Tom and Jerry: The Movie

Tom and Jerry: The Movie is a 1992 American animated musical comedy film based on the characters Tom and Jerry. 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 as Tom, Dana Hill (in her final film role) as Jerry, Anndi McAfee as Robyn Starling, Tony Jay as Lickboot, Rip Taylor as Captain Kiddie, Henry Gibson as Dr. Applecheek, Michael Bell, Ed Gilbert, David L. Lander, Howard Morris as Squawk, and Charlotte Rae as Aunt Pristine Figg.

Tom and Jerry: The Movie
Tom and Jerry - The Movie Poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPhil Roman
Produced byPhil Roman
Screenplay byDennis Marks
Based on
Starring
Music byHenry Mancini
Edited byTim J. Borquez
Timothy Mertens
Production
company
Distributed byMiramax Films
Release date
  • 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]

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 Productions and co-creator of Tom and Jerry, served as creative consultant for the film.[2] The film tells the story about Tom and Jerry, who become homeless after their home is wrecked, to which they put their differences aside in order to help a little girl to escape from her evil abusive child-hating guardian 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. The film received negative reviews from critics and was a box office bomb, earning $3.6 million on a $3.5 million budget.

PlotEdit

Tom's owners are moving to a new house, but he is distracted by his pursuit of Jerry and is left behind by the moving van. Tom chases the van, but is scared away by a bulldog and is forced to stay in the house. The next morning, the house is demolished, leaving both Tom and Jerry homeless. The pair wander the streets until they meet a stray dog named Puggsy and his flea companion, Frankie. Through introducing themselves, Tom and Jerry discover that they can speak, and they are persuaded to befriend each other to ensure their survival. While Tom and Jerry are sidetracked searching for food, Puggsy and Frankie are captured by dogcatchers. Tom is apprehended by a group of hostile alley cats, until Jerry traps them in the sewer. While walking, Tom and Jerry meet Robyn Starling, a runaway girl whose mother died when she was a baby and her father apparently died in an avalanche during an expedition in Tibet. Robyn and her family's fortune are in the custody of her greedy guardian Pristine Figg and her lawyer Lickboot, who see Robyn only as a means to keeping their obtained wealth. A local policeman brings Robyn home along with Tom and Jerry.

Figg reluctantly allows Tom and Jerry to stay. However, after a food fight between Tom, Jerry and Figg's obese dog Ferdinand, Figg suggests taking them to a kind man named Dr. Applecheeck who loves animals, which Robyn thinks about. Jerry overhears Figg and Lickboot discussing a telegram that reveals that Robyn's father is alive and running his company in Tibet. Jerry tells Tom about this and they attempt to tell Robyn about it, but Figg locks Robyn in her room and takes Tom and Jerry to Dr. Applecheeck, who is revealed to be a cruel animal kidnapper and the employer of the dogcatchers who captured Puggsy and Frankie. Tom and Jerry reunite with Puggsy and Frankie, who suggest using a nearby control panel to open the cages. Tom and Jerry free the captured animals and return to Robyn's home to inform her 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 end up separated. Meanwhile, in Tibet, Daddy Starling, father of Robyn, is aware of Robyn's situation, and decides to leave Tibet for America.

The next day, Figg and Lickboot decide to put a $1 million bounty on Robyn to anyone who can find her, with no promise on paying. Robyn is found and hosted by amusement park manager Captain Kiddie and his first mate Squawk, a parrot puppet. Kiddie is initially friendly with Robyn until he sees Figg's bounty on a milk carton. He traps Robyn on a Ferris wheel and contacts Figg, who leaves with Lickboot and Ferdinand while Applecheeck and the dogcatchers try to beat them there in order to collect the bounty. Tom and Jerry find and free Robyn and trap the dogcatchers on the Ferris wheel right when Figg and Lickboot arrive. They escape in a paddle steamer while Figg, Lickboot, Kiddie and Applecheeck give chase. In the ensuing chase, Applecheeck falls from a bridge and sinks Kiddie's dinghy, while Figg and Lickboot head to the "Robyn's Nest" – a small cabin where Robyn and her father spent their holidays – predicting she will be there.

Tom, Jerry and Robyn arrive at the cabin, but Robyn is apprehended by Figg and Lickboot, who lock Tom and Jerry outside with Ferdinand. During a tussle, an oil lamp is knocked over and starts a fire. While Figg and Lickboot attempt to escape, Tom and Jerry manage to get Robyn safely on the roof. Figg and Lickboot manage to vacate the cabin, but stumble on Ferdinand's skateboard and crash onto the paddle steamer, which sails out of control and sends them away. Robyn's father arrives by helicopter and rescues her, but fail to rescue Tom and Jerry right before the cabin collapses, and they barely survive. Robyn's father promises to never leave her alone again and Tom and Jerry's heroics make the paper. The pair begin a new life in Robyn's luxurious villa and return to their old habits.

Voice castEdit

ProductionEdit

There were 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 has 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, wanted to make a Tom and Jerry movie but later pulled out on the idea due to not finding a suitable script to work with.

Another attempt was made 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 it was going to feature Dustin Hoffman and Chevy Chase as the duo, but sometime later, the idea was shelved.

Then when the late 1980s came, Phil Roman and the company 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, and he always loved the animated cat and mouse duo cartoons. This gave the opportunity of making it the first theatrical animated film for Film Roman studios and his first (and only) directorial role for a theatrical animated film 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 repetitive 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.[3] 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 moving forward on the situations for the story.[4]

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.

For Tom and Jerry: The Movie, they used key frames, an old technique having been used in Hyperion´s films The Brave Little Toaster and Rover Dangerfield, and Disney's The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Oliver & Company, The Little Mermaid, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp and The Rescuers Down Under.

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 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.

MusicEdit

Musical numbersEdit

  1. "Friends to the End" – Pugsy, Frankie, Tom, Jerry
  2. "What Do We Care? (The Alley Cats' Song)" – The Alley Cats
  3. "Money Is Such a Beautiful Word" – Aunt Figg, Lickboot
  4. "God's Little Creatures" – Dr. Applecheek
  5. "I Miss You (Robyn's Song)" – Robyn
  6. "I've Done It All" – Captain Kiddie, Squawk
  7. "Finale (Friends to the End)"
  8. "I Miss You" (End Title) – Stephanie Mills
  9. "All in How Much We Give" – Stephanie Mills

SoundtrackEdit

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 Records (1993)
Geffen Records (2005)
ProducerHenry Mancini
Leslie Bricusse

A soundtrack album was released by MCA Records in 1993 (re-released by Geffen Records in 2005) and included both the songs (music written by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse) and score from the film, composed by Henry Mancini.[5] The end credits pop song All in How Much We Give was written by Jody Davidson.

All tracks are written by Henry Mancini.

No.TitleLength
1."All in How Much We Give" (Stephanie Mills) 
2."Friends to the End" (Ed Gilbert, David Lander, Richard Kind, Dana Hill) 
3."What Do We Care? (The Alley Cats' song)" (Raymond McLeod, Michael D. Moore, Scott Wojahn) 
4."God's Little Creatures" (Henry Gibson) 
5."(Money is Such) A Beautiful Word" (Charlotte Rae, Tony Jay) 
6."I Miss You (Robyn's Song)" (Anndi McAfee) 
7."I've Done It All" (Rip Taylor, Howard Morris) 
8."Theme from Tom and Jerry (Main title)" 
9."Homeless" 
10."We Meet Robyn" 
11."Food Fight Polka" 
12."Meet Dr. Applecheek" 
13."Chase" 
14."Escape from the Fire" 
15."Finale (Friends to the End)" 
16."Tom and Jerry Theme (Pop Version)" 

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 14% approval rating based on 14 reviews.[6]

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."[7] Charles Solomon of the Los Angeles Times panned the film's songs and Phil Roman's direction.[8] 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".[9]

Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert awarded the film "Two Thumbs Down" on their show Siskel & Ebert. Although they praised the animation, look and the truthful art design of the animated shorts, they neither thought that it was a good idea to give dialogue to the two characters, giving lack of more slapstick action from past cartoons and that the story was silly, even considering that the character of Robyn Starling takes most of the attention than the cat and mouse themselves.[10] Conversely, Vincent Canby of The New York Times was more positive in his review by praising Mancini's score and the musical numbers, to which he later went on to say that "[the characters of] Tom and Jerry have charm."[11]

Box officeEdit

Tom and Jerry: The Movie opened 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, making it financially unsuccessful.[1][12]

Video gamesEdit

Home mediaEdit

The film was released on VHS and LaserDisc on October 26, 1993 by Family Home Entertainment.[18] 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[19] by Warner Home Video although despite receiving a UK VHS release from First Independent Films, no Region 2 DVD release is as of yet currently available.[20] The film has been digitally remastered in widescreen on HBO Max, as of July 1, 2020.[21]

ReferencesEdit

  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. ^ https://www.scripts.com/script/tom_and_jerry%3A_the_movie_1374
  4. ^ http://tuckerstoryboards007.blogspot.com/2014/02/tom-jerry-movie-unseen-opening-sequence.html
  5. ^ "Tom and Jerry: The Movie [Original Soundtrack] - Henry Mancini - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  6. ^ "Tom and Jerry – The Movie". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  7. ^ McBride, Joseph (1992-10-02). "Tom and Jerry: The Movie". Variety. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Hinson, Hal (1993-07-30). "Tom and Jerry". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  10. ^ AtTheMoviesFan1. "Siskel & Ebert: Tom and Jerry: The Movie (Year 1993)". Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ August/September 1993 (PDF). United States: Sega Visions. 1993. p. 104. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Google Groups". groups.google.com. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Tom and Jerry: Frantic Antics (Game)". Giant Bomb. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  16. ^ January 1994 (PDF). United States: GamePro. 199x. p. 64. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Google Groups". groups.google.com. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  18. ^ "Tom and Jerry the Movie [VHS] (1993)". amazon.com. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  19. ^ "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.
  20. ^ "Tom and Jerry – The Movie (1992)". amazon.com. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  21. ^ Williams, Janice (28 June 2020). "What's coming to HBO Max in July 2020? Full list of releases". Newsweek. Retrieved 15 August 2020.

SourcesEdit

External linksEdit