Even though it was announced over a year ago, it’s still surprising to be reminded that Warner Bros. was quite serious about putting out a new, live-action Tom & Jerry movie, and even more shocking still, the project seems to have been completed, as is evidenced by its ridiculous first trailer. It’s…something.
A little bit Space Jam and a little bit Sonic, Tom & Jerry: The Movie follows as its titular duo of mortal enemies’ ongoing efforts to murder one another lead to Jerry seeking refuge in the halls of a ritzy hotel in New York City. Though Jerry’s a big fan of his new digs, his arrival comes at a time when the hotel’s preparing for a high profile wedding, an event general manager Terrance (Michael Peña) wants absolutely no vermin to attend. When new hire Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz) is tapped to deal with the hotel’s new mouse problem, she enlists unhoused cat Tom to take care of business, and, one imagines, hilarity is meant to ensue.
Though there’s nothing inherently wrong with movies that feature live actors interacting with cartoons, Tom & Jerry’s trailer puts front and centre how unnatural the dynamic can be in these situations, particularly when the animated elements skew more whimsical in a way that just looks weird when juxtaposed with reality. No matter how well an actor has their sight lines locked down, if the animation itself doesn’t exactly lend to organic interactions, the final product ends up looking like a bunch of people staring at stuff that they can’t really see, which, you know, is true, but you’re not meant to be able to pick up on that.
By the time Tom & Jerry’s released some time in 2021, though, perhaps these are the sort of nitpicky things folks will be able to overlook, particularly if audiences are able to safely see the movie in theatres.