Western Animation: Tom and Jerry: The Movie
Holy crap, they
talked! They actually talked! The apocalypse has finally begun, pigs are flying, Satan is skating his way to work, and I'm pretty sure I just became a monkey's uncle.
A feature length Tom and Jerry
movie released during The Renaissance Age of Animation
What do you do when you want to make a movie starring the most popular cat and mouse in the world? Give them the ability to talk and sing
, make them become friends
, add a bunch of humans, turn it into a musical
, and strip all the slapstick, of course
The film starts with Tom and Jerry going off on their own after their home is demolished, only to discover that they can talk — and sing — as they become friends. They encounter an orphan girl named Robyn Starling, who becomes the main figure in the story as our cat and mouse duo try to help her find her father who enjoys dressing up as Indiana Jones
, while evading her greedy, evil Aunt Figg and her lawyer Mr. Lickboot. And then there's the dog on a skateboard, two dogcatchers who look like either burglars or Mexican wrestlers, a performing ship captain and his puppet parrot, and a doctor who kidnaps rich pets and holds them for ransom...
Unfortunately, because all of this was completely unrelated to Tom & Jerry or their legacy, the film bombed
and was critically panned, and the Direct-to-Video Tom and Jerry
films made since have, to their credit, tried to stay closer to the original formula. It is worth noting that Joseph Barbera
worked on this movie and allowed all of this to occur. Then again, he was also involved in their 1970's incarnation
, which was equally watered-down.
Tropes used in this movie include:
- Advertised Extra: Droopy. Despite what the cover looks like, don't expect to see much of him. His cameo is less than 10 seconds long.
- Amoral Attorney: Lickboot. Lampshaded by Aunt Figg.
Figg: You're a lawyer! Scheme!
- Animated Musical: There's a song about every two minutes.
- Animate Inanimate Object: Captain Kiddie's hand puppet Squawk seems to have a mind of his own, noticing Robyn's picture on a milk carton before Kiddie does and sings with Kiddie. He also eats cookies and drinks milk.
- Award Bait Song: "I Miss You", the song Robyn sings, which is slowly followed by "All In How Much We Give" by Stephanie Mills
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: When the demolition begins, Tom races to rescue Jerry from his mousehole despite him being able to easily escape without Jerry's aid.
- Badass Mustache: Robyn's father.
- Big Damn Heroes: Robyn's father rescuing her from the burning house via his helicopter.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Aunt Figg and Dr. Applecheecks.
- The Cameo: Droopy makes one.
- Captain Ersatz: Robyn's father has an uncanny resemblance to Indiana Jones.
- Chewing the Scenery: Tony Jay as Lickboot. Especially when delivering the "We've got to have money!" line.
- Conspicuous CG: The boat our heroes ride on during the final chase scene.
- Covers Always Lie: Newly released DVD copies of the film use the same cover that is pictured above, sans any of the human characters that actually dominate the film! We still have Droopy as an Advertised Extra though. Woe to the people who buy it having never heard about this movie before.
- Decoy Protagonist: Tom and Jerry in their own movie! It's Robyn who's the main star.
- Deranged Animation: The chase scene at the climax.
- Disappeared Dad: Robyn's father, who is presumed dead.
- Disney Acid Sequence: Lickboot and Figg's money song.
- Disney Death: Tom and Jerry themselves.
- Epic Flail: When Tom is hit by a wrecking ball that destroys their home early in the film.
- Evil Aunt
- Even Evil Has Standards: When the cabin is burning down Lickboot seems genuinely concerned for Robyn's safety.
- Evil Overlooker: Aunt Figg on the above poster.
- Expy: Aunt Figg is an obvious expy of Madame Medusa from The Rescuers, and by extension, Lickboot is a much more competent Mr. Snoops. Robyn Starling is a pretty obvious expy of Penny too.
- Face-Heel Turn: Dr. Applecheeks. Although he may be Evil All Along.
- Don't forget that even though he's pretty creepy, Captain Kiddie isn't really a bad guy when we first meet him either. But when he finds out Robyn is worth a fortune, it's all downhill from there.
Robyn: I thought you were a nice man.
Captain Kiddie: But I AM, my dear!
Squawk: He'll be even nicer...with a million smackaroo!
- Fake-Out Opening: The opening titles of the film are a montage of classic Tom & Jerry gags at high speed, with an awesome jazz soundtrack by Henry Mancini himself.
- Fat Bastard: Aunt Figg and her dog Ferdinand.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Tom and Jerry, in this movie.
- Five-Bad Band: You can kind of see the bad guys in the film as this.
- Follow the Leader: The pathos filled orphan plot? The musical numbers? The hammy bad guys (one of whom is voiced by Tony Jay)? Its very obvious that the film was a shameless attempt at cashing in on Disney's renaissance during the early 90's, with Tom and Jerry thrown in for marquee value. Suffice to say, it didn't work.
- Food Porn: The feast on Aunt Figg's mansion looks appetizing for an animated film. Too bad that Tom and Jerry were consume some, if any of them.
- Greed: Seems to be the main motivation of pretty much all of the villains.
- Human-Focused Adaptation: Surprisingly, not on Tom and Jerry. Focused on the human characters.
- Friendship Song: "Friends to the End" between Tom and Jerry is a song where they sing about their friendship.
- In Name Only: How many ways does this movie deviate from the original shorts? Let's count the ways:
- First, there is very little of the series trademark slapstick in the film. The few times it appears are in the opening, the dinner scene in Aunt Figg's mansion (although that was Figg's wiener dog chasing Tom and Jerry that resulted in it, not the duo themselves) and at the very end. This is also coupled with Tom and Jerry deciding to become friends via song.
- Second, Tom and Jerry talk the whole time, something that only sporadically happened in the original shorts. And the voices in question don't seem to fit the characters at all.
- Third, the movie treats the cat and mouse duo as supporting characters at best when Robyn appears and becomes the central figure of the film.
- Four-there are the musical numbers, obviously thrown in to cash in on the Disney musical craze of the early 90's. And no sign of the original Tom and Jerry theme on top of that.
- Missing Mom: Robyn Starling's mom died when she was little, another reason she's the designated Woobie.
- Money Fetish: Aunt Figg and Lickboot.
- Money Song
- Mood Whiplash: Dr. Applecheek's song after the first few verses.
- No Time For Taste: The singing cat gang.
- Odd Friendship: About as odd as they come, knowing the history Tom and Jerry have.
- Off Model: Look at the page picture, what do you see wrong with Jerry?note
- Out of Focus: Tom and Jerry, in their own movie.
- Pep Talk Song: "Friends to the End"
- Pounds Are Animal Prisons: Dr. Applecheek's 'animal shelter' is more like a jail.
- The Power of Friendship
- The Renaissance Age of Animation
- The Runaway: Robyn, when Tom and Jerry meet her.
- Early in the film, Tom and Jerry get kicked out of a restaurant named Bill and Joe's. Surely that has to symbolize something...
- Figg and Lickboot's money song also makes a shout out to Citizen Kane of all movies.
- Something Completely Different
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Poor Tom and Jerry. Every single other character steals the movie from them. Special mention goes to the dog on the skateboard, who steals most of their slapstick.
- Status Quo Is God: Basically, what happens in the final scenes of the movie since the final scene shows they no longer talk and of course continue their chasing of one another, much to everyone's (aka the viewers) relief. Enough said.
- Suddenly Voiced and singing: This is THE reason that every fan likes to pretend that this movie doesn't exist.
- Villain Song: "Money is such a beautiful word..."
- "Yes, animals is our business, A moneymaking business"
- "What do we care about nice?, What do we care about sweet?"
- [technically this, since he's revealed to be a villain later] "I've done it all!"
- The Voiceless: Tom and Jerry, for the first ten minutes of the film anyhow.
- Walk Into Camera Obstruction: Where Dr. Applecheeks walks towards that ice cream stand with an evil smile. As he fills up the camera, the screen fades to black. Of note is the incredibly (and probably unintentionally) creepy way this is done.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Tom's owner drives off without him (seemingly unintentional) at the beginning of the film, but never comes back for him. Was she planning on abandoning him the whole time?
- We never see what happened to Aunt Figg or Lickboot after they escaped from the cabin, but we can only assume Robyn told her father everything and they were arrested.
- Wolverine Publicity: It seems like Tom and Jerry were pretty much thrown in as an afterthought just to make people interested in seeing it.
- X Meets Y: It's like The Rescuers only with Tom and Jerry... and lots of singing.