It’s hard to think of a more iconic duo than Tom & Jerry, no wait I take that back, Hanna-Barbera. So it is surprising that it took almost 50 years for one their most well-known characters to get a full-length feature film. But with the talented team at Film Roman combined with the two legendary animators at the helm, this is finally remedied.
The film starts us right at the action, with both Tom & Jerry accidentally abandoned by their previous owners, unable to return to their home. They eventually team up with a young orphan, named Robyn, who is fleeing from the evil machinations of her scheming aunt and Lawyer… Oh, and Tom and Jerry now talk!
The paradigm shift of having the cat and mouse team talk feels well suited for their film debut, and Tom and Jerry: The Movie takes this to the max with the addition of singing to their repertoire. The voice actors do a great job populating the film, famous voices from the legendary Tony Jay, to stars such as the great Rip Taylor provide a wide smorgasbord of comedic craftsmanship that infuses the scenes with so much energy.
There is an incredible amount of care that is palpable from the film, from the gorgeous animated settings to the wonderful Mancini soundtrack that manages to blend the feel of the classic scores with more modern instruments. He is also responsible for the show tunes in the film, that makes up around half of the run-time. These songs are catchy and manage to segue away from and back into the action. The character designs are also lively and make excellent additions to the cannon. Particularly the addition of Ferdinand, the partially immobile and heavily portly hound-dog.
Tom & Jerry: The Movie is a strong adaptation, pulling off the taxing balancing act of keeping the classic elements of the shorts with modern additions worthy of a feature film. It manages to make the 90-minute run-time seem like an absolute delight. While the saying goes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, Tom & Jerry: The Movie demonstrates that a cat and a mouse are excellent pupils.
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