Tom and Jerry: The Movie is a 1992 American animated musical comedy film starring Tom and Jerry, produced and directed by Phil Roman, released in Germany by Turner Pictures and in United States by Miramax Films and LIVE Entertainment.
This is the cat and mouse's first feature-length film. It also received a wide theatrical release and marked the duo's return to the silver screen after 25 years of retirement. Although they have spoken in their earlier cartoons, the pair talk in this film. Joseph Barbera, co-founder of Hanna-Barbera, who created Tom and Jerry with partner William Hanna, served as creative consultant.
This was Dana Hill's last film before her death on July 15, 1996. It was released on July 30, 1993, in the United States, after having its world premiere on October 1, 1992 in Germany, and grossed $3.6 million. It was filmed in 1991.
Tom and Jerry together with their owners are about to move to a new home. The moving van is at their old house waiting, and Tom dozes in the back of the car. However, when he notices Jerry he puts him on a stick, and Jerry, noticing no escape and knowing that he will fly, he grabs hold of Tom's whiskers so they fly together into the garden. He quickly dashes into his mousehole and locks the door, and Tom nails wooden planks on the door. When Tom tries to get in the moving car, he ends up with a bulldog and ties up his ears so he cannot see. Tom runs into the house for safety and stays there for the night.
Next day, Tom and Jerry notice that the house was being broken open by an old fashioned wrecking ball. The two of them manage to escape before the house got completely destroyed by the old fashioned wrecking ball, but are now forced to look around the city for a new shelter. During their travels they meet a dog named Puggsy and his friend Frankie the Flea that tries to teach Tom and Jerry to be friends. Tom and Jerry then discover that each other can speak. (A task neither of them knew the other could do.) Then they all agree to have a 'feast' at their place and Puggsy makes a 'buffet' by collecting leftovers in the bin. When Puggsy's tray is crammed, a couple of dogcatchers capture Puggsy and Frankie and lock them in their car.
Tom and Jerry then meet a nine-year-old girl named Robyn Starling, the daughter of Daddy Starling, whose mother died when she was a baby and is left behind with her evil guardian Aunt Pristine Figg when her dad goes away. Robyn runs away after her locket is thrown out the window and that's how she began to run. Jerry said to her if she runs, her things won't be with her but Robyn said to them that Aunt Figg may seem sweet but she's real mean.
Cut to Aunt Figg crying in the house, scared of losing Robyn. With the help of her sleazy lawyer, Lickboot and her overweight dachshund, Ferdinand, make a reward of a million dollars for the return of Robyn, who they wish to sell for a ransom, engulfed by love of money. Robyn is recaptured, but manages to escape yet again, after Tom and Jerry are kidnapped by the ruthless Dr. Applecheek and the straycatchers where animals are abused. Tom and Jerry helped Puggsy, Frankie and all the others escape. Then, Robyn, Tom and Jerry were at the old bridge that they were found by the officer. When Aunt Figg, Lickboot and Ferdinand arrived, they started to find Robyn by using flashlights to find her. Robyn, Tom and Jerry were riding together on a raft, Ferdinand saw them and he tells to Aunt Figg and she drives him to the river and he chased them. Unfortunately, Ferdinand failed to catch them and he drowned in the water. At this point, everybody is looking for the million dollar girl, and Figg and Lickboot manage to get to Robyn's escape destination first. Dr. Applecheek wanted to get Robyn first, but he falls into the creek. What was planned as another capture quickly goes wrong when an oil lamp is knocked on the floor.
When the house goes up in flames, Tom and Jerry help Robyn out of the cabin, while Figg, Lickboot and Ferdinand flee into a boat, which drives them away; Mr. Starling finally comes and rescues Robyn. Tom and Jerry are rescued too and taken to a new home where they both promise to never trick each other again. But as soon as Robyn and her dad are out of sight, the pair have soon reverted to their old ways, and the movie finishes with Tom chasing Jerry.
- Richard Kind as Tom
- Dana Hill as Jerry
- Anndi McAfee as Robyn Starling
- Charlotte Rae as Aunt Pristine Figg
- Henry Gibson as Dr. J. Sweetface Applecheek
- Ed Gilbert as Puggsy, Daddy Starling
- David L. Lander as Frankie Da Flea
- Tony Jay as Lickboot
- Rip Taylor as Captain Kiddie
- Howard Morris as Squawk
- Michael Bell as Ferdinand, Straycatcher #1
- Sydney Lassick as Straycatcher #2
- Tino Insana as Patrolman
- B.J. Ward as Tom's owner
- Greg Burson as Moving man
- Don Messick as Droopy (cameo)
- Raymond McLeod as Bulldog, Alleycat #1
- Mitchell D. Moore as Alleycat #2
- Scott Wojahn as Alleycat #3
- "Friends to the End" - Pugsy, Frankie, Tom, Jerry
- "What Do We Care? (The Alley Cats Song)" - The Alley Cats
- "Money Is Such a Beautiful Word" - Aunt Figg, Lickboot
- "God's Little Creatures" - Dr. Applecheek
- "I Miss You (Robyn's Song)" - Robyn
- "I've Done It All" - Captain Kiddie, Squawk
- "Finale (Friends to the End)"
- "I Miss You" (End Title) - Stephanie Mills
- "All in How Much We Give" - Stephanie Mills
Joseph McBride of Variety remarked, "Tom and Jerry Talk won't go down in film history as a slogan to rival 'Garbo Talks'." Charles Solomon of the Los Angeles Times criticized the film's songs. Solomon also criticized Phil Roman for his direction. Hal Hinson of The Washington Post complained about the dialogue between the cat and mouse, and said that the voices "don't fit the characters". Hinson also said that the musical numbers are "forgettable as they are intolerably bouncy and upbeat".
Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, on their show Siskel & Ebert gave the movie "Two Thumbs Down", though praising the animation, look and the truthful art design of the animated shorts, neither thought that it was a good idea to give dialogue to the two characters, giving lack of more slapstick action from past cartoons and that the story was silly, even considering that the character of Robyn Starling takes most of the attention than the cat and mouse themselves.
However, Vincent Canby of The New York Times gave a positive review of the film. Canby praised Henry Mancini's score to the movie and musical numbers. Canby later went on to say, "[the characters of] Tom and Jerry have charm." As of June 2016, review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 18% of critics gave positive reviews on the film, based on 11 reviews.
The film opened in the United States and Canada on July 30, 1993, the same weekend as Rising Sun, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and So I Married an Axe Murderer. Opening at #14 on its opening weekend, the film made $3,560,469 at the North American box office, making it financially unsuccessful.
A video game based on the movie was released for the Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear in 1993 followed by a hand held game by Tiger Electronics released that same year.
- Main article: Tom and Jerry: The Movie (soundtrack)
Home media releases
The movie was first released on VHS and Laserdisc on October 26, 1993 by Family Home Entertainment. Then it was re-released on VHS on March 2, 1999 and the first and only time made its DVD debut on March 26, 2002 by Warner Home Video, although despite receiving a UK VHS release from First Independent Films, no Region 2 DVD release available. The film's distribution rights were transferred to Warner Bros. Pictures in 1996.
- This was Tom and Jerry's only feature film to be theatrically released worldwide, although Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry was theatrically released in select cities of the U.S. by Kidtoon Films.
- Chuck Jones was set to make a Tom and Jerry movie in the 1970s, but eventually pulled out after being unable to find a suitable script.
- This is the first and so far the only film in the series where Tom and Jerry talk.
- The North American theatrical distribution rights were purchased by Carolco in August 1991. Initial plans were for Carolco to co-distribute the film with New Line Cinema through their joint venture, Seven Arts, for release some time in 1992. Within less than a year, Seven Arts went out of business. The film debuted in some parts of Europe in late 1992 while the producers searched for a new distributor for North America. Those rights were eventually purchased by Miramax, which released the film domestically in the summer of 1993.
- The restaurant Tom gets kicked out from is called Bill and Joe's Steak and Seafood. Which is an homage to the original Tom and Jerry creators Bill Hanna and Joseph Barbera.
- Tom and Jerry rarely talked in some of the original cartoons like The Lonesome Mouse and Jerry had a speaking role in Anchors Aweigh.
- This was the last film to have music by Henry Mancini as the other film Son of the Pink Panther was also his last one as he died a year later after the two films were released.
- The logo for Film Roman can briefly be seen during the scene where some alley-cats sing "What Do We Care?" featuring Tom.
- The antique pear-shaped wrecking ball is used in Tom and Jerry: The Movie during the house demolition as a long ago memory for the animator. They don't make wrecking balls this way anymore because the spherical ones works and demolishes better than the pear shaped ones. The animator still draws wrecking balls this way even though he only sees spherical wrecking balls in real life now.
- Lickboot's famous quote "We got to have...Money" becomes an internet meme.
- Using a wrecking ball to tear down houses is only a silly joke used in this fictional story. In real life they use a special shovel to tear down houses. In real life wrecking balls are only used to tear down big super tall high-rises (more than 5 stories)
- In the opening titles, the scene where the golf ball hits Tom's teeth is a reference to Tee for Two.
- This movie was Dana Hill's last film before her death in July 15, 1996.
- Ed Gilbert and Tony Jay who voiced Lickboot, Puggsy and Robyn's father in this film used to work together on the Disney Afternoon show TaleSpin as the voices of Baloo and Shere Khan.
- When Tom slips a mousetrap into Jerry's mouse hole, only for Jerry to move it out behind him through another mouse hole and make it snap on Tom's tail in the ending scene of the movie. That was a gag repeatedly done in the classic cartoons.
- Despite being a commercial failure during original theatrical release, the film was soon rushed to home video and has managed to gain a cult following ever since among several Tom and Jerry fans, eventually was one of the most popular animated feature films of all time but this movie is not so popular anymore because nowadays this movie is now replaced by new modern stuff.