Tom & Jerry are back once again in the trailer for their upcoming film, which sees the duo animated and running amok alongside live-action actors at a fancy hotel. The cat-and-mouse pair truly needs no introduction, having entertained fans worldwide with their silent slapstick schtick since the 1940s. More so even than beloved oldies like the Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry boast a truly international appeal with entirely wordless comedy. More recently, we’ve seen Tom and Jerry clobber each other senseless in TV series, video games, direct-to-video films, and a 1992 movie in which the duo talked for some reason.
The 2021 film will only be the duo’s second feature-length theatrical outing. Tom and Jerry casts the cat and mouse alongside Chloë Grace Moretz and a crew of comedians, including Ken Jeong from Community, Rob Delaney, and Saturday Night Live star Colin Jost. Moretz plays Kayla, a recent hire at a fancy hotel hosting a grand wedding, who is tasked with dealing with the hotel’s mouse problem. Naturally, she enlists the help of a certain bumbling tomcat, and through circumstances yet to be revealed, cat and mouse and employee will have to team up against Kayla’s crazy boss, played by Michael Peña. Initially set for a December 23 release date this year, the film has been pushed back to March 5, 2021.
Warner Bros. shared the first official trailer for the film on YouTube. Tom and Jerry leave their rural American hometown for New York City, intending to start over. It doesn’t last long, of course. Once Kayla’s pitted the two against one another, the rest of the trailer features the cat and mouse engaged in their typical cartoony warfare. Tom takes an iron to the face as is customary in the classic cartoon. Check out the trailer below:
Warner Bros. has been itching to take another crack at a theatrical Tom and Jerry flick since 2009 when the idea was first floated of an Alvin and the Chipmunks-style movie with the cat and mouse rendered realistically alongside human beings. Since then, the market has been flooded with less-than-stellar offerings in that vein, such as the Smurfs films and Sonic the Hedgehog. Plus, more palatable films, like Detective Pikachu and the Paddington series.
Moretz stated a while back that Tom & Jerry would be unlike anything we’ve seen before, the upshot being that the cat and mouse would not be forced to adhere to real-world physics. Moretz was right; Tom & Jerry does not strive for seamless realism as in Detective Pikachu, though it doesn’t go so far as to leave the cartoon characters in their original 2D as in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
It’s certainly unlike anything we’ve seen before, but whether that’s good or bad is hard to tell from just the trailer. The half-measure of not rendering the duo realistically but leaving them as more cartoony 3D characters is a little jarring. They’re undoubtedly recognizable, which is more than could be said for the horrendous first version of Sonic. Other animal characters, including a pair of Indian elephants and a group of singing pigeons, are rendered in the same style. We haven’t seen all the film offers yet, but the trailer positions Tom & Jerry as an extended cut of the old cartoons, with the live-action elements thrown in for good measure.