'Tom and Jerry' Trailer: The Game of Cat and Mouse Comes into the Real World

Tom and Jerry are undoubtedly television’s most famous cat and mouse duo, but for all their fame on the small screen, they’ve yet to be given a a blockbuster movie on the big screen. (No, we won’t talk about the animated movie in 1993 where Tom and Jerry talked extensively, going against everything that was great about the original animated shorts). Warner Bros. Pictures hopes to change that next year with their new Tom and Jerry movie that is slated to hit theaters in 2021.

The first Tom and Jerry movie trailer has arrived, and while it showcases the classic character designs for the titular characters in a sort of 3D cel animation style, for some reason, they’re being brought into the real world with a large comedic ensemble cast to support them. It looks like exactly what you’d expect from a movie that has been stuck in development hell since first being announced in 2009.

Tom and Jerry Movie Trailer

In the Tom and Jerry movie, the cat and mouse have gone their separate ways. But when an upscale hotel gets Jerry as an unwelcome new resident, an eager young hotel employee (Chloë Grace Moretz) trying to plan a massive wedding brings in Tom to take care of the problem for them, and we’re back to the old game of cat and mouse.

Considering the animation/live-action hybrid style, Tom and Jerry feels like it’s trying to be more like Who Framed Roger Rabbit than Alvin and the Chipmunks. But the cel-shaded Tom and Jerry feel much more out of place in the real world than any of the cartoon characters did in Robert Zemeckis’ innovative mystery. Perhaps it’s because there’s no real explanation as to why the animals in this movie, which also include pigeons and elephants, are animated while everything else is live-action.

The comedy here is clearly slapstick to the max, but without the trademark screams of William Hanna behind Tom, they don’t land nearly as well. Is there any hope that they’ve brought back some of those old recordings to make this work better than it seems to in the trailer? I appreciate the efforts to bring the classic style of Tom and Jerry into live-action, but this effort looks like a real dud.

The rest of the live-action cast includes Michael Peña (Ant-Man), Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2), Colin Jost (Saturday Night Live), and Ken Jeong. They’re all directed by Tim Story, who is known for directing Taxi, Barbershop, Ride Along, and the Fantastic Four movies from the mid-2000s.

Tom and Jerry is currently slated for release on March 5, 2021, but we’ll see if Warner Bros. keeps that date or not.

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