Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for the simply-titled Tom & Jerry, the new big screen version of the classic cartoon. The characters who originally began in the 1940s as a series of MGM short films, before becoming a long-running series in the 50s, will be updated for the 21st century in a live-action/animation hybrid.
Nowadays when we hear “live-action/animation hybrid” we think of live-action mixed with CGI, but that is not the case here. Tom, Jerry and various other animated characters are still animated in their classic 2D form, while the actors work around them. This certainly makes the trailer stand out from other similar adaptations of classic cartoon characters.
And maybe this is the right choice. We all saw how Paramount got into hot water with fans after the initial CGI re-design of Sonic The Hedgehog, and another recent adaptation of a beloved cartoon, Scoob!, fell flat on its face for trying to incorporate a superhero plot into the classic mystery and animating the characters into 3D models.
Warner Bros. sticking to the tried-and-tested 2D formula keeps Tom and Jerry as characters intact, and hopefully allows the film to be a simple but fun big screen adaptation of the classic cat-and-mouse formula.
As for the trailer itself, it does suffer from modern trailers desperate attempts to appear cool by just throwing in as many popular songs as it can that don’t fit, but this is a film for kids, so it’s excusable. It does surprisingly have narration, which is very rare for trailers nowadays after being a staple in the late 20th century.
It’s hard to tell with a clip like this whether the film will be filled with the fun antics it promises, or will just fall flat on its face. It has been in development since 2009, going through multiple iterations, so all options are on the table. We’ll find out when the film arrives in cinemas sometime in 2021 (fingers crossed).
Tim Story is directing, and the film stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Rob Delaney, Ken Jeong and Colin Jost. And Tom and Jerry, of course.