TOM AND JERRY MEET SHERLOCK HOLMES
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
When a series of jewel heists start happening around London, the legendary Sherlock Holmes is brought in to find the culprit. Helping him out are Tom and Jerry, who have been ordered to keep a truce until they uncover the mystery. This 50-minute movie includes cameos by other Tom and Jerry favorites, including Droopy Dog, Tuffy, Butch and Spike.
WHAT I LIKED
There have been several times in the course of popular culture that Tom and Jerry have faltered, and I’m not just talking the bizarre Dietch years in the 60s. The characters faced some mighty fine challenges in the 80s with cheap Saturday morning cartoons, then in the 90s with a misfire theatrical animated film. However, like many elements of animation, the classic duo is experiencing a rebirth in direct-to-video product.
After shaking off the politically correct yoke of the 90s, we have returned to the slapstick nature of the characters, with plenty of cartoon violence and pratfalls. It’s not as good as the legendary Chuck Jones years or the formative Fred Quimby years, but these new Tom and Jerry flicks offer some nostalgia with the pair.
I liked the way the movie brought the classic characters together in new form. In essence, they just cast the slate of cartoon characters into the film inappropriate situations, like having Butch and Spike be security guards and Droopy be a low-key Keystone Cop.
What makes this short film work is that it actually tells a story. Tom and Jerry are along for the ride, but there’s a sense that it’s trying to tell as story and not just stretch a seven-minute cartoon premise into a short feature.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
As much as I appreciate these new animated films, I still long for the good old days of traditional cell animation and freedom from oversight groups declaring Tom and Jerry unfit for kids. Give me the politically incorrect, violent and often inappropriate situations of yesteryear, and I’m happy. Still, this new crop of films is probably as good as we’re gonna get.
The only bonus feature included on this disc is a tutorial on how to draw Tom and Jerry, which seems to be a staple of the Warner Bros. animated DVD line.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Tom and Jerry fans and kids new to the duo.