Tom & Jerry is bringing the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters to the big screen in a live-action/animation hybrid form. Set in a ritzy Manhattan hotel, the classic duo are rendered with 2D animation, with the rest of the film being live-action.
In these strange times, many films are abandoning theaters for streaming services, or finding a middle road. Tom & Jerry is one of these films, so with that in mind, here’s how you can watch it at home.
‘Tom & Jerry’ stars Chloë Grace Moretz and Michael Pena
Tom & Jerry were created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera in 1940 for a series of shorts that played in front of MGM film releases in theaters. Overall, the duo has starred in 164 short films up through 2014, 114 of which were directed by Hanna and Barbera from 1940-1958.
Starting in the 1970s, Tom & Jerry began starring in several TV shows. Many of these continued to be syndicated throughout the decades, exposing multiple generations of young viewers to their violent slapstick antics. A feature-length animated movie hit theaters in 1992 and a further 13 direct-to-video films were released starting in 2002.
As a Warner Bros. film in 2021, Tom & Jerry falls under the company’s ambitious “Same Day Premiere” plan. As of today, Feb. 26, alongside a theatrical release, the film is available to stream on HBO Max. It will be there for 31 days, meaning that it will leave the fledgling service on March 29.
Tom & Jerry will be the first all-ages family film to get the “Same Day Premiere” treatment, unless you want to be charitable with Wonder Woman 1984. The other films released this way so far have been The Little Things, which has already left, and Judas and the Black Messiah.
An all-star cast joins the animated legends
Since Tom & Jerry are known to stay silent and their actions speak for them, their new movie will feature an all-star cast to handle all the talky business. Chief among them is Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays a flustered new employee at the hotel the duo find themselves in. She’s tasked with getting rid of the animated nuisances before they ruin a big wedding.
The rest of the cast is made up of comedy stalwarts, including Rob Delany, Michael Peña, Colin Jost, and Ken Jeong. While Tom and Jerry’s screams and snickers use the same archival voices as the classic cartoons, a handful of new cast members provide voice work for other animated characters. Bobby Canavale voices Spike, the classic bulldog character who Tom and Jerry run afoul of constantly in the classic shorts. Comedians Lil Rel Howery and Tone Bell voice the devil and angel on Tom’s shoulders.
The new film is directed by Tim Story, a director known for his work on comedy films. This includes Barbershop, the Think Like a Man movies, the Ride Along movies, and 2019’s Shaft. He also dabbled in blockbuster filmmaking with 2005’s Fantastic Four and its sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
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