Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale is a 2007 animated fantasy comedy direct-to-video film starring Tom and Jerry, produced by Warner Bros. Animation. The film is an animated semi-adaptation of "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King"" with the addition of Tom and Jerry as characters in the plot and seen through their point of view.
Based on the tale of "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King"", The evil Cat King has his army of stray cats take over Jerry's magical kingdom of living toys, and his dream of dancing to his favorite musical with La Petite Ballerina. Chased by Tom and his cronies, Jerry must find the Toymaker and get help to win his kingdom back before sunrise when the window of opportunity closes.
- It completely disrespects the original source material.
- Much like the 2005 short "The Karate Guard", it possesses awful animation with cheap visuals, washed-out colors, ugly character designs, tons of animation errors and laughable animation. The same can even be said about the Tom and Jerry title card in the opening credits.
- Much like the short mentioned above, the slapstick is so unfunny, gratuitous, brutal, hurtful and painful to sit through that it makes the Gene Deitch era look tame in comparison.
- To add salt to the wound, the pacing is also slow, which kills the series' comedic timing.
- Despite this also being a Tom and Jerry movie, Tom and Jerry themselves don't spend much of the film chasing each other, even in the perfect moments.
- The voice acting is awfully rushed, and doesn't fit most of the characters.
- Bad musical numbers, consisting of the Cat King's introduction and the somewhat mean-spirited march song against Jerry, even if it means to have him killed. Other than being badly voiced, having the same lyrics just about throughout, and even having Tom talking in the Cat King's introduction (which felt even more pointless than any of his lines of dialogue in Tom and Jerry: The Movie), both of them come out of nowhere and serve no point to the film but to drag on.
- The "jump-the-shark" moment is when Tom was made as the secondary antagonist of the film:
- The classics may have had some shorts with both the main characters taking their antagonistic tendencies a bit too far depending on the occasion, but Tom and Jerry are both protagonists usually plucked in a "Good vs. Good" scenario as both the main characters had such redeeming and sympathetic qualities that made them likable protagonists to begin with in general, and generally fight based on the fact that they are locked in a legitimate conflict with one another, despite their minimal dialogue. This movie on the other hand drastically flanderizes Tom as it just goes out of its way to make him heartless and unlikable with no redeeming qualities, thus officially ruining Tom's character as a whole by miscasting him as an outright evil villain who's shown partaking in the entrapment and enslavement of the toys, and even worse when Tom doesn't even bother betraying the Cat King for his evil nature. Additionally, it also ditches Tom and Jerry's frenemy (both friends and enemies at the same time) relationship (often due to their immense conflicts with one another) in favor of depicting them as straight-out sworn enemies that downright hate each other while barely sharing the same bond they had with each other.
- Likewise, while not as much as Tom, even Jerry has been flanderized, since he just comes off as bland in this film and downright humiliates Tom in numerous ways.
- Fans may have criticized Tom and Jerry: The Movie for having the two main protagonists speak, but at least their personalities and their overall love-hate relationship stays faithful to the source material, at least they were there! Meanwhile, this movie pays none of that and is only using the names of two of the most famous animated silent duos of all-time as an attempt to make them gain even more success and popularity, but pays no attention-to-detail and it feels like as if they are trying to create cardboard cut-outs or stereotypes of the titular duo.
- Bland and repetitive soundtrack that doesn't flow with the movements and scenarios at all and never fits in a Tom and Jerry production, which is a problem previously used in The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show.
- Awful writing that doesn't stay true to the series and feels like as if it has no story at all.
- It's painfully boring with little-to-no charm of the Tom and Jerry franchise.
- Lots of padding with filler just about throughout. Not much else happens other than characters travelling from one area to another, and the plot only gets to move whenever the writers come up with music to place in favor.
- There is no real story with a bunch of unrelated plot lines stitched together. It tries way too hard to copy just about everything from the original Nutcracker story with little originality or clever spin to make it stand out, while failing miserably as it is being handled terribly on this case.
- To add salt to the wound, numerous of the unrelated plot lines and scenes are pointless and don't contribute anything to the film other than for filler. Such as when Jerry finds an icy surface with the toys and begins to ice skate.
- Plot holes:
- How does gaining shiny light give Jerry the strength to break free off the vine he was trapped in?
- How does breaking through backgrounds automatically lead you to the next scenario?
- It never explained how Tuffy got the keys to help free La Petite Ballerina.
- The movie can't decide if it wants to be mean-spirited, lighthearted, or both. Most scenes are flat-out mean-spirited based off Tom being miscasted as an evil and villainous antagonist, Jerry coming off as bland and unlikable who would outright humiliate Tom through the awful usage of slapstick and violence, and having other characters made fun of and insulted for no reason, like when one member of the Cat King's army was being made fun of for assuming to finally have the toy he always wanted until realizing it's a bomb, when Nelly was being made fun of for being left out, and with toys being enslaved and tortured to the point of crying. The heartwarming scenarios mostly come out of nowhere with little connection to the plot and are there only to try too hard to "fit" with the holiday spirit, so it fails to appeal both audiences rooting for which, let alone those who are fans of Tom and Jerry and those who truly understand the source material.
- Overuse of low-quality sound effects.
- Almost the rest of the characters are bland and/or don't contribute much value to the movie.
- Paulie and Nelly, apart from being badly voiced, having no personality, and telling Jerry what to do while reminding him of his goal, are both pointless as they don't do much other than being filler.
- The Cat King rarely gets any screen time and is mostly there to provide a cheap laugh from the audience, making him an awful attempt for a villain.
- Most of the Cat King's army for that matter are simply just there for most of the film to get a cheap laugh from the audience at that. You can easily take them out of the movie and nothing would change.
- La Petite Ballerina herself is bland with no character and is only just there to be portrayed as the generic, one-dimensional love interest for Jerry.
- As the Cat King's army surrounds Nelly to tell them where Jerry, Tuffy, and Paulie were heading to, Dr. Malevolent shows up to make her tell instead. He himself also doesn't serve any real purpose to the film other than being filler. After the brief moment where they were told to follow the star, he is never seen or heard from again.
- False advertising: The poster made it look like as if Tom being used as a nutcracker by Jerry and Tuffy was going to be part of the film's gags, but that wasn't used in the final film.
- Extreme lack of subtlety.
- Some scenes feel very rushed and are poorly set-up, such as the running cycles.
- Because of how broken and rushed the film entirely feels, it is extremely short at 47 minutes. Ironically, Warner Bros. Animation has another Christmas-themed direct-to-video film involving Looney Tunes titled "Bah, Humduck!: A Looney Tunes Christmas" which despite it being two minutes shorter, does a much better job using its time wisely to produce a great film based off a holiday property while respecting the source material.
- Likewise, the movie's negative reception could be why Warner Bros. Animation took a 3-year hiatus for Tom and Jerry direct-to-video films until the release of the slightly decent "Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes", likely serving as an apology for mistakes like this.
- The film can't decide who the main focus is supposed to be; therefore, the film suffers an unfocused, dragged-out, lazy plot due to the many characters who serve no purpose in the movie except to be a comic-relief or filler.
- The part where Nelly sacrificed her life to save Jerry and La Petite Ballerina would almost make any viewer think she had a well meaning death who did not died in vain and could've end it off with a bittersweet ending. BUT NOPE, instead she got revived by the light from the sky, as well as giving her the ability to speak whenever she wants even when she doesn't have a string to make her talk once someone pulls it, and because of this not only her death was nothing more than just a major copout but the scene in general was pointless too.
- There were a few funny moments that were worth a chuckle, even if it's rare. Such as the minor conflict between Tom and a chicken in the beginning of the film, with the addition of Lackey's comment of sending the chicken to lead instead.
- The Cat King and Lackey are the only characters of the film met with decent voice acting and funny dialogue, among the conversations they have with one another.
- Characters like Butch, and the kitten trio Puff, Muff, and Fluff appear in the movie.
- A Wilhelm scream can be heard when Tom and the cats fall off a cliff (at around 20 mins).
- The film is dedicated "in loving memory" to Joseph Barbera.
- Tara Strong, Ian James Corlett, Kathleen Barr, Mark Oliver, Garry Chalk, Chantal Strand, Richard Newman, and Trevor Devall each later went on to voice characters for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
- This short is the second adaption of "The Nutcracker" that Kathleen Barr, Ian James Corlett, and Chantel Strand starred in.
- Tara Strong's first Tom and Jerry film since Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring (2001) released 6 years earlier.