Tom and Jerry: The Movie
Tom and Jerry: The Movie is a 1992 American animated musical buddy comedy film produced and directed by Phil Roman and released in Germany by Turner Pictures and in United States by Miramax Films and LIVE Entertainment. It is a feature-length film starring the characters from the Tom and Jerry series and their first and (so far) only one to receive a wide theatrical release.
The popular cartoon cat and mouse are thrown into a feature film. The story has the twosome trying to help an orphan girl named Robyn find her father, who is being berated and exploited by a greedy guardian named Aunt Figg and a lawyer named Mr. Lickboot, who are looking for her to get the $1 million bounty on her.
Why It Sucks
- Probably the most infamous part about this film is that the titular characters, Tom and Jerry, actually talk in this movie, despite being famous for not having any dialogue in the classic shorts. To say fans were angered by this is the understatement of the century and is the main reason why most people don't like this movie. It should be noted that while they did have speaking lines in the shorts, those were usually few and far between (especially in Jerry's case, as he rarely has any speaking lines, but to make it fair, some fans did root for Tom And Jerry speaking for the first time.)
- Somewhat misleading title. While Tom and Jerry are that main characters and do get a fair amount of screen time, the film mainly focuses on Robyn Starling, an orphan girl who is looking for her father while trying to escape from her guardian (Aunt Figg) and lawyer (Mr. Lickboot), who are looking for her because she is worth a lot of money. It seems as Tom and Jerry are portrayed as supporters in the movie.
- Despite what the box art shows, Tom and Jerry don't really chase each other that much, as after the first musical number, they become "friends". Mostly during the opening and ending do we actually see them chasing each other.
- There's this dog named Pugsy and a little flea named Frankie, who (apart from helping Tom and Jerry talk, setting up the first musical number, and helping them become friends) are both pointless as they don't do much other than being filler.
- Also after that scene, there's a gang of alley cats that yell at Tom for being friends with Jerry, who is a mouse. They think that cat and mouse should be enemies. Other than being there for another musical number (which keep in mind, that scene with Pugsy and Frankie earlier already had a musical number), they too don't serve any real purpose other than being filler, and after Jerry saves Tom by opening a sewer pip that causes the ally cat gang to fall in, they are never seen or heard of ever again.
- Numerous bad musical numbers, which are heavily derivative of those from Disney movies, (There are a total of 6 musical numbers), most of which come out of nowhere with no real rhyme or reason and just drag on and on (though Robyn's song is pretty well done).
- The villains of the movie have some pretty strange names. For example, Aunt Figg, Mr. Lickboot and Doctor Applecheeks.
- Laughable dialogue from most of the characters (Most notably Mr. Lickboot's line: "We've got to have... money!", which is definitely what was going through the film maker's heads when they green-lit this movie).
- Extremely flat characterization, as EVERYONE tries to kidnap Robyn to get money. There's even a scene were a captain with a parrot sailor puppet saves Robyn from a boat accident, cares for her and even helps her find her father, only for for him to trap her in a freaking Ferris Wheel because he saw the reward Aunt Figg offered for Robyn's return (Lickboot himself pointed out that people will do anything for money). Poor Robyn, she just wants to find her father.
- Despite this being a Tom and Jerry movie, none of the other characters from the original Tom and Jerry show (like Spike, Butch, Nibbles, etc.) appear in this film at all, and while Droopy does appear in the film (you can clearly see him on the VHS and DVD box art), he only has one line of dialogue, is only shown once in Dr. Applecheek's lab, and is never seen or heard from again. Possibly budget cuts or something.
- It is a somewhat poor grasp of the original source material, with Tom and Jerry not chasing each other, Robyn getting some what more screen time than Tom and Jerry, and no characters from the original classics (excluding Droopy) being in this movie, nothing in this movie really feels like Tom and Jerry, it feels more like an animated movie about a cat and a mouse trying to help Robyn find her father.
- Minor plothole: When Tom walks out the front door to his old house only to find his owners have left without him, he takes off after them but is chased back home by a bulldog moments later. Yet he can't back in the front door because it's locked despite the fact that he didn't even bother to close it in the first place and everyone else had already vacated the premises.
- Impressively nice animation.
- Tom and Jerry are silent for the first few minutes of the film, including the ending.
- A clever in-joke referencing Tom and Jerry's creators.
- The voice acting is pretty great, despite the fact that Tom and Jerry were talking in the film.
- While not as good as the original classics, there are some good funny moments here and there.
- Several moments are touching or heartwarming.
- It spawned the "We've got to have... money!" meme.
- As brief as Droopy's appearance is, it's arguably the funniest moment in the film.
- The discovered Icelandic version makes the songs catchier.
- It was the first Tom and Jerry film, even though it was the only one made for theaters to date.
- Some Tom and Jerry fans have enjoyed this movie.
The movie received really poor reactions and negative reviews from fans, critics and audiences alike, with criticisms mostly revolving around it feeling like a generic animated movie with barely anything in common with the original cartoons. The movie was quickly pulled from cinemas in less than a month, earning only $3.5M at the box office, likely because it was released directly opposite the massively successful Jurassic Park.
- The director, Phil Roman, had previously worked as an animator on the Chuck Jones-directed Tom and Jerry cartoons from the 1960s. Jones had actually looked into producing a Tom and Jerry movie of his own after his shorts ended, but decided to instead make the film The Phantom Tollbooth after not being able to work out how to make the format work in a feature-length movie; something that should probably have indicated this project was a bad idea from the get-go.