“Tom and Jerry” failed to provide nostalgia from previous shows

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GRAPHIC BY CHARLOTTE DRESSER

“Tom and Jerry” follows New Yorker, Kayla, in navigating her new job at a fancy hotel while having to deal with Tom and Jerry’s antics. This movie failed to deliver the anticipated nostalgia viewers expect from the past “Tom and Jerry” shows.

The cat-chasing-mouse storyline is a classic, and the sheer amount of nostalgia it brings back serves as the main appeal of the “Tom and Jerry” revival. Yet, despite the amount of excitement the idea of more of Tom and Jerry’s wild antics elicits, alas, this movie doesn’t deliver.

“Tom and Jerry” follows New York City native, Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz), trying to navigate her new job as an event planner at the fancy Royal Gate Hotel. The hotel is about to host the wedding of a lifetime, where two famous influencer-type celebrities are about to get married. But, Jerry moves into a tiny hole in the wall in the hotel, and suddenly they have a mouse problem. So, Kayla hires Tom (yes, even though he is a cat) to discreetly evacuate Jerry and restore peace to the hotel, which, as you can probably imagine, doesn’t go as planned.

The “Tom and Jerry” from my childhood was a fully-animated, wordless and lighthearted show, and this movie didn’t necessarily deliver on all of those. First of all, the only characters in this movie that were animated were the animals (Tom, Jerry, pigeons, dogs, etc.), while the rest of the movie was live-action. The combined mediums gave the whole movie a weird feeling, like you couldn’t decide whether you were watching an animated movie or a live-action one, and in my opinion, these two styles didn’t meld together very well. It was especially weird when pigeons started rapping at the very beginning, followed by other animals singing or talking.

As for the plot, it definitely wasn’t that engaging or advanced, but I can let that slide since this movie was obviously geared towards younger children. The biggest problem with the plot, though, was the lack of focus on the titular characters. This movie focused way too much on Kayla and the plot of the big wedding rather than Tom and Jerry’s shenanigans. It might as well have been called “Kayla and also Tom and Jerry.”

The main focus of the original “Tom and Jerry” was the classic cat-chases-mouse scenes. The best parts were how everything Tom and Jerry did seemed to have a domino effect on their surroundings and the lighthearted slapstick comedy. But this movie fell disappointingly short in regards to that. There were maybe ten total minutes in the entire movie dedicated to the cat-and-mouse chase, and instead, it focused solely on the aforementioned party-wedding-hotel plotline. The lack of high-speed antics was especially unfulfilling because those chase scenes were the most anticipated aspects of the movie.

The movie was not all terrible, though. The acting, ignoring the plotline, was quite decent. Terrence (Michael Peña), Kayla’s superior, was quite humorous and a solid bad guy (or as much of a bad guy you can have in a children’s movie), always out to get Kayla and her job. Even though their facial expressions were quite exaggerated and the jokes were not amazing, Moretz was a fine actress, and she delivered a steady performance throughout the movie.

Overall, this movie is an okay watch, but definitely disappointing in regards to staying true to the older (and definitely superior) version of “Tom and Jerry.” Some may like this, especially those in middle school or younger, but if you were looking for an escape to a virus-free world through childhood “Tom and Jerry” nostalgia like I was, I’d definitely recommend digging out your old DVDs and just watching the original.