For 81 years of being in the spotlight (since 1940), Tom and Jerry sure look good for their age. But they look especially great in Tom & Jerry: The Movie, a new live-action and animated feature.
I’ve always loved the look of these live-action combo animated films, ever since my childhood with films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Space Jam. It is surprising, considering Tom and Jerry’s legacy, that they are only getting the live-action treatment now. Is it too late though?
Set in modern Manhattan, nothing much has changed between the famous cat and mouse. They still fight, they still bicker, they still drive each other bonkers. However, the differences are that this time the two are causing havoc in New York City and at a prestigious hotel named the Royal Gate Hotel. Sharing the lead with the animated enemies are notable cast members, Chloë Grace Moretz who plays Kayla, a young new employee of the Royal Gate Hotel who is just trying to keep her new job, and Michael Peña as event manager of the hotel, Terence Mendoza. For those who love seeing a familiar face, funny man Ken Jeong also makes a small appearance as the hotel’s top chef.
While the plot of the film is solid and consistent, Tom & Jerry: The Movie unfortunately may be a little too serious for younger children. Not that the film is too serious per se, however, during the screening I attended, there were definitive differences in the reactions, depending on the age, of the younger audience. I believe this may be due to the unhealthy balance between the animated parts and the scenes with the live actors. There also could have been a bit more humour, however, this is a minor thing as Tom & Jerry: The Movie is still extremely family friendly and sufficiently entertaining. Just perhaps, maybe a film for the kids who are a little bit older.
For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed Tom & Jerry. Often when classics are adapted and modernised for a newer audience, sometimes there is a fear that the characters will be change and will no longer be the same, in comparison to the original content. But this is not the case with Tom & Jerry. The mischievous two are still very much the same, except they’re a lot shinier and in higher definition than ever. I personally welcome this change wholeheartedly.