Tom and Jerry bring slapstick comedy to a new generation of young fans with animal fight tornadoes and Who Framed Roger Rabbit-style live-action. While older audiences and parents may revert to scrolling on their smartphones, younger audiences will belly laugh at the cat and mouse dynamic duo in this new family film.
Tom and Jerry have been making fans laugh since 1940, and they continue to do so in the latest movie adaptation. Director Tim Story does a great job at holding on to the roots of the characters and their epic fight scenes while sprinkling in a more modern story. Story’s approach of keeping the animals as close to their 2D originals as possible offers a new way to look at animation and live-action crossovers similar to ones we’ve seen recently, like Sonic the Hedgehog.
We sat down with Director Tim Story to discuss making the live-action animation crossover.
Check out the full interview in the video and highlights from the interview below.
Fun facts about Tom and Jerry
Story– Although we were in New York, we shot the entire movie in London. We had to create New York. We did get photography from New York, but every time our actors were on the outside set, all of that was in London, and we would just put the background of New York into shots so that you thought we were in New York. Hopefully, we were successful.
Anytime Tom was in a scene, we used a puppet of Tom so the actors would have somebody to act against. I used puppets for the first time, and then we would take them out and put in the animated on top.
Why did you choose to make only the animals animated?
Well, it’s interesting the script came to me, and that was an idea that the studio had a while ago, and it’s one of those things that I thought would be really interesting. I don’t know if you ever saw a movie called Who Framed Roger Rabbit that maybe you’ll go back and watch, and that was kind of one of those movies. There have been other movies where they combined animation, and Mary Poppins is one of the first that did it. We just always knew that because we were dealing with Tom and Jerry, one of the ways to make this film interesting would be…we didn’t want to do a complete animated movie because you’ve kind of seen that. We thought, ‘what it would be like if Tom and Jerry were in a real-world’ And when they destroyed something, it was actually stuff we know, and when you’re in hotel rooms or cars, so we kind of always knew we wanted to do that because we thought it would be the most fun for kids, but especially adults to see these iconic characters in a real-world and so we decided to go that route. Hopefully, it was entertaining.
Can you tell us about that epic and amazing animal tornado?
The animal tornado was an idea that came up while we were in preparation for the film. It wasn’t necessarily in the script. We knew we were going to be in this lobby, and they needed to destroy the lobby. The idea just came up that, well, we can’t just have them run around because that is what we did that in the hotel room. We thought, ‘okay, since we’re adding a dog and it’s a cat, dog, and a mouse if they spun really fast, what would that be like.’ So the idea came up, ‘what if they created like a tornado which would destroy the lobby faster,’ and that’s where the idea came up. We just kept taking it, and of course, at some point, you throw some elephants and a tiger in it, and it even gets more destructive, so that’s where the idea came up on how to destroy a room faster and bigger.
What were some of your favorite characters or cartoons growing up?
I actually give homage to it, or kind of wink to it in the movie. I’m not sure if any of you caught it. There was a Secret Squirrel cartoon that I used to watch. I love The Flintstones. It was just one of my favorites and The Super Friends. Oh, there are so many as I’m starting to think back –The Thundercats. Oh, there’s a lot of them. I’m trying to remember Wacky Races. I don’t know if you guys remember Wacky Races, but there are just so many cartoons. The list goes on, but those are a few of them.
Download the Tom and Jerry Activity Book
A legendary rivalry reemerges when Jerry moves into New York City’s finest hotel on the eve of the wedding of the century, forcing the desperate event planner to hire Tom to get rid of him. As mayhem ensues, the escalating cat-and-mouse battle soon threatens to destroy her career, the wedding, and possibly the hotel itself.