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Tom & Jerry (2021)

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Tom & Jerry
TOM & JERRY - Official Poster.jpg

TOM & JERRY - Teaser Poster.jpg
TOM & JERRY - Bonus Poster -1.jpg
TOM & JERRY - Bonus Poster -2.jpg
TOM & JERRY - Bonus Poster -3.jpg

This is Tom and Jerry, but in name only. Not for the OGs.
Genre: Animated
Comedy
Slapstick
Family
Directed By: Tim Story
Produced By: Chris DeFaria
Written By: Kevin Costello
Based On: Tom and Jerry and Characters created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz
Michael Peña
Colin Jost
Rob Delaney
Ken Jeong
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: February 26, 2021
Runtime: 101 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $79 million
Box Office: $121.4 million
Franchise: "Tom and Jerry"


"Uh, its basically like the Smurfs and Yogi Bear and you know its, its, right in their guys. Its like all that, I don't know why they can't make a good one, uh they're just they're struggling. *laugh*"
Chris Stuckmann

Tom & Jerry (also known as Tom & Jerry: The Movie) is a 2021 American live-action/computer-animated slapstick comedy film based on the franchise, titular cartoon characters and animated theatrical short film series of the same name created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.

The movie is also the second theatrical feature-length Tom and Jerry movie, after the original Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992).

Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and produced by the Warner Animation Group, with animation being provided by Framestore, the film was theatrically released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States on February 26, 2021, along with a one-month simultaneous streaming release on HBO Max, and, was also directed by Tim Story.

Plot

A legendary rivalry reemerges when Jerry moves into New York City's finest hotel on the eve of the wedding of the century, forcing the desperate event planner to hire Tom to get rid of him. As mayhem ensues, the escalating cat-and-mouse battle soon threatens to destroy her career, the wedding, and possibly the hotel itself.

Bad Qualities

  1. The main problem with the movie is that it tends to focus a bit more on the leading human characters rather than the titular duo themselves.
    • However, it isn't as noticeable as in Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Looney Tunes: Back in Action and the 1992 film, Tom and Jerry are still the most important characters to the plot and its central conflict with the largest character arcs. They are at the very least not just plot devices.
  2. Some of the humor is stale, repetitive, unfunny, and cringe-worthy, and is only included mostly to be hip with its target audience. Examples include:
    • Spike farting.
    • Jerry twerking.
    • Tom doing the floss dance.
    • The unnecessary use of outdated internet memes.
    • Tom singing full sentences in autotune.
    • The rapping pigeons in the opening scene.
    • The fish thinking of the poop emoji.
    • The inclusion of some internet slang from the elephants.
    • Basically with all of that, the movie in general tries way too hard to appeal to the modern generation with its pointless pop-culture references to Gen Z media.
  3. The trap score, while decent in theory, sounds very out-of-place and unfitting considering that it is a Tom and Jerry movie. Tom and Jerry is known for its dominantly orchestral score.
  4. While many fan-favorite characters are back, some of those characters, such as Tyke, Quacker, and Tuffy/Nibbles, are still absent from the movie.
  5. Pointless product placement with cringe-worthy mentions of TikTok and Instagram (as a boomer joke) and showings of Boosted Boards, Apple, and John Legend.
    • Not helping was that Boosted, the company that made the Boosted Boards, went out of business a year prior to this film's release, making the product placement pointless outside of the secondhand market.
  6. The use of the "Liar Revealed" trope for Kayla's character arc feels off-putting, generic, and cliché since Kayla is the film's main protagonist outside of the titular characters.
    • This usage of the Liar Revealed story shows that this cliché itself is already done to death that it's tiring and grating.
  7. The story, for the most part, is mediocre and has barely anything to do with Tom and Jerry at all. It's mostly about Kayla trying to set up a celebrity wedding while everything keeps going wrong, which hardly makes any sense. If anything, Tom and Jerry almost feel like supporting characters rather than the stars of the show, where you could run 80% of the movie without them and almost nothing would be different.
    • The side plot where Preeta losses her wedding ring from Ben and where Preeta and Kayla have to find it is pointless and is never brought up again later in the film, not only that but removing this side plot doesn't change anything.
  8. A lot of the fight scenes have been rehashed from several shorts, although these make great references to the original cartoons and TV shows.
  9. Poor acting, even from professional actors like Ken Jeong of all people, especially during the introduction of Chloë Grace Moretz's character, Kayla, she mostly has trouble speaking.
    • Speaking of casting, Nicky Jam is quite miscast as Butch.
    • Another example of miscasting would especially be T-Pain, a rapper, voicing Tom himself, even if the voice acting was just for a single gag. This is one of the worst examples of miscasting until Chris Pratt started to voice multiple cartoon characters out of star power, like Mario and Garfield.
  10. A lot of the time, the plot about the Royal Wedding, when it involves only the humans, tends to distract viewers too much especially since this is given way more time than Tom and Jerry themselves.
    • A lot of the fighting that results in Tom getting beaten up is because of Jerry, making him a bit more unlikable than usual (though to be fair, that frequently happens a lot in the original Tom and Jerry cartoons).
  11. It is really predictable, especially at one point where Terrance explained how the glass roof at the hotel he worked at is the most important part of the hotel, and not even halfway into the movie, Tom, Jerry, and Spike would destroy it.
  12. False advertising: The trailer for the film implied that Chef Jackie (Ken Jeong's character) was gonna be the main antagonist, however, Jackie doesn't even have a huge role in the film, and instead, the main villain is Terrence, despite the fact the later barely does any antagonistic actions in the film.
  13. Kayla Forester is a completely unlikeable character: she steals Linda Parabottom's job so she can work at the hotel, has no character development, and feels like a generic female character. It's hard to call her a protagonist because she comes off as a complete jerk who is a selfish spoiled brat who wants everything all to herself who would fit right in the antagonistic role.
    • Terrance Mendoza, despite being the main antagonist of the film, literally tried to expose Kayla that she stole someone's job in the hotel. That is something a protagonist would do, not an antagonist. It's almost like he should've been the main human protagonist instead of Kayla given the poor direction the film went in.
      • In fact, Terrence barely behaves like a villain through the film (aside from him telling Tom to ruin the wedding), and after the wedding scene, he goes back to normal like if nothing happened.
    • The other human characters, besides Kayla, are just bland and uninteresting (much like Buddy from Looney Tunes), they don't get any character development whatsoever. The film tries too hard to make us care about them and that this film did not bother trying.
  14. While the animals are cel-shaded computer-animated, but the people and the background aren't are quite nice, it makes the cel-shaded computer-animated animals feel out of place due to having a slapstick nature while the humans don’t, and it could have looked better if the subtle movements and other parts of the actions were crafted in hand-drawn animation.
    • On top of that, while surprisingly well-executed, it arguably makes zero sense for Tom and Jerry to be cel-shaded cartoon characters considering the fact that real cats and mice have real-life fur and real-life shading that makes them look realistic. It would have made much more sense if Tom and Jerry were made into semi-realistic characters like Paramount did to Sonic in the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, even know WAG didn't want it.
  15. Even if many already know the conflict with Tom and Jerry before watching this, there is a lot of wasted potential by cutting out the opening scene that explains how they ended up in this situation in the first place. This would have been the most faithful representation of the source material in the entire movie but is instead replaced by the infamously generic rapping pigeons.
    • Speaking of which, the pigeons do nothing for this movie but provide useless rapping opening sequences that have nothing to do with the movie and explain certain things that are happening on screen, and badly at that. Cutting them out wouldn't affect the movie in the slightest, but would make it slightly more tolerable as a result.
    • During the wedding scene, the rapping pigeons from earlier break the fourth wall and explain everything that's going to happen, which is one of the moments where the Warner Animation Group treat the audience like idiots.
  16. The screenplay is really weak, unimpressive, and overall, mediocre.
  17. A very uninteresting and boring end credits scene.

Good Qualities

  1. Despite its problems, it's an improvement over the 1992 film of the same name, as it is much more faithful to the franchise and the original source material by having the charm Tom and Jerry stood for from all these years.
    • The credits are in the style of "That's All Folks" with artwork of different characters and have a vintage feel to them.
    • At least Tom and Jerry had a bit of screen time in the film.
    • With the film taking place in Manhattan, it could likely be a throwback to "Mouse in Manhattan".
    • The movie brings back some fan-favorites from the TV shows to make fans happy (ex. Spike and Butch). Their voice actors do a great job too.
    • In fact, there are a lot of references carried over by the original Tom & Jerry shorts. (Said on GQ #4)
    • The funny logic seen in the old shorts appears here, such as Jerry being ashamed of walking with a towel but ok if he's naked.
  2. Passionate and caring directing from Tim Story, who is an avid fan of the source material and considers it to be his favorite cartoon, while wholeheartedly even hoping he's doing the franchise justice with this movie.
  3. Clever use of its slapstick cartoon violence with hilarious gags and great timing, including the use of iconic William Hanna's Tom scream in it. Which brings back memories from the shorts.
  4. Great slapstick humor containing numerous references to the Tom and Jerry franchise's history and more. For example, the scene with Tom playing the piano while eventually being antagonized by Jerry makes a reference to "The Cat Concerto" and with Tom flying his way into the hotel also refers to "The Flying Cat".
    • There are times when even the humans can get good laughs, such as when DuBros worries PETA would sue them for discriminatory practices, or when Ben praises the golf simulator for replicating how bad he is at golf.
  5. Subtle Easter eggs, such as Jerry reading a Secret Squirrel comic book and with Jerry's business card consisting of the Drawing Jerry and the overall font from "Designs on Jerry" and Droopy being portrayed as The Joker.
  6. Two heartwarming scenes where Tom loses shelter with Jerry cheering him up with coffee and Jerry wishes to find a new home after losing it due to his and Tom’s antics.
  7. Michael Peña and Patsy Ferran's acting is decent and fits the lore of Tom and Jerry while providing great interactions with the titular characters.
    • When it comes to the rest of the cast members, despite mostly being overacting, they do their fair job on the roles, especially Chloë Grace Moretz, who besides having fun in her role, at least tried to give her character a likable goofball personality and did a good job interacting the characters since she was inspired by several comedic actors and actresses, including Bob Hoskins from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (which she mainly had to study her acting skills for the role of Kayla).
  8. The action scene with Tom and Jerry pursuing Preeta on an electric skateboard and drone is fantastic, and, makes for an engaging climax in which they finally put their differences aside for once. That is until they fight again at the end of the movie.
  9. The film isn't afraid to demonstrate that Tom and Jerry are more than just rivals, with a great arc of them trying to get along if they really want to stay in the hotel: proving that they may put their differences aside to achieve a certain goal.
  10. While the trap score sounds very out-of-place, Christopher Lennertz's score is pretty passable to hear.
  11. The vintage style CGI animation is at least surprisingly good and better than expected when compared to most hybrid adaptations of other cartoons, children's books, and in some cases, video games, where photorealistic CGI is used for the main characters, instead of making them look like real animals, they model them out of the cartoons. All thanks to Framestore!
  12. The characters from the cartoon shorts are still great and likable, including the titular cat and mouse duo themselves and especially Spike, who retained his tough-guy-with-a-good-side disposition after being flanderized as a mean-spirited, short-tempered and unlikable jerk who hates and bullies both Tom and Jerry in The Tom and Jerry Show.

Reception

Critical response

While Tom & Jerry was well-received by fans for its faithfulness to the source material and animation on animals, it received generally negative reviews from critics and audiences, who criticized the film's focus on human characters over Tom and Jerry and trying to be like more of an extended Tom and Jerry cartoon than just being a feature film.

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 31% based on 125 reviews, with an average rating of 4.70/10. The site's Critics Consensus reads, "It isn't the worst of the long-squabbling duo's feature-length adventures, but Tom & Jerry is disappointingly short on the anarchic spirit of their classic shorts.", however, the verified audience score was 82% based on over 1,000, with an average rating of 4.20/5 and the Audience Says consensus section reads, "This updated take on the classic cartoon characters is good fun for kids -- in fact, the main thing it's missing is some more Tom and Jerry." According to Metacritic, which assigned the film a weighted average score of 32 out of 100 based on 17 critics, the film received "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported that 79% of audience members gave it a positive score, with 60% saying they would definitely recommend it. On Letterboxd, the film earned a rating score of 2.0/5.

Chris Stuckmann gave this movie an F grade.

Box office

As of July 18, 2021, Tom & Jerry has grossed $46 million in the United States and Canada, and $81.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $127.1 million.

In the United States and Canada, the film grossed $4 million from 2,479 theaters on its first day of release. It went on to debut to $14.1 million, the second-best opening weekend of the pandemic behind Warner Bros.'s December release Wonder Woman 1984 ($16.4 million). The opening weekend audiences were 51% female and 46% under the age of 17, while 35% were Hispanic, 33% Caucasian, 21% African American, and 11% Asian. David Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, said of the figure: "With half of theaters still closed, the pandemic still a threat, and Tom & Jerry available at home, this is a very good opening.". In its second weekend the film grossed $6.6 million and in its third made $4 million, finishing second behind newcomer Raya and the Last Dragon both times.

The film was initially released in seven international markets, grossing $1.45 million; Singapore led with $457,000. By its second weekend of international release, the film was playing in 16 markets, including debuting at number one in Brazil ($746,000) and Mexico ($395,000).

Videos

Trivia

  • Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays Kayla (the supporting human character being a young female hotel employee) was born on the 57th anniversary of Tom and Jerry, coincidentally.
  • Uli Meyer, an animator for Who Framed Roger Rabbit and a supervising animator for Space Jam, is the head of Character Animation/Sketch Vis for the movie.
  • It was originally scheduled to be released in theaters on April 16th, 2021, but was pushed up to December 23rd, 2020. It was later pushed back to March 5th due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but was moved up a week to avoid competition with Raya and the Last Dragon.
  • This is the first film to officially debut the new Warner Animation Group logo to match with the new shield that Warner Bros. debuted in November 2019, although there is the variant where the logo has slightly more cream-colored, morning sky-style clouds.
  • This is the first theatrically released film about Tom and Jerry since the animated 1992 film.
  • A float of the characters appeared in the 94th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to promote the film.
  • On September 1, 2020, it was announced that Australian toy company Moose Toys made a deal with Warner Bros. to make merchandise for the film along with the film Space Jam: A New Legacy.
  • Originally announced as a live-action/computer-animated film in 2009, the film languished in development hell for several years. Plans eventually shifted to producing an entirely animated film, in the same vein as the original theatrical shorts, in 2015. The film again became a live-action/animated hybrid in 2018, with animation produced by the Warner Animation Group, and filming beginning in 2019.
  • The movie is dedicated to Gene Deitch, who died a year before the film’s release; he directed the Tom and Jerry shorts from 1961 to 1962.
  • On March 8, 2021, some HBO Max viewers who attempted to watch the film were accidentally shown Zack Snyder's Justice League, a movie which was supposed to release 10 days later. HBO Max quickly fixed the issue within two hours.
  • To coincide with the release of this film, Warner Bros. released two shorts of Tom and Jerry Special Shorts, a revival of the original theatrical shorts produced by Warner Bros. Animation, which made its debut on HBO Max on February 20th, 2021. The show shares the same animation style as Looney Tunes Cartoons, made by the same crew. The shorts were removed a month later for unknown reasons. On July 8, 2021, the shorts has been brought back.
  • The beginning scene of the trailer is cut from the film. According to producer Chris DeFaria, it was cut due to its audience being already familiar with the conflict of Tom and Jerry, aside from saving time to get to the point, where Tom dreams to become a pianist and Jerry finding a new home taking place after the events of both of them losing their previous home and move on for a fresh start to their lives.
  • The first trailer shows Tom and Jerry splitting out is cut out from the movie.

External links

0432CA9B-5625-4396-94E2-752A88A449CA.png Tom & Jerry (2021) on Letterboxd

Rotten Tomatoes rotten icon.png Tom & Jerry (2021) on Rotten Tomatoes

Warner Bros. Feature Animation (currently known as Warner Animation Group)
Movies:

Warner Bros. Feature Animation

Space Jam - Quest for Camelot - The Iron Giant - Osmosis Jones - Looney Tunes: Back in Action

Warner Animation Group

The Lego Movie - Storks - The Lego Batman Movie - The Lego Ninjago Movie - Smallfoot - The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part - Scoob! - Tom & Jerry - Space Jam: A New Legacy

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