Tom & Jerry: The Movie is a fun movie that the kids of the family will truly love — but the parents might not be in the same boat.
I used to watch Tom & Jerry every Saturday morning when I was a little girl and I know that I am not alone. That is part of the reason I was so excited for this movie. Within minutes I was transported back to my childhood living room, sitting cross-legged in front of the family TV, and laughing at these cat and mouse antics that Tom & Jerry so perfectly deliver. To be able to share these two characters that I grew up watching my young daughters was the icing on the cake.
Speaking of cakes, the plot of this movie is all about a wedding. A very important couple is getting married at a fancy NYC hotel. Kayla, played by Chloe Grace Moretz, tricks her way onto the staff and ends up with the task to rid the hotel of a pesky mouse — Jerry. She hires Tom to take him out and while, antics ensue.
What Works With Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021)
Something that I said right from the trailer drop — the mixture of animation and live action just works. The animation really pops and makes sense for this movie. Sure, they could have tried to CGI a cat, mouse, dog, pigeons, etc. but the animation style makes this feel like a Tom & Jerry movie, which I loved. There are even added animation effects placed throughout the film.
This is the same Tom & Jerry that we all know and love — they didn’t change them. They still can’t talk, which they make several jokes about, and they hate each other for some instinctual reason. Their costars from their cartoons even join them — Spike and Toots. The way they are brought into the story is actually quite smart — they are the pets of the bride and groom — and it was good to see them as a part of this film.
What Doesn’t Work With Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021)
As much as I wanted to love Tom & Jerry: The Movie unconditionally, I just cannot. Yes, it brought back childhood memories, and I enjoyed sharing it with my daughters, but this script leaves a lot to be desired. I understand that this is a family movie, but plenty family films pull off being entertaining for parents and children alike. Tom & Jerry makes that quite difficult. There were moments where I found myself starting to zone out because nothing entertaining enough was going on.
Not only is is extremely slow at parts, the acting just doesn’t feel right. Some characters are way too over the top to work, and some too subtle. I have to admit I was excited about the cast list but with the exception of Chloe and Ken Jeong, they let me down. Colin Jost is too flat and monotone and Michael Pena is way too over the top time and time again. I have enjoyed them both in previous things so I was shocked at how much I didn’t like them in this movie.
Tom & Jerry is clearly for children, and my kids really enjoyed it, for the most part. They were laughing a lot and it made me really excited to show them the classic Tom & Jerry cartoons now that they know these characters. I even laughed out loud once or twice, but it wasn’t enough to save this movie for me.
This movie is not a tom and Jerry movie, despite the fact that they are in it and that the title is literally their names. It feels like a silly, cheesy live action movie and every once in a while they throw in Tom and Jerry for some laughs. This did not work. It makes the movie even more disjointed than it already is.
Another issue is that this movie felt long, live really long, and it is only one hour and forty minutes. That’s not good. This is probably part of the reason classic Tom & Jerry cartoons, and even movies, are shorter. When two of your main characters don’t talk, it can slow the movie down quite a bit. I am not sure how to fix that unless they knocked out 15 to 20 minutes. If they did that, maybe this review would be leaning a different way. But probably not.
All that being said, Tom & Jerry: The Movie is pretty much everything that I expected it to be. It brought me right back to my childhood thanks to all the silly cat and mouse antics that were going on. My daughters laughed and enjoyed themselves, and they now are excited to dive into the classic cartoons from Tom & Jerry.
While clearly made for kids, some of the jokes do land with adults as well. Not as many as I would have hoped, but there were a few. The mixture of 2D animation and live action really works — but it isn’t enough to help the script, mediocre acting, and too long runtime. Kids will enjoy it though! It could have been better, but hey, I guess it could have been worse too.
About Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021)
One of the most beloved rivalries in history is reignited when Jerry moves into New York City’s finest hotel on the eve of “the wedding of the century,” forcing the event’s desperate planner to hire Tom to get rid of him, in director Tim Story’s “Tom & Jerry.”
The ensuing cat and mouse battle threatens to destroy her career, the wedding and possibly the hotel itself. But soon, an even bigger problem arises: a diabolically ambitious staffer conspiring against all three of them.
An eye-popping blend of classic animation and live action, Tom and Jerry’s new big-screen adventure stakes new ground for the iconic characters and forces them to do the unthinkable… work together to save the day.