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For the 2021 movie with a similar name, see Tom & Jerry (2021 film).

Tom and Jerry: The Movie is a 1992 animated musical buddy comedy film produced and directed by Phil Roman starring Tom and Jerry. It is the first feature film based on the duo to be theatrically released worldwide, and would be the only one until Tom and Jerry, although Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry was theatrically released in select cities of the U.S. by Kidtoon Films. The characters' co-creator and Hanna's partner, Joseph Barbera served as creative consultant and William Hanna served as editor.

Plot

Tom and his owners are about to move to a new home. While Tom dozes in the back of the car, he notices Jerry and chases him, causing Tom to be left behind when his owners leave and eventually trapped by a bulldog he enraged. The next morning, as the house was being banned and destroyed by an old wrecking ball, Tom escapes but goes back to rescue Jerry, and then they were homeless.

The two wander the streets looking for food and shelter, but cannot find any. Tom demands Jerry not to follow him and find his own home and food, but Jerry chose to follow him instead. That night, in an alley they meet Puggsy, a dog, and his friend Frankie Da Flea. Tom and Jerry both introduce themselves, before comically expressing shock at having spoken for the first time. Puggsy and Frankie encourage the two to be friends, as it would be difficult to survive in the streets alone. They agreed reluctantly, and they also 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 full, two stray-catchers capture him and Frankie and lock them in their truck.

With Puggsy and Frankie gone, Tom is ambushed by a gang of mean singing alley cats who chase him, but Jerry who have been trapped in a flower pot earlier by Tom saves him. Tom and Jerry then meet a girl named Robyn Starling, who explains that her mother died when she was a baby and is left behind with her evil guardian Aunt Pristine Figg when her father goes away to Tibet, but her father is now presumed killed in an avalanche. Figg has proceeded to steal the family fortune with her sleazy lawyer Lickboot, even moving Robyn into the attic as her bedroom and gave her room to Ferdinand. Robyn ran away after her locket was thrown out of the window, but she climbed down and found it. Tom and Jerry, knowing what it is like to be homeless, attempt to persuade her to return home, convinced that deep down, Figg loves Robyn, unaware that she was mean deeply.

Indeed, Aunt Figg is crying in the house, scared of losing Robyn and begging a local police officer to find her safely, but reverts to her cold, money-hungry self once the officer is gone. The officer finds Robyn, Tom and Jerry, but Figg has Tom and Jerry sent to an animal shelter run by Dr. J. Applecheek after a kitchen fight between them and Ferdinand, who is in secret the employer of the two stray-catchers and in charge of an abusive prison-like pound. Tom and Jerry are reunited with Puggsy and Frankie. With help from several other dogs, including Droopy, they stage an escape. Meanwhile, Robyn discovers through a telegram that her father is alive and, once reunited with Tom and Jerry, she and they run away together to find him. Figg discovers this, and at the suggestion of Lickboot places a $1 million bounty on Robyn, without the intent of paying, since Robyn's father cut Figg's funding until Robyn is proven safe. Meanwhile, Robyn's father Mr. Starling is notified that his daughter has run away and immediately returns to America to find her.

Tom and Jerry end up separated from Robyn after their raft crashes into a ship. Robyn is found by the owner of a local amusement park Captain Kiddie and his talking hand puppet Squawk. Meanwhile, Tom and Jerry find Robyn's locket and look around wondering where Robyn is. Captain Kiddie then gives Robyn milk and cookies. Squawk notices Robyn's face in the milk carton and begs Captain Kiddie to step out who then realizes who was with him and decides to call Figg. Tom and Jerry see Robyn in the milk carton that Captain Kiddie threw at them. Meanwhile, Dr. Applecheek blames Figg for the escape of Tom and Jerry. Figg then hears her phone ringing as she and Dr. Applecheek to argue and answers it, she was delighted that Robyn is in Captain Kiddie's carnival and returns to find Dr. Applecheek already left having overheard of the million dollars on Robyn. Dr. Applecheek decides to get Robyn before Figg and the million dollars on Robyn will be his unaware that Captain Kiddie has already been waiting for Figg to get the money and is promptly thrown out by his henchmen for not sharing the money and is almost run over by Lickboot.

Meanwhile, Captain Kiddie shows Robyn his carnival and rides her in the Ferris wheel and traps her there while waiting for Figg. Mr. Starling finally arrives at the USA base called "Starling Enterprises" and hops on his helicopter and discovered that Figg has planted a million Dollar bounty on his daughter. Tom and Jerry find Robyn in the Ferris wheel and returns her locket back. Figg then arrives who then confronts Captain Kiddie demanding to return Robyn back. Tom, Jerry and Robyn trap Dr. Applecheek's henchmen on the Ferris wheel and escape on a boat with Figg, Lickboot and Ferdinand give chase. Dr. Applecheek then arrives on an ice cream motorbike which he stole after being thrown out earlier and follows them leaving his henchmen behind on the Ferris wheel, he then crashes into Captain Kiddie and Squawk when the bridge was accidentally destroyed by Ferdinand's skateboard. Robyn tells Tom and Jerry that they are heading to her nest the place that she told them about. Meanwhile, Figg, Lickboot and Ferdinand got lost and found themselves on an intersection road. Lickboot then realizes and explains to Figg knowing where Robyn, Tom and Jerry are going; they turn right which leads to Robyn's nest.

Robyn, Tom and Jerry sail their boat down the water and finally finds her cabin and she explains to Tom and Jerry that they come at the cabin every summer; Robyn enters her cabin to find Figg already there. Tom and Jerry are locked outside by Lickboot along with Ferdinand. Figg and Lickboot then attempt to take her back which they accidentally knock an oil lamp on the floor, setting the cabin on fire. Tom and Jerry climb onto the roof and get Robyn out of the cabin with a rope while Figg and Lickboot fight for the key which they accidentally drop only Lickboot grabs her knocking the door down in the process and slides on Ferdinand's skateboard sending them flying right into Robyn's boat, which sails them away. 

Mr. Starling finally arrives on his helicopter seeing his cabin burning, realizing he is too late seeing that Figg and Lickboot have already set the cabin on fire and finds Robyn, Tom and Jerry on the roof. He successfully saves Robyn but is unable to rescue Tom and Jerry and the cabin burns to the ground. They land the helicopter on the cabin's dock which was not destroyed and find Tom and Jerry emerged from the wreckage alive and unharmed. Mr. Starling then apologizes to Robyn, and made a promise that he will never leave her again. Mr. Starling has arrested Figg, Lickboot and Ferdinand for their crimes and putting a one million dollar bounty on his daughter and destroying his cabin which is then immediately rebuilt. Pugsy and Frankie see this on the news pleased and wonder if they are getting along. Robyn gives Tom and Jerry their new home; however, as soon as she and Mr. Starling are out of sight to rebuild the cabin, Tom reverts back to what he was (unaware to Puggsy) and forgotten what Puggsy told to him earlier and he and Jerry run around the house.

Cast

Minor Characters

Reception

Reviews of the film were mostly negative. Joseph McBride of Variety wrote, "'Tom & Jerry talk' won't go down in film history as a slogan to rival 'Garbo Talks.'" Charles Solomon of The Los Angeles Times appraised the film's songs as well as Phil Roman for direction. Hal Hinson of The Washington Post complained about the dialogue between Tom and Jerry, and said that the voices "don't fit [them]." Hal also said that the songs are "forgettable, as they [are] intolerably bouncy and upbeat." As of April 2011, Rotten Tomatoes reports that 20% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on 10 reviews, as the site give it 1 star.

The only win, let alone the only nomination, was the Young Artist Award for Best Youth Actress in a Voiceover Role, which was won by Anndi McAffee, the voice of Robyn Starling.

Box-Office

Tom and Jerry: The Movie was budgeted at $3.5,000,000, but only grossed $3,560,469 and as such was a box-office flop. It was completely thrashed by Free Willy, released the same month but a couple weeks earlier, which out grossed this movie with an estimate of $153.6 million from a $20 million and became a commercial success compared to this movie.

Home Media

Tom and Jerry: The Movie was first released on VHS on October 26, 1993 by Family Home Entertainment. It was re-released on VHS by Warner Home Video on March 2, 1999 and reprinted March 14, 2000, and for the first and only time on DVD on March 26, 2002 by Warner Home Video, also. The VHS release cover used the same artwork as the poster, but the VHS re-release and the DVD covers used the same figures of Tom and Jerry, but a different background.

International release dates

Trivia

  • Antique pear-shaped wrecking ball used in Tom and Jerry The Movie.jpg
    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 work and demolish 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.
  • This marks the first-ever Tom and Jerry feature film.
  • Despite being the worst animated film, it became famous among most of the Tom and Jerry fans, due to the concept of Tom and Jerry speaking throughout the entire film.
  • Chuck Jones was originally slated to produce a Tom and Jerry feature film in the 1970s back when the franchise was still under MGM's ownership, but eventually pulled out after being unable to find a suitable script.
  • Joseph Barbera, who was involved as the film's creative consultant, wanted the titular cat and mouse duo to remain silent, but just about everyone else involved in the making of the film down-voted his idea.
  • 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, although it can be basically accurate when it comes to demolishing a house in some way. In real life, they mostly use an excavating shovel to tear down houses while wrecking-balls are commonly 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, while the part where Tom gets sliced into pieces with a sword by Jerry is a partial reference to Touche, Pussy Cat! where Tom gets cut in half with an ax.
  • This movie was Dana Hill's last film before her death on July 15, 1996.
  • On early PAL prints of the film, the opening sequence for some reason has NTSC-pitched audio and then switches to PAL-pitched audio after the opening sequence.
  • 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, quickly becoming the most-watched feature film among several Tom and Jerry fans, eventually was one of the most popular animated feature films of all time. However, several video released of this film received generally positive reviews.
  • Many believed that this was the finale of the Tom and Jerry franchise, as no more were made until 9 years later when Hanna-Barbera produced The Mansion Cat for television.
  • While the animation is 2D, the transportations, such as Captain Kiddie's boat, Aunt Figg's convertible, and the helicopter Mr. Starling rode in, are done in CGI, which was an early use in 2D animated films at the time.
  • Although every home video release of the movie is only available in fullscreen (like the DVD release by Warner Home Video stating on the back of the DVD cover "The film has been modified from its original version, it has been formatted to fit the screen."), the film was actually made in the academy ratio to begin with (which meant the film was shown in theaters cropped via the movie projector, with the home video releases showing the movie's full un-cropped presentation with the top and bottom shown, a process dubbed 'open matte' in the industry.). However, a widescreen version has finally been digitally remastered on HBO Max, Cartoon Network Turkey and Morocco, as of July 1, 2020.
  • For critical reasons, this movie is rarely broadcast on any network television in the United States and is only available for watching on any digital retailer (such as Vudu, Google Play, and YouTube) and streaming on HBO Max. Although, the film has been broadcast occasionally on Cartoon Network and Boomerang, especially outside the United States.
    • However, it is available on Netflix in Australia.
  • This was the last animated film released by Miramax through Live Entertainment following Disney's then purchase of Miramax back in 1993; Miramax would eventually release the next animated film The Thief and the Cobbler (under the title Arabian Knight) through the control of Disney in 1995.

Cultural References

  • A restaurant called "Bill and Joe's" is a reference to the original creators of the shorts, Joseph Barbera and William Hanna.
  • When the cat gang drops Tom off the roof, he holds a rope. While that, a big sign with the Film Roman logo is partly shown.
  • Droopy from the Tex Avery cartoons and a dark orange tabby cat resembling Milo from the 80s Japanese live-action film by Columbia Pictures, The Adventures of Milo and Otis, make brief cameo appearances in this film when the animals escape from the pound.

Aftermath

Besides respecting the history of Tom and Jerry, the concept is hated by the majority of the audience. The changing of the film's major focus from fan favorites Tom and Jerry to Robyn Starling, plus giving Tom and Jerry "ongoing" dialogues, as well as decreasing the amount of slapstick humor, and the similarities in its concept to Disney's The Rescuers and Don Bluth's All Dogs Go To Heaven, making this one of the most unpopular Tom and Jerry films, thus making Robyn and Puggsy two of the most unpopular Tom and Jerry characters. This makes the concepts in this movie to be explicitly dismissed from the series. Following negative reception of this film, Tom and Jerry were hardly ever given speaking roles ever since, with the notable exception being the Tom and Jerry Tales episode Kitty Hawked (though supporting characters from the franchise such as Spike, Butch and Tuffy still continue to be given speaking roles ever since).

The film has been also considered as one of those many failed animated musical films (like Rover Dangerfield, Thumbelina, The Pebble and the Penguin and Quest for Camelot) released in the 1990s that tried to compete and be like Disney in order to cash in on the success of the Disney Renaissance.

While the video game Tom and Jerry: Frantic Antics was really an adaptation of The Movie, this connection wasn't advertised outright - probably as a result of the film's unpopularity.

Gallery

Main article: Tom and Jerry: The Movie/Gallery
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