Tom et Jerry

Tom et Jerry
Running time:101 minutes
Director:Tim Story
Release date:19 may 2021

Mulder's Review

Tom and Jerry remains in our collective memory as an excellent series of comic shorts created in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. With no less than 161 animated shorts, the iconic rivalry between Tom and Jerry gave birth to stories that have left their mark on the memories of many viewers during their numerous reruns. Produced by Hanna and Barbera, the 114 short films broadcast between 1940 and 1958 won no less than seven Oscars for animated short films. The great success of Tom and Jerry over the years has never diminished and numerous television series have followed The Tom and Jerry Show (1975), The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show (1980-1982), Tom & Jerry Kids (1990-1993), Tom and Jerry Tales (2006-2008) and The Tom and Jerry Show (broadcast since 2014), as well as a first animated feature film released in theatres in 1991 and more than thirteen films for the video market since 2002.

However, until now, these two iconic characters had not yet been adapted into a live-action film and it took more than eighty-one years after their creations to discover a live-action film with animated characters. Such a project is all the more difficult to create as it follows a pure masterpiece directed by Robert Zemeckis, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). This risky gamble of mixing traditional animation and real-life shots is all the more difficult since one must know how to perfectly gauge a plot with multiple twists and turns, the psychology of this extraordinary mouse and cat, and the characters played by flesh-and-blood actors. However, Tom and Jerry is a successful adaptation that allows to extend on the big screen (but also on HBO Max) the many confrontations worthy of the best Tex Avery between Tom and Jerry.

Tom and Jerry is both a reboot of these many short films but also a will to adapt in our current society two characters that everything seems to oppose but who together appreciate each other as much as they are ready to do the worst things to each other. While Jerry is looking for a new place to live and Tom is posing as a blind cat musician, their first encounter will not only be electrifying but will result in a great chase scene in Central Park. This legendary rivalry will also resurface when Jerry moves into one of New York's finest hotels on the eve of the wedding of the century, forcing the newly recruited planner Kayla (Chloe Grace Moretz) to hire Tom to get rid of him. The ensuing chaos and escalating cat-and-mouse game soon threatens to destroy her career, the wedding she has to manage and the tranquility of the hotel.

Christopher DeFaria's screenplay succeeds in providing hectic family entertainment without any false notes. The great difficulty of the script is to move from the framework of a perfectly orchestrated short film to a more substantial length without betraying the psychology of the characters while putting their new adventures in a current context. Placing the action in a hotel happens to be an excellent idea in this place is synonymous with adventure, discovery and a restful life away from the stress of our work.

The film also scores points in the sense that it does not seek or offer entertainment only for a very young audience. By highlighting strong themes such as marriage, the fact that it is possible to overcome one's personal grudges and work together gives this film all its charm. In the same way, the script avoids the big mistake of the 1992 film, which was to make them talk. Of course they communicate in their own way, but they won't say a word throughout the story (even if other sewer cats talk in two quite successful scenes).

After having directed the American remake of the movie Taxt (New York Taxi (2004)), two films devoted to the Fantastic Four (Fantastic Four) (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)), and Shatf (2019), Tim Story delivers here simply one of his best films at date and finally succeeds in making a feature film out of the universe of Tom and Jerry and for that reason alone we can only advise you to discover this film. Broadcast since this day on HBO Max in the United States at the same time as a release in American theaters, we do not know to this day when this film will be released in France ...

Tom and Jerry
Directed by Tim Story
Produced by Christopher DeFaria
Written by Kevin Costello
Based on Tom and Jerry by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Rob Delaney, Colin Jost, Ken Jeong
Music by Christopher Lennertz
Cinematography: Alan Stewart
Edited by Peter S. Elliot
Production companies: Warner Animation Group, Turner Entertainment Co, The Story Company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date: February 28, 2021 (USA)
Running time : 101 minutes

Viewed on February 26, 2021

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