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Tom and Jerry: The Movie Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 5+

Misfire with talking characters, forgettable musical score.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Tom and Jerry: The Movie is a feature-length cartoon made in 1992, and it's a decided departure from the usual cat-and-mouse offerings. Tom and Jerry are in full talk mode in this movie for the first (and only) time. They spend the first few minutes fighting and outwitting one another, with the usual chases, falls, bumps, and explosions. The rest of the film is a joint effort by the beloved characters as they try to rescue and help a young orphaned heiress facing an array of cutthroat villains. Plus, hoping to establish some equity in the musical genre (perhaps in an effort to cash in on some of the Disney magic), the movie has a full score of musical production numbers composed by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse, two well-known songwriters. Though there is some of the expected cartoon mayhem (fire, an avalanche, danger on "the mean streets"), the conflict is provided by human scoundrels with evil on their minds. It appears that the film did not achieve the hoped-for success and remains the only Tom and Jerry movie of its kind.

  • Families can talk about what happens when an established franchise switches gears. How was this movie different from the usual Tom and Jerry fare? Were you disappointed, or did you like the changes the filmmakers made?
  • What parts of this movie reminded you most of a fairy tale? Who was the "princess"? Which villain was most like an evil witch or stepmother or king? What fairy tale character roles did Tom and Jerry fill?
  • "You can't tell a book by its cover" is a famous saying. How does it relate to all of the villains in this movie? Based on your answer, what does the term "hidden agenda" mean?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value: Meant to entertain, not educate.

  • message true2

    Messages: Promotes putting aside differences to be helpful to others: "The greatest gift in life is a friend."

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Tom and Jerry learn that working together as a team reaps rewards. The cat-and-mouse rivalry is played only for a very short time in this film. Instead, they are striving for similar goals and, for the most part, treat each other well and are concerned for one another's well-being. A stereotypically greedy lawyer ("Lickboot") is an associate of a one-dimensional evil female guardian. The many villains all are two-faced: initially sweet, compassionate, and caring, but then transformed into mean, money-hungry, will-stop-at-nothing bad guys.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Standard Tom and Jerry cartoon mayhem, only in this case less of it than in other movies. Characters blow up and fall and are chased, squished, squashed, hit with mallets, trapped in a house fire, stuck on a Ferris wheel, and threatened by a fang-bearing, growling dog. In some instances, characters appear to have been drowned, trampled, or exploded but turn up, alive and well, only moments later. "Stray catchers" capture and cage some animals. Villains cackle, and their faces contort with meanness.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not applicable

  • language false1

    Language: Some name-calling: "stupid," "'fraidy-cat," "twit," "nitwit."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Part of the popular Tom and Jerry franchise.

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