TOM AND JERRY (2021) Reviews and overview

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Tom and Jerry is a 2021 animated/live-action feature film that reveals how the titular cat and mouse first meet and form their rivalry. Promoted as Tom & Jerry

Directed by Tim Story (Shaft; Ride Along; Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Taxi) from a screenplay written by Kevin Costello (Brigsby Bear), based on the cartoon characters created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.

The movie stars Chloë Grace Moretz (The Addams Family 2; Shadow in the Cloud; Greta; Carrie 2013), Michael Peña (Fantasy Island; Extinction; Hell & Back), Rob Delaney (Hobbes & Shaw), Colin Jost, Jordan Bolger and Ken Jeong (Occupation: Rainfall; Boss Level; Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween).


“One of the most beloved rivalries in history is reignited when Jerry moves into New York City’s finest hotel on the eve of “the wedding of the century,” forcing the event’s desperate planner to hire Tom to get rid of him, in director Tim Story’s Tom and Jerry. The ensuing cat and mouse battle threatens to destroy her career, the wedding and possibly the hotel itself.

But soon, an even bigger problem arises: a diabolically ambitious staffer conspiring against all three of them. An eye-popping blend of classic animation and live-action, Tom and Jerry’s new adventure stakes new ground for the iconic characters and forces them to do the unthinkable… work together to save the day.”


“Tom and Jerry devotes a significant amount of time to the plot threads involving Kayla and the engaged couple. That yields mixed results […] Moretz displays a real gift for slapstick comedy, giving hilariously exasperated expressions and skillfully interacting with a cat and mouse who aren’t really there.” The Aisle Seat

Tom & Jerry looks nice enough, with appealing animation, and the production endeavors to pay tribute to the franchise’s history with familiar jokes and supporting characters. Tom and Jerry do their thing, but laughs on the other side of the movie are left to Moretz and Pena, who aren’t suited for this type of snowballing effort, failing to land one-liners or sell cartoon body language.”

“At a time when studios are remaking their famous films or turning them from animation to live-action, this iteration seems to be simply another attempt to cash in on nostalgia. Aside from a few elements that actually surprise us at regular intervals, akin to checkpoints in a video game, Tom and Jerry doesn’t bring anything new to the age-old franchise.” Brights Hub

“Filled with frequent flashes of fun, Tom & Jerry ultimately gets bogged down with an overload of, well, let’s just call it humanity. In an effort to bring together the world of cartoons and real life, the headlining duo often feels sidelined, and supplemental to the story of Chloë Grace Moretz’s Kayla…” IGN

Tom and Jerry is ostensibly a comedy, though the throw-spaghetti-at-the-wall approach of Kevin Costello’s script rarely yields any jokes that stick. There’s a weird attempt at industry-based intellectual property humor that pops up in the movie’s first few lines that never really yields anything comparable after.” IndieWire

“Tom, Jerry, their feud, and the mayhem that results from it get shoved into the background […] eventually working together to keep Kaya employed and, later, to save the wedding. This stuff doesn’t necessarily fail. It’s just the wrong stuff for this particular story and these particular characters, who need neither story nor humans for their gags to work.” Mark Reviews Movies

“The de rigueur slapstick scenes for the title characters don’t even play, as the integration of animation and live-action is so clunky that it feels like we’re watching special effects demonstrations rather than gags. Some of the performances are enjoyable. Moretz is charmingly game, Peña is funny because Peña is always funny and Rob Delaney has fun with his role as the hotel’s fussy manager.” The New York Times

” …the human component outlined throughout Kevin Costello’s hollow screenplay undercuts most shenanigans Tom and Jerry get entangled in. It’s a 101-minute diversion that could fail to keep restless children entertained, but bright colors and flashy on-screen text might help.” The Only Critic

“It’s shockingly unfunny. The moments of creative physical humor are few and far between and there’s not a single verbal joke that stands out. Tom & Jerry needs extended sequences of animated creativity, and writer Kevin Costello spends way too much time with the dull humans of this version when fans really just want to see the rivalry between two classic characters.”

T&J is long. The story, by Brigsby Bear writer Kevin Costello, is over-stuffed and under-enjoyable. He mistakes idiocy for lunacy, busy for kinetic. A lot happens, none of it interesting, none of it funny, all of it surrounded by a bombastic soundtrack. Surprisingly little of the adventure really has to do with the ‘toons, either.” UK Film Review

“Kayla’s hardly anyone’s idea of a hero, but in Moretz’s hands, she’s likable enough — a relatable underdog in this cat-and-mouse contest. While Kayla is trying to fake her way at the new job without attraction the attention of her suspicious supervisor, Terence (Peña), Tom and Jerry are doing battle upstairs — and though these are not Marvel-level visual effects, it’s still fun to watch the cartoon critters tearing apart a hotel room.” Variety

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Release date:

Tom and Jerry was released in the USA by Warner Bros. theatrically and on HBO Max on February 26th, 2021.

Fun facts:

There is a brief clip of Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein (1974) followed by Tom bulging his eyes like Marty Feldman.




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