Tom: I'm Tom.
Jerry: I'm Jerry.
(both do a Double Take)
Both: YOU TALKED!
Tom: Well, sure I talk. What do you think I am, a dummy?
Jerry: You said it, I didn't.
Tom: Ah, you little pipsqueak! I oughta... hey...! How come you never spoke before?!
Jerry: Well, there's nothing I wanted to say that I thought you'd understand. And there still isn't!
Tom: Alright, that does it! You little... boy, you get me angry...!
Puggsy: Ah, ah, ah. I told ya before, you guys have gotta learn to be friends.
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... Oh, and a cameo from Droopy.
It was the first and only theatrical feature-length Tom and Jerry film for many years until a new live-action/animated film was announced to release in 2021; subsequent feature-length films between those two would go Direct to Video and typically stay closer to the original formula of Tom and Jerry's rivalry.
Tropes used in this movie include:
- Adaptational Heroism: Tom's antagonistic traits are mostly dropped in this movie, turning him into more of a snarky, but well meaning cat who cares about people besides himself.
- Advertised Extra: Droopy is prominently featured on the posters and DVD covers for the film, despite his cameo being less than ten seconds long.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: After abandoning him, Dr. Applecheek's goons beg for his help when they get trapped on the ferris wheel. Naturally, Applecheek relishes their predicament and abandons them as they did to him.Dr. Applecheek: Sorry boys, one good turn deserves another!
- And Starring: The cast roll here ends with "and Charlotte Rae as Aunt Figg".
- Animated Musical: There's a surprising amount of songs for a Tom & Jerry movie.
- 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: The end credits has a pop version of "I Miss You" (the song Robyn sings), this time sung by Stephanie Mills (this version of the song is strangely absent from the soundtrack) which is slowly followed by "All In How Much We Give" also sung by Stephanie Mills.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Even though he hates Jerry, when the demolition begins, Tom's conscious refuses to let him leave Jerry locked up inside his mousehole, thus he races back into save him.
- Big Damn Heroes: Robyn's father rescuing her from the burning house via his helicopter.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Aunt Figg and Dr. Applecheek. The former pretends to be a concerned guardian when Robyn goes missing, but secretly wants Robyn back for the sake of using her as a bargaining chip for money and cares nothing about her well-being. The latter appears to be a kindly vet, but is actually an animal abuser who throws all of the animals in his care into cages to starve.
- Body Wipe: 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.
- Both Sides Have a Point: When Robyn is explaining why she's running away and refusing to go back home, she explains that Figg is a very mean person has taken over the house (and given her room to Figg's dog), verbally abuses her, and threw Robyn's locket out the window. We soon learn that Robyn is correct about Figg and that she doesn't really care about Robyn, her concern being that she can get money off of Robyn because of her dad's trust fund. However, Tom and Jerry also make a good point that Robyn is running away isn't very smart. It's true that Figg is evil and doesn't truly care about Robyn but she does provide Robyn with a roof over her head, a warm bed, and meals which is better than having no home at all.
- Bound and Gagged: Just the former in the case of Aunt Figg, Dr. Applecheeks and (possibly) Mr. Lickboot on the original movie poster and VHS Cover.
- The Cameo: One of the many animals who escape from their cages in Dr. Applecheek's lair is none other than Droopy. He is also seen riding the stampede of dogs that trample Applecheek's minions and quickly flashes a V sign to the audience as he passes by.Droopy: Hello, all you happy people.
- Captain Ersatz: Robyn's father has an uncanny resemblance to Indiana Jones. With a mustache.
- Catch Your Death of Cold: Ferdinand falls into the river, and he has an ice pack on his head the next time we see him.
- Chewing the Scenery: Tony Jay as Lickboot. Especially when delivering the "We've got to have money!" line.
- Covers Always Lie: Many of the film's newly released DVD copies only feature the titular duo and Droopy on the cover, rather than the human characters that actually dominate the film.
- Crocodile Tears: In his song, Dr. Applecheek laments how so many pets are neglected, and how he wants to help them. However, his tone and gestures are almost overly dramatic to the point that his sympathy seems ingenuine. He turns out to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing shortly after.
- Also Aunt Figg when she's reporting Robyn's disappearance to the police.
- Currency Cuisine: Invoked. In her Villain Song, "Money is Such a Beautiful Word," Aunt Figg claims to love money so much that, if it was food, "it's a dish she would devour every hour."
- Darker and Edgier: While the shorts were obviously no stranger to violence and peril, it was always Played for Laughs, or even in particularly grim scenarios, Black Comedy. Here, the central conflict revolves around a child whose mother died and father was presumed dead for most of the movie, and most of the action scenes - such as the burning cabin in the climax - are presented as genuinely dangerous and life-threatening. Also as noted by The Nostalgia Critic, when Tom gets cut to pieces in the movie, his insides are actually blood colored.
- Decoy Protagonist: After the first act, Tom and Jerry are relegated to supporting side-kicks while Robyn's quest to find her father takes up the main plot.
- Description Cut: After Robyn tells her that she gave Tom and Jerry to Dr. Applecheek without letting the girl say goodbye, Aunt Figg tries to 'reassure' her, claiming that they are happy where they are. Cut to the duo looking depressed while locked in a cage.
- Descent into Darkness Song: Dr. Applecheek's song "God's Little Creatures" starts off as a gentle, if slightly sad song about how much he loves animals and will do anything to protect them. However, it eventually becomes much more harsh and menacing when Dr. Applecheek turns out to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.Dr. Applecheek: My whole life is animals, from morning till night
I pity their plight, but I have no... regrets!
(Dr. Applecheek shoves Tom and Jerry into a cage and throws it to his henchmen)
Here, boys, take good care of them! (Evil Laugh)
- Disappeared Dad: Subverted. Robyn's father is presumed dead, but the film later reveals that he's still alive and saves her from the burning cabin just in time.
- Disney Acid Sequence: "Money Is Such A Beautiful Word" contains a lot of surreal imagery, most of it involving Aunt Figg and Lickboot imagining having tons of money and the things they would buy.
- Disney Death: Robyn's father is at first unable to save Tom and Jerry from the burning cabin. After the cabin plunges into the river, Tom surfaces and discovers Jerry alive as well.
- Epic Flail: When Tom is hit by a wrecking ball that destroys their home early in the film.
- Evil Aunt: Though Figg is only her legal guardian, Robyn still refers to her as "Aunt Figg", and she's a greedy, abusive carer who has nothing but contempt for Robyn.
- Even Evil Has Standards: During the climax, Lickboot tries to get Robyn down when she's trapped upstairs, and objects to leaving her behind when Figg simply wants to escape. While he may be considering the legal consequences of letting Robyn die in the fire, he still genuinely tries to help her.
- Evil Overlooker: Aunt Figg on the above poster.
- Expy: Aunt Figg is an obvious expy of Madame Medusa from The Rescuers and she also bears an uncanny resemblance to Ursula (bar the purple skin, white hair and octopus half of her body). By extension, Lickboot is a much more competent Mr. Snoops. Robyn Starling is a pretty obvious expy of Penny too.
- Face on a Milk Carton: Aunt Figg and Lickboot cook up a scheme of finding Robyn by printing her face on the milk carton and offering one million dollars to whoever finds her. Of course they don't intend on actually paying the money.
- Face–Heel Turn: Despite his eccentricities, Captain Kiddie genuinely wants to help Robyn when he rescues her. Once he learns about the reward Figg is offering, his greed gets the better of him.Robyn: I thought you were a nice man.
Captain Kiddie: But I AM, my dear!
Squawk: He'll be even nicer… with a million smackaroos!
- 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, the main antagonist, is an overweight woman who is greedy and has a Money Fetish to the max. Her dog Ferdinand also has a big appetite, and his scenes are usually spent antagonizing Tom and Jerry.
- Finger-Snapping Street Gang: The second song in the movie ("What Do We Care") begins with the five stray cats surrounding Tom from both sides of the alley while snapping their fingers. It ends with Tom temporarily joining them so that he could get a head start after running away.
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: Dr. Applecheek turns out to be evil near the end of his musical number. However, you can tell there's something shifty about him at the very beginning of the song just by looking at some of his facial expression. For example, he has a smug look when he lets Tom and Jerry out of the cage. When he starts singing about how he loves "God's little creatures," some of his expressions and gestures are overly dramatic to the point that you can tell he's showing Crocodile Tears.
- Food Porn: The feast on Aunt Figg's mansion looks appetizing for an animated film; too bad that Tom and Jerry were not able to consume some, if any of them.
- Friendship Song: "Friends to the End" between Tom and Jerry is a song where they sing about their friendship.
- Gilligan Cut: Double subverted. Robyn says that she's pretty sure that her evil Aunt Figg doesn't care that she's gone, to which Tom disagrees, saying that "she's crying her eyes out for you right this minute". Smash cut to Aunt Figg who is indeed doing just that to a police officer, begging him to find Robyn. However, once the police officer is gone, Figg shows her true colors by screaming at Lickboot about her crocodile tears.
- Greed: Seems to be the main motivation of pretty much all of the villains.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Ferdinand uses a skateboard to get around. This same skateboard prevents himself, Aunt Figg and Mr. Lickboot from making a clean getaway from the burning cabin. Mr. Lickboot steps on it, and he is sent careening with Aunt Figg and Ferdinand into a crash landing on Captain Kiddie's boat.
- Human-Focused Adaptation: Tom and Jerry themselves are ultimately supporting characters while the film's protagonist is actually the young girl, Robyn, and the antagonists they face are predominantly humans as well.
- In Name Only: Aside from the presence of the main duo themselves, there is very little connection between the movie and the shorts that it was based on.
- 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 Figg's wiener dog was the catalyst in that, not the duo themselves), a scene where Jerry gets a fish to bite Tom's tail while they are on a raft before they come across Robyn's locket, and at the very end. This is also coupled with Tom and Jerry deciding to become friends via song.
- Tom and Jerry talk the whole time, something that only sporadically happened in the original shorts. And the voices in question sound nothing like the few times they talked.
- Aside from a brief cameo by Droopy, the other characters from the original shorts are completely absent and replaced with different, mostly human, characters. Tom and Jerry themselves are ultimately reduced to supporting characters while Robyn becomes the central focus.
- There are several musical numbers, following in the footsteps of other animated films made at the time. Scott Bradley's Tom and Jerry theme, which always opened the original shorts, is also absent, though Henry Mancini's main leitmotif subtly homages it.
- Key Confusion: After the villain trap Robyn in a mountain chalet, and locked its only exit, a toppled kerosene lamp starts a fire in the wooden structure, and the villains need to flee. They fight for control of the key ring, breaking it. The two must then scrabble on the floor to find the right key among twenty or so keys. Then they end up accidentally breaking down the door anyway.
- Laughably Evil: All the villains are openly cruel, manipulative and abusive towards children and animals, while also goofy Large Hams each with the their own musical number. Fittingly their combined comeuppance is a slapstick one. See Hoist by His Own Petard.
- Made of Bologna: One of the opening animations show Tom and Jerry dueling with fencing swords. Jerry makes several rapid vertical slashes at Tom, who thinks he came away unscathed. Tom then falls apart in slices like a bologna loaf.
- Missing Mom: Robyn Starling's mom died when she was little, another reason she's the designated Woobie.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Dr. Applecheek's goons turn on him once he lets it slip that he has no plans to to share the reward money for finding Robyn. So they decide to ditch him and claim the reward all for themselves.
- Money Fetish: Aunt Figg and Lickboot have an entire song about how much they love money, and only money. It's also a Villain Song, since both Figg and Lickboot prove throughout the song that they care nothing at all about Robyn's well-being and only want her as a bargaining chip for the sake of money.
- Mood Whiplash: Dr. Applecheek's song after the first few verses. He starts off appearing as a kindly and wholesome vet, only for the back of his veterinary clinic to show a lot of scared, hungry animals locked in small cages.
- Mythology Gag:
- When trying to catch up to the moving van, Tom bumps into an angry bulldog that chases him back to the house. Though he doesn't speak and has different colored fur, this dog bears a heavy resemblance to Spike, one of Tom's main rivals from the original shorts.
- While walking through the city, Tom tries to eat at (and is swiftly kicked out of) a restaurant named Bill and Joe's.
- Never Trust a Trailer: In the rare Teaser, Tom scares Jerry saying "Boo!", leading the both of them to scream as the camera zooms into Tom's mouth. As you can tell, this gives no significance to what happens in the actual movie and there's no scene in the film itself.
- Odd Friendship: About as odd as they come, knowing the history Tom and Jerry have.
- Parental Abandonment: Two examples; Tom (and by extension, Jerry) is accidentally left behind by his owners when they move away, and they apparently don't go back to find him even after their house is demolished. In the main plot, Robyn's father is off on an expedition for most of the film, leaving her in Figg's care, but he quickly returns after learning that his daughter is in danger.
- Photo Op with the Dog: Literally! Dr. Applecheek has multiple framed photos of himself smiling with dogs and other pets around him. These help him maintain his image as a benevolent pet sanctuary owner, when in reality he kidnaps and ransoms pets.
- Police Are Useless: The cop who returns Robyn to Aunt Figg remains oblivious to the many signs that all is not right in that house, and never even questions why Robyn ran away in the first place.
- Pounds Are Animal Prisons: Dr. Applecheek's 'animal shelter' is more like a jail.
- Reactive Continuous Scream: The teaser trailer features Tom and Jerry screaming at each other after Tom startles Jerry by popping his head into a mouse hole.
- In the film itself, we have a brief one between Robyn and Captain Kiddie's puppet Squawk when she sees it for the first time.
- The Runaway: Robyn, when Tom and Jerry meet her. She's running away because she's sure that her Aunt Figg wants to use her as a bargaining chip to get money from Robyn's father. And as a cut to Figg reveals through Figg's heartless scheming, Robyn is absolutely right.
- Say My Name: Robyn cries out, "Tom! Jerry!" a lot throughout this movie.
- Shout-Out: Figg and Lickboot's money song also makes a shout out to Citizen Kane of all movies.
- The Smurfette Principle: Tom's owner, Robyn and Aunt Figg are the only female characters in the movie. Everyone else is male.
- Social Services Does Not Exist: When Robyn returns to Figg's residence, Figg doesn't need to face any inquiry for a child in her care running away. It's never indicated that Robyn gave a statement to the policeman that brings her back, or if he even asked her why she ran away in the first place. He just takes her to the house that she was previously physically struggling to stay away from without any concern for her safety there.
- Ship Tease: The money song features Lickboot and Figg dancing together and ends with them leaning in for a kiss.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Poor Tom and Jerry. Every single other character steals the movie from them. Special mention goes to Robyn for taking over as the main character of the movie and the dog on the skateboard, who steals most of their slapstick.
- Status Quo Is God: After settling down in their new home in the epilogue, Tom leaves a trap inside Jerry's mouse hole, but Jerry moves it back out and gets Tom's tail trapped in it. The film then ends with their Friendly Rivalry reignited, as Tom chases Jerry around the house just like the good old days.
- Stupid Evil: Figg's cruelty towards Robyn is what drives the girl to keep running away from home. Despite Figg singing about how much she loves money and Lickboot repeatedly explaining that they need to keep Robyn with them, the woman does nothing to reign back her abusive attitude towards what is essentially her key to a vast fortune. Likewise, Figg and Lickboot spend the first half of the film hoping that Robyn's dad really is dead. Once she runs away again and they are forced to admit that Mr. Starling's alive and coming back for his daughter, they have to scramble to find Robyn and get ready to answer for a lot.
- Suddenly Speaking: The title duo, best known for being icons of voiceless slapstick comedy, are much chattier here than they were in their shorts. Previously, the few lines that they did have (mostly as a result of Early-Installment Weirdness) were done as throwaway gags, and they did not have conversations with each other. When Tom asked why, Jerry makes the excuse that they had no reason to talk until now.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: While Spike the bulldog makes no appearance, an unnamed, non-speaking bulldog with a similar designs fulfils his role of chasing Tom as in the original cartoons.
- Talking Animal: In a Zigzagged example, Robyn is the only human who converses with Tom and Jerry. Since they don't talk directly to other humans, Robyn may be the only one who understands them.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: As demonstrated in the page quote, one of the first things that Tom says to Jerry is how angry the latter makes him feel.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Robyn may dress in a t-shirt and jeans and have no problem going out to look for her father, her prized possession is her mother's locket.
- Treated Worse than the Pet: After Robyn's father disappeared in an expedition to Tibet, her guardian, Figg, insisted on calling her "orphan", tossed her medallion through the window, forced her to sleep in the attic and gave Robyn's room to her dog, Ferdinand. The dog, on his turn, is so obese that he has to move around on a skateboard.
- 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. And, aside from one instance of a scream, the last scene taking place in their new home.
- Wham Line: In-universe, when Tom and Jerry first speak.Puggsy: The name is Puggsy. What's yours?Tom: I'm Tom.Jerry: I'm Jerry.*Beat*Both: YOU TALKED!
- 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 or at any other point during the adventure.
- After Figg and Lickboot botch their escape and collide into the other villains, none of them are seen again, nor what becomes of them after Robyn's father returns.
- Wolverine Publicity: It seems like Tom and Jerry were pretty much thrown in as an afterthought just to make people interested in seeing it.
We've got to have...MONEY.