The beloved classic cat and mouse duo, TOM & JERRY, is back with their notorious antics and sibling-like rivalry; except this time the story is getting an upgrade: Starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Michael Pena, Colin Jost, and Ken Jeong, it’s no surprise the film had me laughing out loud.
Taking place within a posh NYC hotel, the story follows Jerry living inside it’s halls and ruining an important luxury wedding until Tom is hired to stop him. This live-action animation film is based on the cartoon characters and animated theatrical short film series from the 1940s.
However, the recreation was no easy feat, with digital new characters being introduced each frame, Tim describes the challenges of bringing his visions to life when “the two main stars aren’t present.” The actors were in for a challenge themselves when playing opposite of puppets.
“A lot of the time it was me with a stick with an X at the top that said ‘tom’ there was a scene where I’m fixing his nametag and I’m literally touching a stick,” remembers Moretz. “I grew as an actor during the project.”
Moretz says she was hesitant when first reading the script for her role as “Kayla” because the cartoon was sacred to her childhood. She understands the importance of playing homage to the original and opened up saying she wanted to live up to the expectations fans might have from the original.
While the cast didn’t know each other prior to filming, she says they did all hit it off right away.
“It was such a great atmosphere on set I don’t think there was anyway for anyone to not be having fun or laughing.”
This is of course, partially accredited to Tim Story as his direction led the cast to feel open and playful while trying different improv on set. Moretz praised Story’s direction by saying she would do any project for him again.
“He’s so kind, he’s so wonderful, he’s so smart.”
The most notable scene in the movie would be the wedding scene where several new characters (a tiger, elephant, and more) are introduced as Tom and Jerry destroy Colin Jost and Pallavi Sharda high profile wedding.
“Filming that sequence was wild… There were so many moving parts,” said Moretz. “It was always interesting to see the mixture of animators and us working together to create this as a team.”
With the unlimited star power and Warner Bros. budget, I could see fans thrilled for a sequel. Story says while there’s no definite plans for the next one, he has hopes that this film will engage audiences to want a part two.
TOM & JERRY: The Movie is produced by Warner Animation Group and is set to be released on February 26th, 2021 by Warner Bros. HBO Max will also be streaming on the same date.