Tom and Jerry:
A Nutcracker Tale
review by Bobby Blakey
I love Tom and Jerry, but their journey in their films have been more miss than hit. In 2007 the famed cat and mouse were injected into the world of the Nutcracker for a new holiday film. Now that film is getting a Blu-ray re-release for fans of both properties, but does it capture the essence of either or is it a game of cat and mouse not worth joining?
Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale follows the story of Jerry Mouse, after watching the season’s final performance of “The Nutcracker” ballet on Christmas Eve, Jerry dreams of dancing with the beautiful prima ballerina, who captivates him with her graceful performance. After the theater patrons leave, Jerry climbs onto the stage and begins to dance on his own, as Tuffy Mouse cheers him on. Through the magic of Christmas Eve, Jerry is suddenly transformed into one of the dancers. Costumed to look like regal prince, he takes center stage, which turns into a winter wonderland, as all the toy props around him come to life, and music from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” begins to play. A petite music box ballerina springs to life and joins Jerry as the two of them dance their way into the Nutcracker’s magical realm. It seems as though Jerry’s “The Nutcracker” fantasy has finally become a reality. That’s until Tom and his band of alley cats enter through the theater’s stage door, capture all the toys and lock the beautiful ballerina in a cage.
One of the biggest blunders you can make with Tom and Jerry is making them talk, which they did in the Tom and Jerry film back in 1992 although with a pretty clever twist to why. Thankfully this film keeps to the golden rule to keep them silent while everyone around them lets the dialogue flow. I don’t remember seeing this one when it was originally released, but to be fair I am also not a fan of the Nutcracker story. That being said I actually had a fun time with it, a lot more than I expected to.
The story is obviously familiar, but it puts enough new spin on it to bring the fun and usual Tom and Jerry antics while also making it feel like a bigger holiday adventure. Sure this isn’t going to work for all the fans as the bigger tone of it all does force Tom and Jerry to be apart for a lot longer than you might want. The animation holds up well and looks really good. There is a fun little twist at the end and some decent music that makes this way better than I was expecting it to be even with some elements feeling a bit forced into the story to make it work.
In the end this is a decent Tom and Jerry animated film that the kids will no doubt enjoy and if nothing else gets them introduced to the best cartoon duo of all time. Grab your copy of Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale available now from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.