One of the America’s favorite comedy duos are coming back to the big screen and in a big way. Tom and Jerry are starring in a new live action/animated hybrid film coming to theaters (hopefully) on March 5, 2021.
Starting in 1940, the original Tom and Jerry shorts were the building block that started the animation empire of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. So many years later, these films still put a smile on our faces. Since then, the duo has appeared in numerous variations in for Saturday morning TV, low budget straight-to-video releases and Cartoon Network fare. While always popular with kids, the newer versions of the cat and mouse team leave parents yawning. It’s a typical problem with Warner Bros. Animation (who now own the rights to the characters) who keep trying to change up various iconic animated characters making them more hip with different animation styles and humor. Often, the heart of the original vision is lost in the process. However, by the looks of the new trailer for the film, the animators just might be back on the right track.
In Tom and Jerry, the mouse has made one of New York City’s finest hotels his new home. It just so happens that this hotel will be serving as host for “the wedding of the century” where the owners will not stand to have it ruined by the presence of mouse. Desperate to save her career, the wedding planner (played by Chloë Grace Moretz) “hires” Tom to rid the hotel of the rodent. What could go wrong?
Given that this is a much longer project than the average Tom and Jerry short, there is a villain, who is being described as a “diabolically ambitious staffer” who will conspire against all three of them. The cat and mouse just might have to do the unthinkable – work together to save the day.
Directed by Tim Story, the film also stars Michael Peña, Colin Jost, Rob Delaney, Pallavi Sharda, Jordan Bolger, Patsy Ferran, Nicky Jam, Bobby Cannavale, Lil Rel Howery and Ken Jeong. The movie also features iconic cartoon voicing from William Hanna, Mel Blanc, June Foray (via archival recordings) and Frank Welker.
While the trailer shows that the new film won’t be quite as glossy as previous animation/live action films such as Roger Rabbit, it does appear that our animated friends look and act like we expect them too and that the film has been shot as if it was a cartoon with many scenes shown from the animals point of view. Will it be silly? Sure. Will kids love it. Of course. Will parents love it? That remains to be seen. The problems I can find from just watching the trailer is that we can already tell what the gags will be before they happen. Some anticipation and surprise elements will be needed to make this film a winner.
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.