The following contains spoilers for “Tom & Jerry

tom and jerry poster
CAT AND MOUSE. Tom and Jerry ride a skateboard on the poster for their movie. photo/Warner Bros

Tom & Jerry” released on HBO Max and to theaters on Feb. 26. Bringing the cartoon characters to the big screen contained a lot of potential. Despite this, the film is an average children’s movie. It ultimately fails because, unlike a children’s movie,  the film did not follow an interesting plot, the visuals were awful, and it did not successfully reach its target audience. 

Tom & Jerry” follows a woman named Kayla who lies about her experience to become an event planner for a celebrity wedding. The wedding takes place at a hotel where both Tom and Jerry are trying to live. When the presence of Jerry the mouse is discovered, Kayla is assigned to remove him from the hotel.

Kayla enlists the help of Tom to get Jerry out of the hotel. Eventually the wedding is ruined due to Tom and Jerry fighting. Kayla then enlists the help of both of them to bring the celebrities to a smaller and better wedding.

The plot with the people is unrelated to Tom and Jerry. “Tom & Jerry’s” plot stays interesting when it follows the original show. The funny and entertaining parts of the movie come from Tom and Jerry fighting each other. The original show thrived because it only focused on the interactions between Tom and Jerry. Scenes where these characters are absent distract the audience from the plot they should care about.

Every plot point with a person feels thrown together for the sake of creating a “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” type of film. The filmmakers obviously wanted an easy cash-grab from combining well-known actors with well-known cartoon characters.

Specifically, one scene features the fictional celebrity couple, Ben and Preeta, discussing how their marriage will work. During this, Tom and Jerry have nothing to do. When watching scenes such as this one, one may find themselves asking, “Who cares?” 

To make the boring scenes worse, the film in general looks jarring. It unsuccessfully combines live action and 3D animation. The animation style on its own looks fine, but when placed next to real people, it looks awful. The live action actors do not blend with the animated animals. When both are in a scene, it feels like the actors are speaking to an empty room.

Tom & Jerry” tried to appeal to a millennial audience. The movie showed the struggles young adults face with entering the workforce. Kayla felt like she could not get work without experience, but she also could not get experience without work. 

This theme is not understandable for the target audience of children. It is unlikely that many millennials will watch this film. This leads to a large portion and theme of the movie feeling unfocused. The film would feel more youthful and fun without the inclusion of this plot point.

Overall, the production company, Warner Bros, had the opportunity to bring back classic characters in a big way. Instead of creating a fun family film for everyone to enjoy, they made a movie that only toddlers who like to look at cartoons can enjoy. 

The film would have benefitted from removing people from the plot. A feature-length Tom & Jerry film, animated in a modern style would prove interesting for children and adults.

The Hilights:

Available on: HBO Max

Release Date: Feb. 26

Director: Tim Story

Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Michael Pena, Jordan Bolger, Rob Delaney, Patsy Ferran, Pallavi Sharda, Colin Jost

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

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