Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale is a 2007 holiday-themed animated direct-to-video film starring Tom and Jerry produced by Warner Bros. Animation. It uses a good deal of Tchaikovsky's famous ballet The Nutcracker as background music.
This made-for-video film would be the last animated production for co-creator, Joesph Barbera, who died on December 18, 2006, almost 10 months before the film hit shelves. Barbera was the last surviving member of the famous animation duo, Hanna-Barbera, and had outlived his colleague, William Hanna by well over five years. The made-for-video film also features all of the exaggerated violence usually found in the original Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts. The film is dedicated in Barbera's memory.
The movie begins with Jerry and his young ward Tuffy (who here sports his French accent from the Mouseketeer shorts) watching the Christmas ballet. Later, Jerry goes to the empty stage floor, where magic begins to happen. Toys come alive including Nellie the pony (who can only talk if someone pulls her string) and Paulie the Christmas Ornament (who was missing a head, due to Jerry kicking it earlier on). The magic then makes Le Petite Ballerina, (a ballerina) come to life, and Jerry dances with her.
The stage is transformed into a wintry wonderland, where the toys are enjoying dinner. Tom, who is in the alley looking for something to eat, hears this, and, with the other cats, raid the feast, trapping the toys. Jerry, Paulie, and Nellie try to stop this, but are shot out of a cannon. Tuffy escapes, Tom as the Captain of the Cat Guards traps the Ballerina in a cage, then brings her to the Cat king, where he asks her to dance for him, but she refuses and tells the cat that she will never dance for him, especially after what happened earlier with the take over. The Cat king tell the Ballerina there is nothing she can do about it, in which she reminds him about Jerry, and that he will never give up. Later on, Tom is called to gather men and stop Jerry. Tuffy gives the Ballerina a string attached to keys, on the end of which is keys. He then goes to stop Tom. Meanwhile, Jerry, Paulie, and Nellie decide to follow the star to a man called the Toy Maker. They stop in front of a frozen river. All make it safely, except Jerry who falls in, and becomes tangled in weed. He is freed, and is pulled up by Nellie and Paulie. This makes Paulie unravel. Tuffy gets to Tom, and dresses up as an angel and a devil. He is found out, and ends up sticking a trident in Tom's eye, which the cats hold together like a ladder, causing them to fall in a cliff (Tom screams the Wilhelm scream). He runs to Jerry, warning him of the cats. Tom and his friends, disguised as Christmas trees, surround Jerry, but Tom gets attacked by squirrels, and shredded in a tree shredder. The cats attack, but the heroes escape, inside a tree. The cats beat up Tom by mistake.
The heroes then come to a hill, where Paulie's head is sent flying into another hole. They go into the hole, only to find a fiery world with lava pits and dragons (the Arabian Dance plays through this scene). A flame fairy gives Paulie his head back. A dragon wakes up, but is hypnotized by Jerry into lifting them out of the pit. They launch a cannon, which blasts Jerry and his friends into a house with clocks. Tom gives chase, but is pecked on by wooden birds. The heroes then come to a hill, in which Paulie loses his head. They go into the hole, only to find a fiery world with lava pits and dragons (the Arabian Dance plays through this scene). A flame fairy gives Paulie his head back. A dragon wakes up, but is hypnotized by Jerry into lifting them out of the pit. They are chased by the cats again, and run into a fairground. Tom is virtually destroyed here, being crushed again and again - of course, this being a cartoon, he always revives. They make it to a ridge, and Jerry blows up a balloon with which they make it off safely. Tom though, is blasted by cannons. One cat shoots an arrow, bursting Nellie's balloon. Tuffy grabs on to her, and unravels more of Paulie. Nellie is let down, and chased by the cats. Jerry saves her, but he lets go of her string. The cats pull her string, and she tells them where the others are headed. The remaining three make it to the Toy Maker, who fixes Paulie, and gives them toy soldiers. The three depart with their newly attained army in order to take back their kingdom.
Later, when the cats attempt to escape the army of toy soldiers, the Ballerina appears with the other toys, and she leads them in an army as a way to show the Cat king how they felt being locked up. Tom vacuums up many of the soldiers, but they are blown onto the cats. Jerry and Tuffy are eaten by Tom, but Nellie returns, and throws a hammer, smashing Tom's teeth. Jerry then pushes a toy train and all the cats ride on it until it hits a wall and the wreckage goes into a box, with all the bad cats inside. Then the Ballerina hugs Jerry telling him that she never doubted him. Then, a wall falls down on Nellie, but fortunately, the magic revives her, and she begins to talk on her own, without a string having to be pulled. King Jerry and the Queen Ballerina dance after receiving their crowns back and the curtain is let down, revealing that the entire movie actually was a play. Ending the movie.
- William Hanna (archival sound) as Jerry- (Jerry was once the biggest fan of the Ballet. As he waits in stage, the stage turns into a wonderland. He dances with a music box ballerina (and falls in love with her) and the King of Cats takes the kingdom. After this, Jerry must go to set things right.
- Chantal Strand as Tuffy aka Nibbles- Jerry's ward, and the secondary protagonist. He is still speaking French just like from the Tom and Jerry series in the 50's. He serves as Jerry's assistant.
- Tara Strong as Le Petite Ballerina- she was a toy box ballerina toy. She mostly resembles the ballerina of the ballet, but a much younger version. She also dances with Jerry. When the cats take over, the Ballerina is trapped in a cage by Tom. She laters frees her self and the other toys and leads them in an army against the King of the Cats (as well as shouting to the toys "Toys, for freedom!" as if to normally say "Let's show these cats what it is like to be locked up!").
- Ian James Corlett as Paulie- a Christmas ornament who fasts unravel when he falls in water. He is one of Jerry's allies in search of Toymaker.
- Kathleen Barr as Nellie- a pull-string toy pony who only talks when someone pulls her string. When she is killed in the end of the movie, she is revived, this time, she can talk without the string. She is one of Jerry's friends.
- Garry Chalk as King Of Cats- the leader of the cats and the main antagonist of the film. He is obese, lazy and dumb, unlike other kings, and repeatedly gets Tom's name wrong, calling him Tim. He orders Tom to kill Jerry before Jerry reaches the Toymaker and Jerry's kingdom in which he takes over.
- Spike Brandt as Tom- Tom was the assistant of the King of Cats, He was the film's secondary antagonist. He goes to kill Jerry before he reaches to the Toymaker.
- Trevor Devall as Lackey- a yellow, old-like cat who was the assistant of the King of Cats. He is called Prime Minister Lackey.
- Mark Oliver as Dr. Malevolent- an eccentric, brilliant and sarcastic cat who is good at Toys and abuses Nellie by telling her what is her friends' plan. His name was based on the word malevolent, which means, wishing evil or harm to others, malicious. He asks if he is cruel.
- Richard Newman as The Toymaker- he was the creator of the Toys.
- This was the fifth Tom and Jerry film to be filmed in widescreen (the first three being Tom and Jerry: The Movie, due to its theatrical release back in 1993, Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars, and Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry, due to its limited theatrical release back in 2006) and the third one to be filmed in the high-definition format (the first two being Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars and Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry), although the Region 1 DVD was in full screen (cropping the left and right of the image), though not pan and scan as the camera stays directly in the center of the image. Like other television shows filmed in high-definition (such as American Idol, Father of the Pride, Curious George, and Out of Jimmy's Head) and other films filmed in high-definition (such as The Proud Family Movie, Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry, Scooby-Doo! in Where's My Mummy?, High School Musical, and The Land Before Time XII: The Great Day of the Flyers), the monitor the animation team would have worked from would have 16:9 and 4:3 safe areas so that the full screen version would not crop off too much of any important visual elements (such as characters). However, the film is broadcast in widescreen on Cartoon Network HD.
- The widescreen version of the film is also available on Blu-Ray.
- This was the final Tom and Jerry direct-to-video film presented in the cropped 4:3 full-screen version on the Region 1 DVD (despite being produced in widescreen). The next Tom and Jerry direct-to-video film Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes is presented in widescreen for the very first time on a Region 1 DVD release.
- This is the only movie in which Jerry is teaming up with Tuffy and the Damsels instead of Tom.
- Tchaikovsky's "Marche" from The Nutcracker can be heard throughout the film aforementioned.
- This film also uses the animation style from the second season of Tom and Jerry Tales.
- At the start of the film, a title card saying "A WARNER BROS. ANIMATION CARTOON" is used with a sketch of the WB shield, similar to the one first seen in the theatrical short The Karate Guard. The style is in the style of the MGM Cartoons logo used in the old Tom & Jerry cartoons. There is also a re-creation of the Tom and Jerry title card and a "The End, A Tom and Jerry Cartoon" card from some of those cartoons. This is also reused for Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes.
- This film is the shortest-running Tom and Jerry direct-to-video film, clocking at a runtime of 47 minutes. Interestingly, another Christmas-themed direct-to-video animated film from Warner Bros. Animation also clocks at such a short runtime like this film, which is the Looney Tunes direct-to-video film Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas released a year earlier, clocking at a runtime of 45 minutes.
- This the first Tom and Jerry DTV film to be a musical with songs.
- When Tom and the cats fell off the cliff, the Wilhelm Scream can be heard.
- Unlike all the other Tom and Jerry films, there is barely a scene in this film where Tom and Jerry ever become friends, put aside their differences or team up, and instead remain as flat-out sworn enemies throughout the entire film from start to finish, which while it's practically common in most episodes of Tom and Jerry in general including the classic shorts (given that each Tom and Jerry episode in general has a short runtime of 6-9 minutes long), but rather uncommon in the films, as in the films while Tom and Jerry do fight and chase each other (as usual), they have at least one or two scenes where the duo would put aside their differences or team up, only to end up with either Jerry winning or both of them going back to chasing each other, though this could arguably be due to the film's overall short length of 47 minutes.