Tom and Jerry: The Movie
Tom and Jerry - The Movie Poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPhil Roman
Written byDennis Marks
Based onTom and Jerry
by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
Produced byPhil Roman
Starring
Edited byTim J. Borquez
Timothy Mertens
Music byHenry Mancini
Production
companies
Distributed byMiramax Films (United States)
Turner Pictures Worldwide Distribution (International)
Release dates
  • October 1, 1992 (1992-10-01) (Germany)
  • July 30, 1993 (1993-07-30) (United States)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$3.5 million
Box office$3.6 million[1]

Tom and Jerry: The Movie is a 1992 American animated musical comedy film based on the characters Tom and Jerry created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Produced and directed by Phil Roman from a screenplay by Dennis Marks (who also scripted some episodes of Tom & Jerry Kids at the time), the film stars the voices of Richard Kind, Dana Hill (in her final film role), Anndi McAfee, Tony Jay, Rip Taylor, Henry Gibson, Michael Bell, Ed Gilbert, David L. Lander, Howard Morris and Charlotte Rae.

It is the first theatrical feature-length animated film featuring the cat-and-mouse pair[2] as well as their return to the big screen after 25 years. Although largely mute in the original cartoons, the duo speaks throughout this film. Joseph Barbera, co-founder of Hanna-Barbera and co-creator of Tom and Jerry, served as creative consultant for the film.[2] The film tells the story about a little girl named Robyn Starling, who enlists Tom and Jerry's help to escape from her evil abusive aunt and reunite with her lost and presumed-dead father.

After having its world premiere in Germany on October 1, 1992, Tom and Jerry: The Movie was released theatrically in the United States on July 30, 1993, by Miramax Films. As the film only grossed $3.6 million on a $3.5 million budget, it underperformed at the box office, and was panned by critics, audiences, and fans of the franchise, for its screenplay, direction, and unfaithfulness to the source material (particularly on the lack of focus and the dialogue given to the duo, despite of occasionally talking in the original cartoons), while the animation style, voice acting, and Mancini's musical score (one of his final works) were mostly praised.[3][4]

Plot

While moving to a new house, Tom and Jerry are left behind by the moving van that Tom's owners are in. Tom chases the van, but is scared away by a bulldog and forced to stay in the house. The next morning, the old house is demolished to the ground, leaving both animals homeless and wandering around the city for shelter until they meet a stray dog named Puggsy and his flea companion, Frankie. Upon introducing themselves, Tom and Jerry, realizing they can both speak, are forced to befriend each other to survive. While Tom and Jerry search for food, Puggsy and Frankie are captured by dogcatchers, and Tom is attacked by a group of volatile singing alley cats until Jerry traps them in the sewer.

Tom and Jerry soon meet Robyn Starling, a runaway 8-year-old girl whose lost her mother as a baby and later her father supposedly in an avalanche during an expedition in Tibet. Robyn and her family's fortune as a result are currently in the custody of her guardian Aunt Pristine Figg, her lawyer Lickboot, and her obese skateboard-riding dog Ferdinand, who see Robyn only as a way to keep their obtained wealth. A local police officer brings Robyn, Tom, and Jerry home. Figg reluctantly allows Tom and Jerry to stay. However, after a food fight between Tom, Jerry, and Ferdinand, Figg suggests taking them to Dr. Applecheek, who is said to love animals. Jerry overhears Figg and Lickboot discussing a telegram confirming Robyn's father is alive and running his company in Tibet. Jerry tells Tom, and they attempt to tell Robyn, but Figg locks Robyn in her room and takes Tom and Jerry to Dr. Applecheek, who is in truth a sadistic animal kidnapper and the dogcatchers' employer. Figg had paid Applecheek to kill Tom and Jerry.

Tom and Jerry reunite with Puggsy and Frankie, who suggest using a nearby control panel to release the cages, freeing numerous captured animals. As Tom and Jerry inform Robyn of her father's survival, Tom, Jerry and Robyn set out to find Robyn's father on a raft, but the raft is suddenly struck by a ship and they are separated. Meanwhile, in Tibet, Robyn's father becomes aware of his daughter's problems and flies back to America to reconcile with her.

The next day, Figg and Lickboot put a $1,000,000 bounty on Robyn to anyone who can find her, with no promise on paying. Robyn is found and detained by amusement park manager Captain Kiddie. Kiddie is initially accommodating to Robyn until he sees Figg's bounty on a milk carton, whereupon he traps Robyn on a Ferris wheel and contacts Figg, who leaves with Lickboot and Ferdinand while Applecheek and the dogcatchers try to beat them there in order to collect the bounty. Tom and Jerry find and rescue Robyn and trap the dogcatchers on the Ferris wheel just as Figg and Lickboot arrive. They escape in a paddle steamer with Figg, Lickboot, Kiddie, and Applecheek in hot pursuit. Applecheek falls from a bridge and sinks Kiddie's dinghy, while Figg and Lickboot head to "Robyn's Nest" – a small cabin where Robyn and her father spent their summers – predicting she will hide there.

Tom, Jerry and Robyn arrive at the cabin where Robyn is ambushed by Figg and Lickboot, who lock Tom and Jerry outside with Ferdinand. During an altercation, an oil lamp is cracked open and starts a fire that engulfs the cabin. As Figg and Lickboot attempt to escape, Tom and Jerry get Robyn to refuge on the roof. Figg and Lickboot escape the cabin but trip on Ferdinand's skateboard and crash onto the paddle steamer, which sails out of control down the river. Robyn's father then arrives in his helicopter and saves her, but runs out of time to help Tom and Jerry as the cabin collapses, though they miraculously survive. After the rescue, Robyn's father promises to never leave her again, and Tom and Jerry's bravery make the newspaper, which is read by Puggsy and Frankie, who are proud of Tom and Jerry for learning how to be friends. Sometime later, the cat and mouse begin a new life in Robyn's luxurious villa and briefly reignite their never-ending conflict one last time.

Voice cast

Production

Development

There were numerous attempts to make a Tom and Jerry feature film, mainly in the 1970s after the successful reruns of the original cartoons and the airings of the new TV animated versions (although there have been debatable possibilities of making attempts in the golden age of cartoons). Chuck Jones, who previously worked on his take on the characters in his studio MGM Animation/Visual Arts, wanted to make a Tom and Jerry film but later pulled the plug on the idea due to not finding a suitable script to work with.

Among of the attempts (with Jones involved) was when MGM wanted to make the feature in live-action with David Newman (one of the writers who wrote Bonnie and Clyde) to write the screenplay and for Dustin Hoffman and Chevy Chase to star as the duo, but sometime later, the idea was shelved.[5]

In the late 1980s, Phil Roman and his company Film Roman managed to revive the attempts of making an animated film featuring the duo after his experience in directing the animated specials featuring another popular cartoon cat Garfield, as well as his love for the original Tom and Jerry cartoons. This gave the opportunity of making it the first theatrical animated film for Film Roman and his second directorial role for a theatrical animated film since Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown, though in this case as an individual director after directing the TV movie Garfield: His 9 Lives, with Joseph Barbera aboard as a consultant. One of the rare options the crew decided to take is going in a different direction and something new on the portrayal of the duo by giving them fluent dialogue, because they considered that most of the audience would feel bored or uninterested in the repetitively mute aspect.

In the early development of the script by Dennis Marks, some of its dialogue and actions in other scenes, including the main characters talking throughout at the beginning before encountering Puggsy and Frankie, had to be taken out. Originally, a comedic sequence before the further events of the duo talking was drafted as a prologue and homage to the original cartoons before the credits, but it was later decided to drop the idea and partially replaced by the animated slapstick scenes during the credits for the sake of moving forward on the situations for the story.[6]

Animation

Animators on Tom and Jerry: The Movie include Eric Thomas, Art Roman, Doug Frankel, Tony Fucile, Steven E. Gordon, Leslie Gorin, Dan Haskett, Brian Robert Hogan, Gabi Payn, Irven Spence and Arnie Wong. Some animation was outsourced to Wang Film Productions in Taiwan, where James Miko and Aundre Knutson served as supervising directors. Additional animation was provided by The Baer Animation Company and Creative Capers Cartoons. The computer animation for the vehicles was provided by Kroyer Films.

Music

Tom and Jerry: The Movie – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedJuly 20, 1993
December 11, 2005 (reissued)
Recorded1991
GenreFilm soundtrack
LabelMCA MCAC/MCAD-10721
EMI (France)
Music Marketing ApS (Denmark)
ProducerHenry Mancini
Leslie Bricusse

During production, after witnessing the successful start of Disney's musical Renaissance, the crew decided to make the film a musical and hired Oscar-winning composers Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse to write the musical numbers after working in another musical film together titled Victor/Victoria, with a touch of melodic structure reminiscent to the classic golden age of movie musicals, especially the ones from MGM like The Wizard of Oz and Singin' in the Rain, and with help from music students at Roger Williams University. Original songs performed in the film include "Friends to the End", "What Do We Care? (The Alley Cats' Song)", "(Money is Such) A Beautiful Word", "God's Little Creatures", "I Miss You (Robyn's Song)", "I've Done It All", and "All in How Much We Give".

A soundtrack album was released by MCA Records in 1993 and included both the songs and score from the film, composed by Henry Mancini.[7] The end credits song "All in How Much We Give" was written by Jody Davidson.

Songs

Original songs performed in the film include:

No.TitlePerformer(s)Length
1."Friends to the End"Richard Kind, Dana Hill, Ed Gilbert & David Lander 
2."What Do We Care? (The Alley Cats' Song)"Raymond McLeod, Michael D. Moore & Scott Wojahn 
3."God's Little Creatures"Henry Gibson 
4."(Money is Such) A Beautiful Word"Charlotte Rae & Tony Jay 
5."I Miss You (Robyn's Song)"Anndi McAfee 
6."I've Done It All"Rip Taylor & Howard Morris 
7."All in How Much We Give"Stephanie Mills 

Reception

Critical response

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 14% approval rating based on 14 reviews, with an average score of 3.4/10.[8]

Joseph McBride of Variety gave the film a negative review, saying that "Tom and Jerry Talk won't go down in film history as a slogan to rival Garbo Talks."[9] Charles Solomon of the Los Angeles Times panned the film's songs and Phil Roman's direction.[10] Hal Hinson of The Washington Post criticized the dialogue between the cat and mouse and said that the voices "don't fit the characters". Hinson also complained that the musical numbers are "as forgettable as they are intolerably bouncy and upbeat".[11]

Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert awarded the film thumbs down ratings on their show Siskel & Ebert. Although they praised the animation style for its faithfulness to the theatrical shorts, neither thought that it was a good idea to give dialogue to the two characters. Additionally, they felt that the film suffered from a lack of slapstick action compared to the shorts, and criticized the story for giving the character of Robyn Starling more screen time than the titular characters.[12] Vincent Canby of The New York Times was more positive in his review; he praised Mancini's score and the musical numbers, and felt that "[the characters of] Tom and Jerry have charm."[13]

Box office

Tom and Jerry: The Movie released theatrically on July 30, 1993 in the United States and Canada alongside Rising Sun, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and So I Married an Axe Murderer.[1] Ranking number fourteen at the North American box office, the film grossed $3,560,469 worldwide.[1][14]

Video games

Home media

The film was released on VHS and LaserDisc on October 26, 1993 by Family Home Entertainment.[20] The VHS release of the film was reissued on March 2, 1999 and was released on DVD on March 26, 2002 in United States and on September 26, 2008 in Germany[21] by Warner Home Video. Despite receiving a UK VHS release from First Independent Films, no UK Region 2 DVD release is as of yet currently available. However, UK buyers can import the French, German, Dutch, or South African copies, as they are Region 2, and play in English.[22] The film became available on HBO Max in a digitally-remastered widescreen format on July 1, 2020.[23]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Tom and Jerry: The Movie". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  2. ^ a b Barbera, Joseph (1994). My Life in 'Toons: From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century. Atlanta, GA: Turner Publishing. pp. 234–239. ISBN 1-57036-042-1. OCLC 30032166.
  3. ^ "Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992) | Steve Pulaski". 16 May 2021.
  4. ^ Canby, Vincent (30 July 1993). "Review/Film; About a Cat and Mouse Who Make Sweet Music". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Tom and Jerry (Live-Action Screenplay, 1979)". June 1979.
  6. ^ "Keith Tucker's Tom & Jerry Storyboards: Tom & Jerry the Movie-Unseen Opening Sequence!". 16 February 2014.
  7. ^ "Tom and Jerry: The Movie [Original Soundtrack] - Henry Mancini - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  8. ^ "Tom and Jerry – The Movie". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  9. ^ McBride, Joseph (1992-10-02). "Tom and Jerry: The Movie". Variety. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  10. ^ Solomon, Charles (1993-07-30). "MOVIE REVIEW: 'Tom and Jerry': A Bland Cat-and-Mouse Chase: The formulaic story feels like a rerun and borrows characters from many other classics". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  11. ^ Hinson, Hal (1993-07-30). "Tom and Jerry". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  12. ^ AtTheMoviesFan1. "Siskel & Ebert: Tom and Jerry: The Movie (Year 1993)". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  13. ^ Canby, Vincent (1993-07-30). "Review/Film; About a Cat And Mouse Who Make Sweet Music". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  14. ^ Solomon, Charles (1994-01-04). "It's Tough to Stay Afloat in the Film-Cartoon Biz : Movies: Disney's hits prove that it can be done, but other firms lack marketing savvy and a competitive product, animators say". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  15. ^ August/September 1993 (PDF). United States: Sega Visions. 1993. p. 104. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Google Groups". groups.google.com. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Tom and Jerry: Frantic Antics (Game)". Giant Bomb. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  18. ^ January 1994 (PDF). United States: GamePro. 199x. p. 64. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  19. ^ "Google Groups". groups.google.com. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  20. ^ Tom and Jerry the Movie [VHS] (1993). ASIN 630291700X.
  21. ^ "Tom und Jerry - Der Film: Amazon.de: Phil Roman, Janet Hirshenson, Richard Kind, Dennis Marks, Justin Ackerman, Bill Schultz, Jane Jenkins, Hans Brockmann, Dana Hill, Roger Mussenden, Anndi McAfee, Jack Petrik, Tony Jay, Rip Taylor, Henry Gibson, Michael Bell, Don Messick, David L. Lander, Charlotte Rae, Howard Morris, Henry Mancini: Amazon.de". www.amazon.de. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Tom and Jerry – The Movie (1992)". Amazon. 26 March 2002. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  23. ^ Williams, Janice (28 June 2020). "What's coming to HBO Max in July 2020? Full list of releases". Newsweek. Retrieved 15 August 2020.

Sources