking, and often violently injuring one another. Sometimes they could be allies but during their original run of 114 cartoon shorts, they mostly brought laughs watching Tom chase Jerry, often into oblivion. To put them into long-form has been tried before, but ultimately failed, especially those ridiculous crossovers.
This movie takes a different approach and it was a worthy attempt, but it comes off as incredibly mediocre. In some ways, it reminded me of The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course which showed a group of spies wandering around the Australian Outback before cutting to Steve Irwin doing his typical animal commentary. This had a similar set-up. As Kayla tries to keep up her deception to control things at the hotel wedding, Tom and Jerry were causing mayhem. Their scenes were the best part of the movie while the longer subplot felt out of place and curious. Honestly, had it just been about maintaining order at the hotel, it could have been pulled off, but the addition of the wedding made it a little too bloated.
To be fair, a family could enjoy this film together. It has a lot of cartoonish hijinks, funny-looking animals, fun music, and has an overall good message that kids could enjoy. Perhaps the parents could enjoy it with them. From that perspective, you could have a good time.
Bottom line, Tom & Jerry tries too hard to expand its sorry. It would have been fine with just Tom and Jerry. However, parents and kids could have a good time sitting down on the couch for a family movie night.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Cartoonish violence
FAVORITE QUOTE: I will not let this hotel be ruined by a cat and a mouse!
Check out the trailer below:
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