Tom and Jerry: The Movie Movie Poster Image

Tom and Jerry: The Movie

(i)

 

Misfire with talking characters, forgettable musical score.
  • Review Date: July 22, 2014
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1992
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive messages

Promotes putting aside differences to be helpful to others: "The greatest gift in life is a friend."

Positive role models

Tom and Jerry learn that working together as a team reaps rewards. The cat-and-mouse rivalry is played only for a very short time in this film. Instead, they are striving for similar goals and, for the most part, treat each other well and are concerned for one another's well-being. A stereotypically greedy lawyer ("Lickboot") is an associate of a one-dimensional evil female guardian. The many villains all are two-faced: initially sweet, compassionate, and caring, but then transformed into mean, money-hungry, will-stop-at-nothing bad guys. 

Violence & scariness

Standard Tom and Jerry cartoon mayhem, only in this case less of it than in other movies. Characters blow up and fall and are chased, squished, squashed, hit with mallets, trapped in a house fire, stuck on a Ferris wheel, and threatened by a fang-bearing, growling dog. In some instances, characters appear to have been drowned, trampled, or exploded but turn up, alive and well, only moments later. "Stray catchers" capture and cage some animals. Villains cackle, and their faces contort with meanness.   

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Some name-calling: "stupid," "'fraidy-cat," "twit," "nitwit."

Consumerism

Part of the popular Tom and Jerry franchise.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Tom and Jerry: The Movie is a feature-length cartoon made in 1992, and it's a decided departure from the usual cat-and-mouse offerings. Tom and Jerry are in full talk mode in this movie for the first (and only) time. They spend the first few minutes fighting and outwitting one another, with the usual chases, falls, bumps, and explosions. The rest of the film is a joint effort by the beloved characters as they try to rescue and help a young orphaned heiress facing an array of cutthroat villains. Plus, hoping to establish some equity in the musical genre (perhaps in an effort to cash in on some of the Disney magic), the movie has a full score of musical production numbers composed by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse, two well-known songwriters. Though there is some of the expected cartoon mayhem (fire, an avalanche, danger on "the mean streets"), the conflict is provided by human scoundrels with evil on their minds. It appears that the film did not achieve the hoped-for success and remains the only Tom and Jerry movie of its kind. 

What's the story?

TOM AND JERRY: THE MOVIE finds the perennially fighting cat and mouse on a non-traditional adventure. Instead of the typical Tom and Jerry story line and traditional cat-and-mouse antics, the filmmakers opted for a fairy tale, a complete musical score with song-and-dance numbers, and Richard Kind and Dana Hill as the voices of Tom and Jerry. Accidentally left behind when their family moves and their beloved house is demolished, Tom and Jerry are homeless, forced to hang together to survive. When they meet Robyn Starling (Anndi McAfee), a little girl who believes she's an orphan and has run away from her scary, mean Aunt Figg (Charlotte Rae, shrill and scary), T and J find new purpose. They commit themselves to rescue Robyn and, in their efforts, face an assortment of very bad guys, all of whom will stop at nothing to get their hands on Robyn's fortune. The chase gets more intense when the villains learn that Robyn's father may not be dead after all.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Someone had a very bad idea. The cherished mystique of the almost-silent cat-and-mouse cartoon antics of Tom and Jerry is shattered here by the startling addition of the characters' voices. Whatever kids (grown-ups, too) have imagined them to sound like can't possibly be anticipated, can't possibly be duplicated, and is bound to fail. And, somehow, the guys have managed to express themselves very well without words. Coupled with a derivative, forgettable musical score (with the exception of "Friends to the End" and, perhaps, "I Miss You") and a plot that goes in several directions at the same time with so many peripheral characters you'd need index cards to keep them all straight, this is a barely passable effort. It's interesting to note that this was a one-time-only endeavor; neither the voices nor the pairing of Mancini-Bricusse with Tom and Jerry ever appeared again.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what happens when an established franchise switches gears. How was this movie different from the usual Tom and Jerry fare? Were you disappointed, or did you like the changes the filmmakers made?

  • What parts of this movie reminded you most of a fairy tale?  Who was the "princess"? Which villain was most like an evil witch or stepmother or king? What fairy tale character roles did Tom and Jerry fill?

  • "You can't tell a book by its cover" is a famous saying. How does it relate to all of the villains in this movie? Based on your answer, what does the term "hidden agenda" mean?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1992
DVD release date:March 12, 2002
Cast:Richard Kind, Dana Hill, Anndi McAfee
Director:Phil Roman
Studio:Warner Home Video
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship, Music and sing-along
Run time:84 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Tom and Jerry: The Movie was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?