Jamie and Patrick use their Bad Movie Twins power to sense the Obsidian Dongle. It rises from the roiling sea of dongles and floats towards them as that piece of shit hack Manfred Long scrambles after it howling in rage. But he’s too slow and Jamie and Patrick grab the Dongle and point it at Manfred, now quivering in fear of their power. Kyle places a hand on their shoulder. “You don’t have to do this,” he says. Rachel and Lindsey Appleton rush in and also tell them to stop. “We can all protect the Dongle together, don’t use its power for evil,” they say. Patrick and Jamie look at each other and then back at them, “show us,” they say. With that Kyle shows them how with their intricate plot they were able to successfully get his brother approved for RT review status. With a click of a button the new Rich & Poe film goes to exactly 40%. Jamie and Patrick smile. Rich and Poe live another day. But they’re not done. Lindsey shows them how with her hardscrabble reporting she’s able to take the buzz from the SexyMannequinTimes.com review and blow out the RT score from 40% to 46%. “They aren’t just safe today, they’re safe forever,” she says. But Rachel’s not finished as she delivers piping hot soft pretzels for everyone. “Friendship,” she says and Jamie and Patrick nod in appreciation of the value she brings to the team. Jamie and Patrick grasp hands and instead of destroying Manfred they use the Dongle to create a perfect job for him. “Congratulations, Manfred,” they say, “or should we say, the writer of the new Tom & Jerry adaptation.” Manfred wipes his eyes. “Thank you, I won’t let you down. I’ll make a much better adaptation than last one.” That’s right! We’re watching Tom & Jerry from this very year. There have been some hits in a very weird year for film and this was one of them. But fortunately for us it was not a critical hit. As we head into this cycle we should be clear that it won’t all be from this year, but like last year a mix of current films and films celebrating some anniversary. Just not enough qualifying wide releases to make a full cycle unfortunately. Let’s go!
Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021) – BMeTric: 52.2; Notability: 59
StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.4%; Notability: top 0.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 18.1%; Higher BMeT: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Thunder Force, He’s All That, Cosmic Sin, Deadly Illusions, Music, Awake, The Kissing Booth 3, The Misfits, Spiral: From the Book of Saw, Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Higher Notability: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Lower RT: Out of Death, Rogue Hostage, The Devil Below, Cosmic Sin, Vanquish, Separation, Music, Midnight in the Switchgrass, After We Fell, Breaking News in Yuba County, Axis Sally, Deadly Illusions, Infinite, Die in a Gunfight, Zone 414, The Virtuoso, The Misfits, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin, Sweet Girl, The Starling, and 19 more; Notes: Obviously for 2021 this is right up there. Impressive notability at least. Less impressive that it is definitely a dumb kids’ film, ugh.
RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – Aggressively mediocre, the updated version of “Tom & Jerry” that premieres in theaters and on HBO Max today is a depressing affair, a film that reminds one of similarly hollow uses of beloved properties like “Yogi Bear” and “The Smurfs.” Although at least those knew to focus on their timeless characters. “Tom & Jerry” barely understands the physical comedy that made the cat and mouse first-round entries in the animated Hall of Fame, focusing instead on a celebrity wedding at a fancy New York hotel and the people who work there. A few sequences of classic T&J comedy aren’t nearly enough to make up for the dull plotting and flat characters in this soulless product, one that will fail equally for adults who grew up on Tom and Jerry, and their kids who have never heard of these characters.
(Wow. Aggressively mediocre is everything one would fear about a film like this. Truly we are in the worst timeline. And yeah, the film apparently it basically not about Tom & Jerry? Bizarre choice. But you know us, we love dem B-plots.)
Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP9TfCWaQT4
(Yup, that looks aggressively dumb. I very much don’t look forward to the Now That’s What I Call Music soundtrack as well. Maybe Moretz is good? Funny that the wedding itself barely is mentioned in the trailer.)
Directors – Tim Story – ( Known For: Think Like a Man; Barbershop; Hurricane Season; Future BMT: Fantastic Four; Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Think Like a Man Too; BMT: Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Ride Along; Ride Along 2; Shaft; Taxi; Notes: Was a rapper on Ice-T’s record label, Rhyme Syndicate. Has a twin sister.)
Writers – William Hanna and Joseph Barbera – ( Known For: Scoob!; Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo!; Scooby-Doo & Batman: The Brave and the Bold; The Man Called Flintstone; Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear; Top Cat Begins; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; Tom and Jerry: The Movie; Yogi Bear; BMT: Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Notes: They have slightly different credits, but whatever. They are the titular Hanna and Barbera, pioneers in animation in the 50s and 60s. As is evident, they are responsible for Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, and Scooby-Doo among others.)
Kevin Costello – ( Known For: Brigsby Bear; BMT: Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Notes: Not much info available for him, but he’s also tapped for an upcoming Looney Tunes film, so I have to imagine he’s the main writer for an attempt as finding a place for the Looney Tunes characters in the modern media landscape.)
Actors – Chloë Grace Moretz – ( Known For: The Addams Family; Suspiria; Let Me In; The Equalizer; Carrie; Shadow in the Cloud; Kick-Ass; Diary of a Wimpy Kid; 500 Days of Summer; Hugo; Bolt; Say When; Bad Neighbours 2; Dark Places; Greta; The Miseducation of Cameron Post; Muppets Most Wanted; Brain on Fire; Snow White and the Red Shoes; The Tale of the Princess Kaguya; Future BMT: The Addams Family 2; Dark Shadows; The Amityville Horror; Kick-Ass 2; If I Stay; The Eye; BMT: Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Movie 43; The 5th Wave; Big Momma’s House 2; Notes: A kid actor in things like Big Momma’s House 2 back in the day, she’s still going strong as a leading lady. Apparently there was a Moretz hosiery fortune which her family came into around 2010 worth $350 million.)
Michael Peña – ( Known For: Fury; The Martian; Ant-Man; American Hustle; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Crash; Million Dollar Baby; Shooter; The Lincoln Lawyer; The Mule; Dora and the Lost City of Gold; End of Watch; 12 Strong; Extinction; Babel; A Wrinkle in Time; Turbo; Tower Heist; Observe and Report; My Little Pony; Future BMT: Vacation; Collateral Beauty; Jexi; Lions for Lambs; BMT: Tom & Jerry: The Movie; CHIPS; Fantasy Island; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Gangster Squad; Battle: Los Angeles; Notes: Was a drummer in the band Nico Vega in Los Angeles in the mid-2000s.)
Colin Jost – ( Known For: Coming 2 America; How to Be Single; Staten Island Summer; BMT: Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Notes: Host of Weekend Update on SNL, the co-head writer for the show, and married to Scarlett Johansson. So I have no qualms saying he is apparently terrible in this film.)
Budget/Gross – $79 million / Domestic: $46,041,123 (Worldwide: $132,841,123)
(Not what you want, but at the same time they probably didn’t intend on releasing this during a pandemic. So while unfortunate, it maybe would have done decently in a normal time.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 31% (39/126): It isn’t the worst of the long-squabbling duo’s feature-length adventures, but Tom & Jerry is disappointingly short on the anarchic spirit of their classic shorts.
(This is way way higher than I expected. But wait … what as the worst of the long-squabbling duo’s feature-length adventures?)
Reviewer Highlight: Tom And Jerry can’t even let the cat and mouse escape from such bogus, contemporary studio-film standards… – Erik Adams, AV Club
Poster – Thomas & Jerome: Origins
(Far too much going on for my puny brain to comprehend. I guess those youngsters with their smartphones and tiktoks and whatnot can make sense of this garbage poster. OK font I guess. D+)
Tagline(s) – Best of Enemies. Worst of Friends. (C-)
(I would have made the tagline They’re Animals and then chuckled to myself for hours until I saw some blog that no one reads gave the tagline a C- and I’m like ‘what… can’t you tell I was being ironic, bro?’ and then I’d sue for slander. I’m not sure I understand this tagline and I don’t think they are being ironic. Right idea, but just not good as it’s nonsense.)
Keyword(s) – cat, mouse
Top 10: Spectre (2015), Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Coraline (2009), The Witches (2020), Jeepers Creepers (2001), Cinderella (2015), Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Witches (1990), Sing (2016), The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)
Future BMT: 76.8 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009), 61.0 G-Force (2009), 59.1 Corky Romano (2001), 45.4 Yours, Mine & Ours (2005), 37.4 Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992), 33.4 The Getaway (1994), 32.1 A Simple Wish (1997), 21.4 Rock-A-Doodle (1991)
BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021), Garfield (2004), The Specialist (1994)
Matches: Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021), Stuart Little (1999), The Secret of N-I-M-H (1982), Garfield (2004), The Specialist (1994), An American Tail (1986), An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991), Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992)
(Kind of amazing that we already watched all of the 2021 adventures. Those matches are awesome. Although … I can’t necessarily remember the mouse in The Specialist. The cat for sure. The mouse is tougher to recall.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Michael Peña is No. 2 billed in Tom & Jerry: The Movie and No. 1 billed in Fantasy Island, which also stars Michael Rooker (No. 8 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 4 billed) => (2 + 1) + (8 + 4) = 15. If we were to watch The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 14.
Notes – The film features archive recordings of William Hanna, who did all of the original screeches, yells, gasps, shrieks, howls, and screams for Tom and Jerry heard in the original cartoons from 1942 to 1957. It’s the same technique used previously in Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (2015), where all the Snoopy’s screeches, yells, gasps, shrieks, howls, and screams were the made by Bill Melendez in the original cartoons from 1965 to 2000 (including movies, TV series and TV specials).
This is the first Tom and Jerry theatrical film to be made without the original creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera who died in 2001 and 2006, respectively.
The film is dedicated to veteran animator Gene Deitch (1924 – 2020), who worked on several “Tom & Jerry” features in his career.
When Jerry is in his bathtub he is reading a book or magazine titled Secret Squirrel. Secret Squirrel was Hanna-Barbera cartoon that ran from 1965-66 featuring a James Bond-esque adventures.
The film contains gags from previous “Tom & Jerry” cartoons: the gag of Jerry socking Tom in the eye comes from Mouse Trouble (1944)the gag with the fishing line comes from Cat Fishin’ (1947)Tom playing a piano comes from The Zoot Cat (1944).
Not counting the shorts, this is the second Tom and Jerry movie to be theatrical, after Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992), as well as the first one to be live-action and animated.
Director Tim Story cites the live-action-animation hybrid film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) as an influence on the film’s VFX.
All of the animal characters in the movie, including those in the background, are animated.
This is the first live action animated Warner Brothers film to be based on a Hanna-Barbera cartoon since Yogi Bear (2010) 11 years prior.
Chloë Grace Moretz cited the performances of Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, Lucille Ball, and Meg Ryan as an influence on her role as Kayla. Moretz described Kayla as “a lot like Jerry” and as “a girl who gunned for what she wanted to achieve but realizes that time and honesty is what will prevail in the end”, as well as “a total goofball”, the latter aspect which allowed Moretz to “lean into who she is in real life”. She also said Kayla is “a little unlikeable with some of the decisions she makes”, yet she still wanted the character to feel relatable.