Tom & Jerry, the classic cartoon created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and with its first showing in 1940, has been released in theaters. Even after so many years, the history of the famous duo has remained in the spotlight decade after decade, winning the affection of generations. This time, the spotlight is even stronger, as the audience can now follow an adventure through a film.
The work mixes animation and live-action, as has happened in other productions such as Uma Cilada Para Roger Rabbit (1988), Space Jam (1996) and, more recently, Sonic (2020). Despite the similarity in structure, in Tom & Jerry, the junction of these two worlds does not work so well. The interaction between the real and animated characters does not feel organic compared to the three examples shown. Here, there is already a first break with the slightly older audience, who tend to have a harder time immersing themselves in this world. For children, this probably won’t be a problem.
Another point regarding viewers is that the film is clearly aimed at children. It sounds like an obvious find, but it doesn’t have to be. Tom & Jerry’s drawing can easily reach an audience, at least a teenager, due to its more acidic language at different times and its subliminal messages which are only clear as the person ages, with some life experience. Not to mention the famous violence. Tom & Jerry has often been associated with politically incorrect content. In the film, the tone (with the pun’s forgiveness) is much lighter, with language easily accessible to children.
In that direction, we have the main character of the film: Kayla, played by Chloë Grace Moretz. The young actress, famous mainly for bringing Hit-Girl to life in Kick Ass, manages to support the film’s story well. The character has to prove to himself and to others that he is capable and efficient in his tasks and, when working in a hotel after stealing the CV of a highly qualified candidate, intersects his goal with classic rivalry of the duo which gives the film its name, which gives rise to all the conflicts of the work.
To compose the main plot, Michael Peña plays the role of the antagonist Terrance very well. With a strong comic book, the actor manages to have fun even in his lines which are not exactly funny. Peña makes an excellent counterpoint to Chloe and so Kayla and Terrance manage to keep the audience attentive even when Tom and Jerry are not present in the scenes. Yes, the language of the movie is light and doesn’t exactly follow the type of content in the cartoon, but it still works at different times. For kids – which is the final target of the feature – it works.
However, what unfortunately doesn’t work so well is the feature film’s soundtrack, which is one of the design’s greatest strengths. In traditional animation there is the insertion of organically captivating classic songs into the scenes, which makes for a much grander and more epic tone even if it happens in between is something mundane like a chase around. the House. In the adaptation, the track is forgettable and is no longer a bonus to moments between Tom and Jerry. Closest to this is when Tom starts playing the piano in specific situations, but not as effective and not as well inserted as in the cartoon.
The functionality aims to keep the relationship between the two main names well established. Tom and Jerry, despite all the persecution, rivalry, and history, don’t entirely hate each other. In several episodes of the cartoon, the audience can follow a fair play between them in situations which go beyond the “game” between them. In the movie, the same thing happens. Everyone can see that he can do well, even if it is not for long. To make that happen in functionality, Kayla bridges the gap between them. Even the character manages to unite the two and find that there is no blind hatred between cat and mouse.
The film sometimes flirts with pseudo-dramas, like that of a couple staying at the hotel where the story takes place and here the work loses its force, thus being the most uninteresting plot of the feature film. Fortunately, these scenes are not long and audiences can turn their attention to Tom, Jerry, Kayla, and Terrance.
With a completely unpretentious tone, Tom & Jerry: The Movie escapes some of its classic elements a bit and has language aimed at a younger audience than usual, but still manages to have fun in certain moments and has in Kayla and Terrance two good pillars to hold the job when Tom and Jerry are not on screen. The film falls short of the level of excellence of other animated and live-action works, but it is far from a bombshell.
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