The iconic cat-and-mouse duo is returning to the big screen! A new trailer for the live-action/animation hybrid from Warner Animation Group, Tom & Jerry, has been released, giving us our first look at the rivals as you’ve never seen them before.
This modern take on the classic cartoons will pit Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse together in in the real-world, specifically in a luxurious New York City hotel. Here’s the official synopsis:
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.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Playing as the live-action hotel staff dealing with the mouse problem include Chloë Grace Moretz (The Addams Family) as Kayla the event planner, Michael Peña (The Lego Ninjago Movie) as Kayla’s boss Terrance, Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2) as hotel manager Mr. DuBros, Colin Jost (Saturday Night Live) as wedding groom Dwayne, and Ken Jeong (Scoob!) as hotel chef Jackie.
A proclaimed Tom & Jerry fan, comedy filmmaker Tim Story of Barbershop and Fantastic Four fame is directing the picture, with a script by Brigsby Bear writer Kevin Costello. Former DreamWorks Animation president Chris DeFaria is producing, while Smurfs: The Lost Village composer Christopher Lennertz is scoring the music.
Keeping to the visual spirit of the cartoons, Tom & Jerry employs innovative rigging and rendering techniques to make the computer-animated characters look and move exactly like their 2D counterparts of the MGM shorts, all thanks to the team at London VFX house Framestore. Framestore has previously provided services for numerous blockbusters, including the animation for The Tale of Despereaux, and the Oscar-winning effects of Gravity.
Ever since William Hanna and Joesph Barbera debuted the duo in 1940’s Puss Gets the Boot, Tom and Jerry became cemented as animation icons and pioneers of cartoon slapstick, along with seven of their shorts becoming Oscar-winners. The series’ success has been followed with numerous revivals, TV shows, and direct-to-DVD movies.
Tom and Jerry are no strangers to the silver screen. Alongside their theatrical shorts, they also had animated cameos in two live-action MGM movies, including 1945’s Anchors Aweigh (Jerry only), and 1953’s Dangerous When Wet. In 1992, the duo got their own theatrical animated musical titled Tom and Jerry: The Movie, one which had the fatal decision to make them speak.
Thankfully, the new live-action movie looks to be avoiding that same mistake, keeping the duo true to their speechless roots while being presented in the aforementioned faithful style. Speaking of which, the film’s 2D visual approach is a breath of fresh air, which seems to bring the “animated” back into the live-action/animated hybrid trend. This ain’t no uncanny monstrosity like in live-action Scooby-Doo or Smurfs, but rather something more akin to the classic hybrids like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Space Jam, and Looney Tunes: Back in Action. Overall, it’s a much-welcomed take on an otherwise stale craze.
Warner Bros. is currently aiming to release Tom & Jerry theatrically on March 5, 2021, although this will depend on the ongoing pandemic.
Tell us in the comments how you feel about this live-action/animated take on Tom & Jerry!
Deep down in New Zealand, Karl "Karlamon" Smith is a Kiwi who is passionate in animation, seeing it as an artistic medium that expresses vast creativity and brings unique characters and worlds to life. Whenever an animation-related fact pops up, it will more than likely be cemented in his brain for a long time. Some of his favourite animated movies include Zootopia, Balto, Bolt, Over the Hedge, The Fox and the Hound, the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, The Iron Giant, and The Prince of Egypt.
Prior to contributing to Rotoscopers, Karl has served as a bureaucrat on Ice Age Wiki, and a moderator/site builder/news reporter on Animation Source. Karl is also a Computer Science and Digital Design graduate of AUT University. That, and with his additional fascination in aviation, he hopes someday to be both an animator and a pilot (if that is even possible).