On an academic level, we sort of knew from the get-go that the first trailer for a Tom and Jerry animated film was going to look rather odd, but that still didn’t quite prepare us for what we’ve seen today. Suffice to say, you’re likely to be gripped with some conflicted feelings after seeing the footage below, the public’s first glimpse of the combination live action and animated film due out from Warner Bros. on March 5, 2021.
This will be the first major theatrical outing for the world’s most famous cat and mouse duo in the last three decades, delivered in a manner that may well remind you of the fact that there were multiple theatrical Smurfs movies in the 2010s—we’re assuming you’ve probably blocked those movies out by now. The action this time around is centered around a posh Manhattan hotel. Here’s the full synopsis:
One of the most beloved rivalries in history is reignited when Jerry moves into New York City’s finest hotel on the eve of “the wedding of the century,” forcing the event’s desperate planner to hire Tom to get rid of him, in director Tim Story’s Tom & Jerry. The ensuing cat and mouse battle threatens to destroy her career, the wedding and possibly the hotel itself. But soon, an even bigger problem arises: a diabolically ambitious staffer conspiring against all three of them. An eye-popping blend of classic animation and live action, Tom and Jerry’s new big-screen adventure stakes new ground for the iconic characters and forces them to do the unthinkable … work together to save the day.
Truly an “unthinkable” twist, right? Tom and Jerry stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Rob Delaney, Colin Jost and Ken Jeong, with the limited voices of the titular characters being provided via stock samples from longtime voice actor William Hanna. It’s directed by Tim Story, he of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer infamy, which surely bodes well for this outing.
Although really, the content of the trailer alone is enough to raise some eyebrows. It’s not quite on the level of the original trailer for Sonic, but the animation here is often questionable at best. We can respect the choice to thread together the worlds of 2D animation and live action, like a modern update on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, but many of the hotel sequences here look severely lacking in depth and detail in comparison with Robert Zemeckis’ classic animated noir. Likewise, does a feature-length display of 1950s-style slapstick violence really work as the basis for an entire film in 2020? Especially from two characters who are primarily mute? We’ll let you work out your own answers to those questions.
In the meantime, check out the goofy first trailer below.