Warner Bros. announced plans today to build an Alvin and the Chipmunks-esque family franchise around the classic animated series Tom and Jerry, in which the cat and mouse will be CG characters who scamper around in live-action settings. It certainly worked for Scooby-Doo and those other rodents, so the question is whether Tom and Jerry have enough staying power to match that post-millenial “movie plus merch” madness. (You may recall the terrible 1992 Tom and Jerry movie, the aptly titled Tom and Jerry: The Movie, which bore virtually no connection to the original 114 animated shorts by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.)
Variety reports that the film will focus on an “origin story that reveals how Tom and Jerry first meet and form theirrivalry before getting lost in Chicago and reluctantly working togetherduring an arduous journey home.” I guess that’d make for a decent narrative, but I don’t know if I’d buy it as a Tom and Jerry narrative. We never needed to know why these two hate each other, and that was kind of the point. And it’s clearly not even hate, because they’re constantly grinning at each other even whilst jousting with an enormous fork and knife. Maybe we’ll finally learn exactly which medical condition causes seconds-long delays on Tom’s part after he’s inflicted with severe bodily harm, and the real deal regarding the complex chemical repellent Jerry must have applied half-hourly to ensure that he somehow wouldn’t get eaten. Seriously. Tom. EAT HIM. Don’t just swallow! DIGEST. (It bewilders me that I appear to be on Team Tom, as I am terrified of/kind of hate cats.)
Any ideas for the reason behind Tom and Jerry’s mutual distaste, or do you refuse to even comment about it because the idea of a backstory seems so wrong?