As a franchise, Tom and Jerry had been famous for several decades, winning over audiences with their iconic slapstick and eternal rivalry. Eventually, Warner Bros Animation decided to put these characters to use in a Direct to Video series with the release of 2001's Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring, similar to how they adapted Scooby-Doo in the Scooby-Doo Direct-to-Video Film Series. From that point onwards, Warner Bros has made a point of releasing a new movie every 1-2 years.
Many of the movies feature the titular cat and mouse getting into themed adventures that test their rivalry or, in some cases, force them to work together. Cameos from other MGM characters are often rather common, and sometimes other Hanna-Barbera characters show up as well. In more recent years, many of these features cross the titular duo over with other properties.
Cartoon Network airs many of the films not too long after release, with Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz and Tom and Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse airing before their home video releases.note
To date, there have been 15 entries in this series.
- Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring (2001)
- Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars (2005)
- Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry (2005)
- Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers (2006)
- Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale (2007)
- Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes (2010)
- Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz (2011)
- Tom and Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse (2012)
- Tom and Jerry's Giant Adventure (2013)
- Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon (2014)
- Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest (2015)
- Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz (2016)
- Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (2017)
- Tom and Jerry: Cowboy Up! (2022)
- Tom and Jerry: Snowman's Land (2022)
Tropes Across the Series:
- Amusing Injuries: It's Tom and Jerry, through and through.
- Crossover: A common theme in the later entries is to cross Tom and Jerry over with other properties.
- Enemy Mine: Several of the movies involve Tom and Jerry working together to accomplish a shared goal or stop a bigger threat.
- Here We Go Again!: The movies often end with Tom and Jerry resuming their chase.
- Human-Focused Adaptation: Many of the films fall under this.
- Blast Off to Mars is mainly about Biff Buzzard and Buzz Blister traveling to Mars to investigate if any aliens reside there, while the alien invasion itself gets caused by Tom and Jerry's usual antics once they find themselves on Mars.
- The Fast and the Furry gave less screen time to the cat and mouse than new human characters, in a plot that seems like they were trying to adapt Wacky Races into a film.
- Shiver Me Whiskers mostly focuses on a trio of pirates who parted ways to find the lost treasure of the Spanish Mane for themselves, while Tom and Jerry are thrown into the mix to later abandon them and find it.
- Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse recreates the Robin Hood narrative, with Jerry taking a backseat as his sidekick, and Tom taking a backseat as Prince John's henchcat, until the cat abandons him to join Robin Hood and Jerry.
- Giant Adventure recreates the Jack and the Beanstalk narrative that happens to feature Tom and Jerry as animals of a petting zoo owned by Jack.
- The Lost Dragon follows the concept of having Tom and Jerry as pets by Athena, the real main character of the story who enlists the cat and mouse's help to reunite a lost baby dragon with his mother.
- Cowboy Up! is mostly about a cowgirl and her brother reuniting to spend time in their ranch, which is threatened to be taken over by a greedy land-grabber. The cat and mouse are depicted as their pets, who help them save their ranch.
- Lighter and Softer: Many of the movies are considerably lighter in tone and tend to downplay the slapstick violence that defined the original shorts in favour of more extensive, character-based storylines.
- Limited Animation: Not originally, but some of the later installments have featured background characters that simply don't move. However, some of this is deliberate Retraux to the late stage of the MGM studio and Hanna- Barbera in general.
- Mythology Gag: These movies are often loaded with references to older shorts, MGM, and HB. Some examples include character cameos, Reused Character Design, Disney Acid Sequence homages some HB theatricals did, music sequences like Tex Avery used to do, etc.
- Pinball Protagonist: Tom and Jerry themselves. Several movies have them doing their usual schtick in the background while Tuffy and the films' original characters are the ones who actually move the plot along.
- Terrible Trio: The three cats who often act as henchmen to the Big Bad in some of the later entries.
- Universal-Adaptor Cast: The movies often put Tom and Jerry in a wide variety of settings and genres beyond their usual shorts, such as racing, fantasy, space, western, and detective stories. This especially goes for Tuffy and any other characters from the shorts, who take on new identities and outfits whenever they appear; Tuffy alone has been depicted as a Munchkin, a cowboy, and an Oompa Loompa, among other things.