Meet Dan Lin, Clueless Producer of CGI Tom & Jerry Pic

Tom and Jerry

The only thing worse than knowing they’re making a live-action/CG hybrid of Tom & Jerry is reading an interview with the film’s producer and finding out that he’s completely ignorant about the characters and animation in general. That’s the disappointing discovery I made when I stumbled across this interview with Dan Lin. He displays his prolific lack of knowledge about the cat and mouse duo in his very first answer about the film:

My kids love the show. It’s two things-my kids love the show, I love the show. It’s really the originator of cartoon violence.

It’s hard to botch two fundamental concepts in such a brief answer, but Lin somehow manages that feat. First of all, they’re making a movie based on characters that were established and became famous in theatrical shorts. To call it a “show” displays a profound lack of context and understanding of the history of these characters. It’s perfectly understandable though how somebody who doesn’t even recognize this basic fact about the characters could then make the outlandishly stupid claim that Tom and Jerry is “the originator of cartoon violence.” Somebody get this guy a copy of Leonard Maltin’s Of Mice and Magic…QUICK! It gets better. He then says:

And the way I view it is it’s almost like sibling rivalry. It’s the way my brothers and I fought growing up, Tom and Jerry fight.

I may be an only child, but even I know that sibling rivalry doesn’t typically involve high-grade explosives, disembowelment, and attempts to eat the other sibling. Tom & Jerry is a classic predator-prey setup with the survival of the characters at stake. Diluting their relationship into a wimpy sibling rivalry is a massive misunderstanding of the motivations of these characters and strays perilously close to Tom and Jerry: The Movie territory, which we know turned out all kinds of awful:

Then again, having Tom and Jerry be friends is possibly the only route Lin can go since he appears to be willing to bend over backwards and change the personality of the characters willy-nilly to appease the marketplace and the MPAA. His last comment in the interview is the most ominous of all:

So we really want to retain the spirit of the original Tom and Jerry. We’ll see how that changes as we go through the filmmaking process and also the MPAA process.

Note that it’s not “I’m going to fight to retain the spirit of these characters;” it’s “We’ll see how that changes.” Spoken like a true producer without creative principles or vision.

(Thanks, Virgilio, for the article link)


  • uncle wayne

    That is ALMOST funny! I’m sure he’ll NOT have a #&*%*ing clue who Scott Bradley is EITHER!

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron H. Bynum

    When they made a CG version of POPEYE THE SAILOR, didn’t they make Popeye and Bluto allies, as well?

  • Scarabim

    I think the essential problem with making a full-length Tom and Jerry movie is that Tom and Jerry have no voices and no personalities. Their claim to fame is all about what kind of mayhem they inflict on each other, and as much as I enjoy some of the old T & J shorts, I can’t see myself being able to watch 90 minutes of that kind of thing. So it’s inevitable that some kind of personality and (one would assume) voice would be assigned to the cat and mouse for a full-length film. I can’t say I like the idea, or the idea of a T & J movie being made in the first place. Tom and Jerry are not Looney Tunes characters; I think that Daffy, Bugs, Porky and Sylvester are more than capable of carrying a full-length movie (not that anybody’s succeeded in that yet) because of their personalities, but as mentioned, Tom and Jerry have zilch in that department. So we may assume that Dan Lin is indeed a schmuck because he’s willing to make a T & J movie regardless.

  • uncle wayne

    Um….ahem….

    ————–

    Scott Bradley
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Background information
    Birth name Scott Bradley
    Born November 26, 1891(1891-11-26)
    Origin Russellville, Arkansas, USA
    Died April 27, 1977 (aged 85)
    Genres Film score, Soundtrack
    Occupations Composer, Arranger
    Instruments Piano
    Years active 1930-1957
    Labels Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

    Scott Bradley (November 26, 1891 – April 27, 1977) was an American composer, pianist and conductor.

    Bradley is most famous for scoring the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) theatrical cartoons, including those starring Tom and Jerry (Hanna-Barbera Years 1940-1958, 113 of 114 episodes), Droopy Dog (All 24 episodes), Barney Bear (All 26 episodes), and the many one-shot works of Tex Avery.

    Bradley was a conservatory-trained composer and pianist. In 1934, Bradley began composing for Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising, who were producing cartoon shorts for MGM. After MGM established its own cartoon studio in 1937, Bradley was hired permanently, and he remained with MGM until his retirement in 1957.

    His early style incorporated fragments of popular and traditional melodies, as was common practice in scores for animation. However, by the late 1940s, Bradley’s compositions and orchestrations had become more original and complex, occasionally utilizing the twelve-tone technique devised by Arnold Schoenberg who, along with Bela Bartok, Igor Stravinsky, and Paul Hindemith, influenced Bradley’s approach. “Scott writes the most blank-blank-blank difficult fiddle music in Hollywood,” concertmaster Lou Raderman was quoted (complaining good-naturedly) in Sight & Sound magazine. “He is going to break my fingers.”

    Bradley expressed considerable pride in his “funny music” and believed scoring for animation offered far more possibilities to the serious composer than live-action films.
    His music was originally published with the signature “red cape songs”. No scores are in print as of 2009.

    Bradley retired in 1957 when MGM closed its cartoon department. He died on April 27, 1977 in Chatsworth, California.

  • BobT

    I think it is possible to make a feature length film about Tom&Jerry, without voices, but still compelling.

    I’ll agree that the characters would need some personality, but that should come out of the story.

    Triplettes de Belleville was 80 minutes and only had one real spoken sentence in that film.
    Most of that film relies on slapstick. The characters in that film are mostly charicatures, but still manage to get some sort of personality during the story.

    I imagine such a thing is really difficult to achieve. It’s also not the sort of movie we’ll ever be getting out of Hollywood. But I don’t think it’s entirely impossible to do the same with Tom & Jerry.

  • http://gastrophobia.com DavidMcG

    I don’t know if it’s entirely inaccurate to call a series of theatrical shorts a “show”. That seems more like a matter of semantics.

  • http://elekiddo.blogspot.com Alex Irish

    As per the Nostalgia Critic’s review, we don’t need another dang Tom and Jerry movie, especially with such a generic plot as seen in ‘films’ like Garfield (2004). Hollywood writers will recycle anything.

  • David Breneman

    Hey, yeah, I get it! Tom and Jerry are kind of like Hope and Crosby! They can call the film “The Road to Vapidity”.

  • Christopher Cook

    This is akin to making techno-pop covers of the Beatles. It can’t be done without making it sound obnoxious.

  • Matthew Maners

    Why is anyone surprised at this. He comes across as a slick talker who is there to promote to a general audience. We all hate the hybrid thing when they take a 2d character and make them 3d but they keep doing it. Wonder if he has seen “Roger Rabbit”, if not he should. That worked because they stuck with 2d characters by doing them in 2d. Amazing concept I know. Or maybe he will go the Garfield route and Tom can be 3d and Jerry can be a real mouse. That was always confusing to me why Garfield was CG and Odie was a real dog. Thats my 2 cents.

  • http://dmgermain.blogspot.com David Germain

    Matthew,

    the reason for that is because they blew all their CGI budget on Garfield so they had no choice but to make Odie a real dog. That or scrap the whole project.

    Yep, I’m looking forward to this CG Tom & Jerry movie just as much as that CG Yogi Bear movie and that CG Marvin the Martian movie.

    Entertainment executives are some of the stupidest people on the planet. There is way too much evidence here on the Brew and elsewhere to support the above statement.

  • http://kirbydream.com/ Leirin

    That’s… extremely disappointing. And a bit lame.

    I always hated the Tom and Jerry movies. The fact that they have talking humans that never existed in the actual cartoon and are major characters is annoying enough.

  • http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/ Nina Paley

    I may be an only child, but even I know that sibling rivalry doesn’t typically involve high-grade explosives, disembowelment, and attempts to eat the other sibling.

    It would if it could, though.

  • vineet

    I think what makes tom and jerry compelling is not just the quality of the animation or the gags but that they do share a love-hate relationship. At the end of the day, Tom will go into the rain to look for Jerry (whom he threw out in the first place).
    I’d think thats what was meant by “sibling rivalry”.
    That said, this idea sounds like a travesty.

  • Isaac

    Scathing commentary. You already knew it’s going to be another feel-good friendship and redemption adventure, so I don’t see why you’re suddenly upset about it.

  • Marc Baker

    This guy’s comments on pretty much explain how much he knows about Tom & Jerry in particular, and animation in general. He refers to the series of shorts as ‘a show’ because never grew up in the era when they were shown in theaters, and his only exposure to them was through television. Which is understandable for the most part, but then there’s the possibility that he may have seen Hanna-Barbera’s non violent ‘Tom & Jerry/Grape Ape’ show, or Filmation’s ‘Tom & Jerry Comedy Show’, which were classified as ‘shows’, but not very good shows depending on who you talk to. He also fails to understand the predator/prey dynamic of Tom & Jerry, so it’s definitely going to be ‘Tom & Jerry: The Movie’ all over again (But in the ‘Alvin & the Chipmunks’ CGI motif) because these characters work best in the 7 minute cartoon format. While it’s true that Tom & Jerry did speak a few lines in some of their cartoons, they’re not suppose to talk, nor have personalities. It’s things like this that make me lose more, and more faith in animation as a whole.

  • Mesterius

    “I think the essential problem with making a full-length Tom and Jerry movie is that Tom and Jerry have no voices and no personalities. Their claim to fame is all about what mayhem they inflict on each other…”

    No personalities? Scarabim, it seems like you know as little of what you’re talking about as Dan Lin!

    Sure, Tom and Jerry as characters may not be as flamboyant as the Looney Tunes stars, but both (maybe particularly Tom) had loads of personality in the original Hanna-Barbera shorts. Their personalities, in fact, was the main reason their cartoons went beyond simply “inflicting mayhem” to becoming a series about two sympathetic (albeit cunning and violent) characters that you could really feel. In spite of the cartoony and crazy stories (or maybe thanks to them), Tom and Jerry’s underlying relationship feels real. Sure, Tom tries to eat Jerry a number of times (and in the end of one cartoon he actually seems to succeed), but generally, you still get the feeling that the chase itself is more important than the prey. Same with Jerry: He might laugh and triumph when he manages to make Tom run off a brew and into the water, but he still dives in to save him when realizing the cat is drowning. We get the feeling that these characters are actually dependent on each other, because the point isn’t really to kill off their foe. The fun lies in being able to get the better of their opponent. And I think that’s a nice human allegory. What makes this conflict even better, of course, is the wonderful use of pure cartoon violence. But it wouldn’t have had the same impact if we didn’t care for and believe in the characters and their interaction… which we do.

    I could go on analyzing and describing more specifically the two characters’ mannerisms and personality traits, but I’ll save that for another comment in the case you should need further details. But seriously…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-caznFYq46A

    Can you really look at that and claim the characters have no personalities?

  • Curt Vile

    OH NO. THIS 60 YEAR OLD CARTOON IS RUINED FOREVER.

  • http://beaudetteblog.blogspot.com Grant Beaudette

    I’m really not surprised about Tom & Jerry. Classic cartoons have been treated like exploitable assets rather than beloved characters for awhile now.

    The true horror to me is that this same guy is taking the same “care” to ruin Bone as well.

    I know when I first read Bone I was thinking “Shrek meets Lord of the Rings” too.

  • james

    I can’t be mad at Lin, he’s doing what he’s designed to do. That is the nature of the beast.. he sees a money maker and he’s gonna try and make money off of it. If there is a tiger and you feed it a steak, don’t expect to get your hand back.

  • Hulk

    Seems like there’s some even worse news embedded in the interview. This guy is attached to “Bone” as a producer. “Bone”, one of the best comics ever made is being made in to a movie by this clueless idiot and the crew who made “Happy Feet”. A more undeserving fate, I can not fathom. I hope I’m wrong and they do an awesome job OR that Jeff Smith will have the same cojones to pull the plug on the project like he did with Nickelodeon ten years ago.

  • squirrel

    First off, a “show” has broader meaning than “series of episodes intended to be broadcast by a television network in planned succession”. I know friends who would call Tom and Jerry a show. …*I* call Tom and Jerry a show! That’s going to conclusions.

    Second, they don’t fight because of something akin to sibling rivalry! …you know what? They don’t even FIGHT! Tom just wants to eat Jerry (in some shorts, he just downright hates him), and Jerry just responds accordingly! I’m sure Dan has some kind of excuse- he may not have been as prepared for this interview and had a blond moment.

    But the rest pretty much supports your argument. He sounds like he has no experience directing any kind of film whatsoever, and is even less of an animation enthusiast.

    Thank you for reminding me of yet another film that I once read about but some forgot, making my life happier.

  • Herb

    This guy comes off about as slick as a dull floor. Can’t beat Hollywood at aiming low.

  • http://animationapocalypse.blogspot.com/ Baron Lego

    So… we’re just going to end up with a CGI version of “Tom and Jerry: the Movie”, aren’t we?

  • ben c

    cant wait til they try to make that live action mr hanky movie

  • http://invaderpetblog.blogspot.com Brandon

    Before anybody asks, JANET WALDO IS NOT IN THIS FILM!

    I was in a Wiki-War with someone months back regarding that.

  • http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/mjf7583 Michael F.

    It’s going to take a lot of effort for this moment to end up being worse then the first one. Honestly, that scene with the singing alley cats in the original movie is the definitive Big Lipped Alligator Moment.

  • Scarabim

    Um, Mesterius, that cartoon was just more of Tom and Jerry abusing each other. I think you may be confusing “motivation” for “personality”. Both cat and mouse have motivations for their behavior, but display little personality when putting those motivations in action. Yes, it’s true that at times Tom has rescued Jerry and vice versa, but frankly, I always found that puzzling more than anything else. The closest that routine ever came to making sense was in the cartoon where Tom needed Jerry to forgive him so that he could go to heaven. That scene where Tom is begging for forgiveness is classic; understand, I’m not slighting T & J when I say they lack personality. But again, that scenario was puzzling; why should Tom be blamed – by another CAT – for acting on his perfectly natural predatory instincts?

  • http://hedgehog-rover.deviantart.com Martin Juneau

    I dare to hate Tom and Jerry like a today’s entertainment from the Stone Age but now they want to made a other movie, it makes it worse!

    Yeah, the original Tom and Jerry Movie was very awful, but showed appealing with some unforgettable moments. The other DTV movies was a pill of trash with wonky characters designs.

    And the fact that the WB’s Tom and Jerry cartoon give me a reason to hate more Tom & Jerry than anyone in the world. They don’t have my money with their Stone Age plots.

  • John

    His comments make me think he’s making Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie.

    Predicted storyline: Itchy and Scratchy Tom and Jerry don’t get along until they have to team up to fight a bigger foe. It’ll be the Garfield movie all over again.

  • http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=052C631F61EE2838 Iain

    “So we really want to retain the spirit of the original Tom and Jerry. We’ll see how that changes as we go through the filmmaking process and also the MPAA process.”

    Basically this: “I’m gonna do my best to retain the magic of the classic short films… but things could be changed to please a powering rating system fueled with middle aged parents of 20 to 30 year olds.”

  • http://www.bishopanimation.com Floyd Bishop

    From the studio’s standpoint “Hey, this old cartoon license is cheap, and those Chipmunk films did really well, let’s go for it.”

    It’s time that purists get the letters flowing into the studios, and get some support for a film that treats the characters the way they should be handled. Not possible? Look at the two Hulk movies to come out of the last ten years. Hulk dogs? You gotta be kidding me! A few years later, we get the Hulk fighting the Abomination for about 15 minutes. If enough people complain and voice their opinion in the right place, good films can happen. Unless they see a big cliff for their film’s release, it’s going to get made however they feel like it (and yes, it doesn’t sound good so far).

    Amid, you just couldn’t close out the year on a high note, could you ;)

  • someguy

    Hey, just look at it in a positive light.

    It’s yet another reason to take tequila shots and crack jokes at yet another stupendously crappy movie with movie-nerd friends when you download it off the internet for free. They’re creating an environment that fosters private entrepreneurship, character building and bonding through mutual hate for incompetent film making! It’s a new era for entertainment, Jerry!

  • http://www.theAMIGOunit.com bone

    Besides the ridiculousness of a CGI Tom and Jerry – I find humor in the fact that several professionals find you (Amid) to be too honest or even too negative on the subjects of animation too crazy to be acceptable. I think you are very much so on the ball with appropriate opinions of stupid decisions made involving animation and the art of – you have a good sense and reaction to “great ideas: involving animation” – and I find your opinion more valuable than others. Thank You

  • Mike Johnson

    Nostalgia Critic:

    Single. Greatest. Film. Review. Ever.

    Sorry, but I’m still laughing my a$$ off from watching that.

    Roger Ebert should be worried…

  • rockinrayduke

    Man, this ain’t good.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    Why didn’t they do a full length movie for theaters out of the pretty good “A nutcracker tale” and they are making this presumable disaster for the big screen is beyond me.

    I wouldn’t even care if Tom and Jerry did talk, but can’t they get a single thing right. The visual part would probably be hideous too.

  • http://animationinventory.blogspot.com/ Teodor

    Theme for help parents with sick children have only 4 comments
    This issue has many more.

    Maybe, this is the answer why today nobody can not make correct Tom and Jery product.

  • Rooniman

    Ahhh….. yes. The Nostalgia Critic. Definately a funny man.

    As for Dan Lin, have fun burning in hell, you ignorant jackass.

  • http://www.inkwellimagesink.com RayPointer

    The basic question is WHY? The answer is it’s easier for the suits to try to recreate something without the proper talent behind it than invest in something original. These things are always a disaster. Only they industry corruption and inbreeding has blinded the insiders from the truth. Statements like “show” and other superficial comments like “looks good” reflect a lack of realization. The question is where do these people come from, and why do they continue to earn a salary to produce such poor product while many truly talented people have been pushed out of the industry.

    I worked on the TOM AND JERRY MOVIE in 1991. It was the first animation gig I got when I came back to Los Angeles. Everyone on it knew that it was not going the way it should. But we did our professional best to make our scenes work, and it was a learning experience regarless of the success or failure of the film. While I knew what was wrong with parts of it, that was not my place to interfere since I was not the director.

    The interesting thing is that Joe Barbera was the consultant working with Phil Roman as the director, while answering to the people at Turner. The script was by Dennis Marks, whose previous effort was the script for THE JETSONS MOVIE. Put them altogether they spell DREADFUL! How’s that for an honest and truthful appraisal from someone who has actually worked in the field?

  • retro

    Dan Lin was a development exec. at Warner Bros. with the reputation for being the go-to guy for superhero, fantasy and horror, having worked to oversee the remake of Bodysnatchers with Roy Lee and others. He moved into a producer role at his old studio, as many departing execs do. Often, this is either part of a “golden parachute” arrangement or the studio wants an exec. gone before his deal expires. Sometimes, the exec. wants out early and they let the exec. go in exchange for an exclusivity deal. Don’t know what the case was with Dan. But the point is he is an MBA who began working for the studio after college, so he is the definition of a “company man” rather than someone who grew up outside a system, went to an art or film school, made films and came into the studio world through work experience. He’ll be thinking about quadrants and demographics.

    http://www.timewarner.com/corp/newsroom/pr/0,20812,1693762,00.html

    Dan also oversaw SCOOBY DOO 2, so if you enjoyed that, you’ll probably love TOM AND JERRY.

    Philosophical question – if you take off the table the possibility that someone will do right by a franchise, is it better to lay fallow or to be “reinvented for a new generation” the way so many cartoon and comic franchises are?

    This is a great site, by the way!

  • squirrel

    “The true horror to me is that this same guy is taking the same “care” to ruin Bone as well.”

    Wait… WHAT!??! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!! Where did you read this?!

  • Jessie

    Hey! Why don’t you guys post about Cartoon Network having a Looney Tunes marathon today?? Instead of … Yanno … Dissing everything, for once. Happy new year!

  • http://soccerorassociationfootball.blogspot.com Bob

    Oh, wait, THAT Tom and Jerry. I thought it would be the Van Beuren version from the early 1930s.

  • Dave O.

    I love it when these posts have the tone of a Vice magazine “Don’t”.
    Eff yeah, stick it to the man!

  • http://racattackforce.wordpress.com/ RacattackForce

    Well, on whether or not Tom and Jerry are enemies or friends, its a case of alternate character interpretation. It depends on the person how the duo’s relationship should be viewed, so I’ll let the friends comment slide. And I can let the “show” comment slide also, since that’s really grasping at straws. Yes, T&J started as theatrical shorts. But the fact that every short has been pretty much packaged into half-hour or hour-long slots on TV for the past few decades makes such a minor mistake okay in my book.

  • Andre

    That would be my idea of an alternate reality feature cartoon. The two Tom & Jerry’s (Van Beuren & Bill & Joe’s) meet and somehow create havoc throughout the universe. Can’t be any worse than what’s being planned already.

  • Mesterius

    Hmm, it really does seem like we’ll get a CG/live action version of Tom and Jerry: The Movie. While I’ve seen that coming for some time now, a few details keep on puzzling me:

    Tom and Jerry: The Movie was a commercial failure.

    The other incarnation where Tom and Jerry acted as friends all the time (The Tom and Jerry show) was no hit either.

    When will these idiot executives realize that their most successfully promising bet in the long run is the ORIGINAL TOM AND JERRY?

  • squirrel

    Okay, yeah, I really have no idea why this blog hasn’t mentioned the Looney Tunes marathon today. I suppose you did mention it weeks ago and just thought it was enough, but still.

    …Just IMDBed Dan Lin. His filmography shows his job has nothing to do with artistic vision- he just focuses on which gets into his hands. He produced Shorts, Scooby-Doo, Bone, “Sherlock Holmes”, The Box, The Invention of Lying, Terminator Salvation, Torque, Unaccompanied Minors, and the Untitled Lego movie, all of which have nothing to do with one another.

    Also, when did you have to PAY to see exclusive info at IMDB?!!

  • FigmentJedi

    squirrel, seeing as Jeff Smith has a large hand in the development of the Bone movies, Dan Lin probably won’t mess it up as much as he’s gonna mess up that Tom and Jerry thing.
    Though I am annoyed he refers it to “Shrek meets Lord of the Rings” when it was influenced by Pogo (which must be before his time if he calls Tom and Jerry a TV show) and the character dynamic of the Bones is basically a Mickey, Donald and Goofy type trio.

  • Feh.

    I’m worried here…..

    And it’s about something else no one seemed to get thus far.

    Note how he seems to be worried about the MPAA, here. Is this suggesting that he actually thinks that Tom and Jerry has to be a gore film?

    The “violence” in Tom and Jerry was never realistic or sadistic. Tom gets thrown into a mailbox and takes the shape of a mailbox.

    Characters get hit over the head with frying pans and become flat.

    Tom gets grabbed by the dog and is repeatedly punched in the face or hit over the head with an object while his head cartoonishly rubbers around.

    Jerry slaps Tom in the face with a cactus and his head has spines hanging out of it. No blood. Just spines. And if he pulls one out, his head deflates and his eyes blink a few times for comedic effect.

    That is as violent as Tom and Jerry ever got.

    More often than that, didn’t Tom and Jerry REALLY center on the chase and the dynamics thereof? Especially when it comes to Tom wanting to get the mouse but Jerry cleverly finding a safe haven and Tom working to circumvent Jerry’s safety without arousing the suspicion of the dog, or the farmer, or the owner, or the other cat, ect?

    But yet, Dan Lin seems to be approaching this project of the mentality of a snuff film for kids.

    That worries me far more than anything else, CGI or otherwise.

    Did he just get Tom and Jerry confused with it’s over-the-top parody Itchy and Scratchy?

    Because damn I hate Itchy and Scratchy. Never found it the least bit funny, and for a parody, it really got the source material all wrong.

    Yes, I blame Itchy and Scratchy, at least partly for this ignorance. It’s one of the bad parodies that has resulted in a lot of America misrepresenting what T&J were really about.

    Just seeing Lin’s comments here makes me want to slap myself in the face.

  • Cami

    While I agree Tom And Jerry in cgi/live action is a horrible idea, stop being anal and blowing neutral, vague quotes out of proportion.

  • dave

    I would think that anyone who actually loves these toons would turn down directing this film, or any of the other cgi live action mix movies. Most cgi artists working on these films most likely view these movies as just another job. All these movies just want to use the properties’ names and would rather kids not watch the original Film Roman Garfield specials, or the alivn show from the 60′s. These studios want those artists who love the original toons to stay away from these productions. Passionate artists are quite difficult to push around after all. Don’t be upset with the directors of these type of films blame the studios for picking the wrong guys for the job. All we can do is not watch theses things.

  • Dan Lin

    I really do not appreciate the lack of faith people have in this new film. I am in fact a big fan of Tom & Jerry, and really do want this movie to have the same high quality as the cartoons did. You really shouldn’t jump to conclusions. And, I am aware these cartoons began as THEATRICAL shorts. They were the Pixar cartoons of their time.
    I am aware of the first Tom & Jerry film from 1991, and I agree that it was bad. We will not make the same mistakes that movie made.

  • BT

    I see no chance of this movie being worth watching, but if we’re going to fixate on some random executive producer there should at least be a few humorously clueless quotes to base the criticisms on. Movie executives call movies “shows” too, and it’s pretty silly to pretend that he literally meant that children try to disembowel each other because he said “it’s almost like sibling rivalry.” He doesn’t say anything smart in this cherry-picked out of context quotes, but then again he doesn’t say anything even remotely worth getting upset about.

    By all means go after crappy movie ideas, but when you crank the bile, sarcasm and condescension cannons up to 200% like this you should make sure to aim somewhere near a target. To me it’s just kind of icky and depressing.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    Another thing I’d like to add. This is one of the funniest Nostalgia Critic reviews but I don’t agree completely with everything he suggest.

    The first twenty minutes of Tom and Jerry: The Movie were actually kind of decent IMO. The animation was disappointingly mediocre for Tom and Jerry but I don’t think there is anything too wrong plot-wise during the first half-an-hour. Tom and Jerry’s house getting pulled down, the idea of Tom and Jerry trying to be friends because a dog tells them so, the street cats attacking Tom…I don’t even mind the songs during this part. I actually think “Friends to the end” is pretty catchy.

    Yep, the animation looks extremely cheap and the plot is a little childish compared to the old shorts but it’s not a bad way to start the movie.

    I also don’t think it’s a total disaster to show Tom and Jerry talking…of course if Pixar could do Wall-E and there are Buster Keaton or Charles Chaplin movies that work without that dialogue I don’t see why they couldn’t do a Tom and Jerry movie without using it, but I don’t think that’s the main problem of the movie. I don’t really like the voices they use, but I don’t have a problem with them talking, especially when that already happened sometimes in the shorts.

    Tom and Jerry: The Movie really gets dreadful when Robyn first shows up. All this Disney-esque Rescuers-like plot is terrible and has nothing to do with Tom and Jerry, and they keep including more and more uninteresting secondary characters. Instead of using Spike, Tyke, Meathead, Little Quacker, Mammy Two Shoes or Tuffy they use all those stereotypical human characters that made it look like a bad Disney rip-off. And the subsequent songs are extremely corny too. Not so much the music, but the lyrics and their subjects.

    One of the very few things they got right is having Henry Mancini doing the soundtrack. I really did like the music theme during the opening credit titles.

  • Anne

    Amid,

    Try to calm down. Nobody could care less about this movie. Of course it’s going to be bad. You spend waaaaay too much time worrying about beloved characters being poorly adapted. Who cares. Why waste so much of your time and energy dissecting what the director of the CG Tom and Jerry has to say. If you had any hope for this to begin with you’re delusional.

    Do you think your opinion is going to change anything? You are such a narcissist.

  • top cat james

    “I am aware of the first Tom & Jerry film from 1991, and I agree that it was bad. We will not make the same mistakes that movie made.”

    So you’ll be making brand-new mistakes, then? Good to know.

  • http://youngfoolishanimator.blogspot.com Soriah

    Oh Anne, Anne, Anne.

    You see Amid here is an animation historian and consultant to many books on the medium. I’m going to take a wild guess here and assume that he is very passionate about animation, especially the classics such as Tom & Jerry. And when you’re that passionate about cartoons, it will really steam your bones when a Hollywood Producer plans to take a massive piss on what will probably be a terrible CG adaptation of Tom & Jerry.

    Amid, like most of us here, are blessed with a website or even a blog were he can fully express his opinion to a group of other passionate animation lovers. And the best part about owning a blog is that you can express your feelings about anything! Even about money hungry producers ready to nick dime this old franchise for all its worth. Whether it’s a positive or negative opinion, it really doesn’t matter.

    Of course you’ll get some readers who’ll disagree or believe that Amid is a narcissist but remember you don’t have to read about it. There are plenty of Animated cartoon blogs out there with writers who are more than willing to please their readers by keeping things “calm” and they would go out of their way to make sure not to express a single bad thought about any Hollywood animated film, ever.

    Although you might find my comment rude, sarcastic, and/or insulting but believe Anne, it’s not. Okay, maybe just a little

  • Justin

    Hey Anne,

    Why waste time telling Amid how useless he is?

    Amid is speaking out against a shitty cartoon. Some of us care about this stuff. You’re doing nothing to help.

  • Anne

    Amid,

    I apologize for my rude post. I had a horrible day and I took it out on you and your blog.

    I’m sorry.

  • EatRune

    I’m actually more concerned about Bone.

  • http://www.myspace.com/pilsnerspicks Pilsner Panther

    Since everyone who’s still breathing appears to have an opinion on this film, I’ll say something negative about the original MGM Hanna-Barbera Tom and Jerrys (not Van Beuren’s low-budget but funny 1930′s series).

    Despite the superb animation and the great Scott Bradley scores, H-B essentially made the same cartoon over and over again for two decades. There are a few exceptions, like the gorgeous “Mouse In Manhattan,” but those guys coasted for much longer than anyone had a right to.

    Especially considering that their MGM stablemate was Tex Avery, who was every bit as inventive as they weren’t.

    Tom and Jerry was like the Famous Studios Popeyes of the same period, only with a bigger budget. Mouse bops cat, two sailors fight over skinny girl— da capo, ad infinitum. Any inventiveness and original thought was, at some point, cynically exchanged for an assembly-line system of production: “Just give us the paycheck, that’s all!”

    A modern version of what was originally crap is no worse than… additional crap. Try to avoid stepping in it if you can.

    Yeah, I’m an unapologetic H-B hater. Watching their garbage on TV as a child almost ruined my taste for animation altogether!

  • Chuck R.

    I think that Anne’s got a point.
    Tom and Jerry has been run into the ground countless times, and it doesn’t affect this fan’s appreciation of the original shorts one bit. Sometimes we DO need to get a grip.

    Amid’s a master of trotting out unreleased stills, trailers and interviews of upcoming projects and trying to make salient critiques based on them. His predictions are often far from prophetic. His early comments about Kung Fu panda and Bolt were way off the mark, and (in my opinion) kept him from giving a fair critical assessment of those films when the appropriate time came.

    That’s not god practice for someone who wants to be taken seriously as an art critic. But art-criticism is more about elitism than honest observation anyway isn’t it?

  • messy

    Just so you remember, Tom and Jerry did indeed talk on rare occasions.

  • messy

    oh yeah, i forgot:

    Tom & Jerry: The recipe!

    1 oz. Dark Rum
    1 oz. Brandy
    1 Egg
    1 tsp. Sugar
    6 oz. Hot water milk, or coffee

    Seperate egg in two bowls. Add Rum & Brandy to the yolk and beat together until frothy. In th other bowl beat the egg white until it peaks then add sugar and bet until stiff. Fold into the liqour mixture. Pour into a coffee mug and top with the water, milk or coffee.

    Ready made batter can be store bought – for this simply add alcohol and water, milk or coffee.

  • David Breneman

    “Feh.” writes: “Did he just get Tom and Jerry confused with it’s over-the-top parody Itchy and Scratchy?
    “Because damn I hate Itchy and Scratchy. Never found it the least bit funny, and for a parody, it really got the source material all wrong.”

    I thought Itchy and Sctrachy was a parody of Herman and Catnip. Viewed in that light, it’s pretty dead-on, except for being funnier.

  • http://highlyrecommended.blogspot.com Satorical

    If there isn’t a demand for excellence, no one will supply it.

    Fight pap!

  • http://www.cartoonreviewsite.com Garrett

    Is this really a surprise that the person at the helm of a live action adaptation of a popular cartoon knows nothing of the subject matter? This has been the pattern of the entire slate of cartoon-to-live action adaptations since Rosie O’Donnell was cast as Betty Rubble because she could laugh like Bea Benaderet (which, given that the then-current voice of Betty was B.J. Ward, who doesn’t sound anything like Benaderet, and probably never had to do the laugh anyways, wasn’t a requirement for the position). Since that point, it’s been nothing but change after needless change to “modernize the show for new audiences”.

  • Mesterius

    Itchy and Scratchy IS a parody of Herman and Katnip. Only problem is, since Herman and Katnip isn’t particularly well-remembered or renowned in the public eye, people tend to assume it’s a parody of Tom and Jerry. Kinda silly seeing as how little T&J actually has in common with I&S except for being about a cat and a mouse.

  • Giovanni Jones

    “The ‘violence’ in Tom and Jerry was never realistic or sadistic.”

    I actually like Tom and Jerry — and Hanna-Barbera cartoons too — but I must point out that the violence in them that has made some folks nervous actually was the realism of the violence. The Road Runner cartoons took place out in the desert, while Tom and Jerry did their stuff in a household setting with easy-to-access items, not anvils or catapults.

    In the Oscar-nominated “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse,” Tom mixes various common poisons together (like moth balls) and when Jerry drinks it, he turns strong. I know it’s a cartoon and personally I think there are far worse things that kids see nowadays, but let’s face it — these were beautifully animated, superbly timed examples of expert character animation and many are rightly regarded as classics. But let’s face it, they’re violent. That does not suggest that they’re “bad,” it’s just what they are. That also doesn’t mean they’re bad for kids, especially compared to what else is out there for them to see nowadays.

    And as far as they’re being formulaic, perhaps what made them head and shoulders over other cat and mouse cartoons was that there were so many ways Hanna Barbera varied the formula. Tom and Jerry in their prime were very expressive — dare I say — animated personalities and there’s something about the duo and their cartoons that has stood the test of time and today’s disposable pop culture.

  • http://[email protected] rodolphe guenoden

    I am not surprised ANYMORE that ANYONE would want to do ANYTHING
    with those characters or any other.

    but….

    Amid, you should know that 15 years ago, when i first landed here after a few years of experience in Europe, i did not understand why everybody was talking about “shows” even for features. When i was meeting people in the industry, they would say “what show are you on?” and i was certainly mumbling something inarticulate, not quite grasping the wide coverage or the limited subtlety of the connotation.
    Well, i guess, most of everybody was clueless in Hollywood as to what that freaking picture, long or short, was supposed to be called.
    A show? A feature? A flick?
    And i am sure you know of this trend back then and now, but you are using it only now as a cheap ( ohh ever so surprisingly ) point to your argument against that clueless guy.

    r.

  • http://www.myspace.com/pilsnerspicks Pilsner Panther

    Giovanni Jones, you make some good points, but my objection to Tom & Jerry isn’t anything about the violence, it’s the mind-numbing repetition!

    To extend your comparison with the Road Runners, Chuck Jones worked with almost all of the great Warner Brothers characters, some of which he invented himself.

    But suppose that Chuck had made only Road Runner cartoons and practically nothing else? Then he would have been like Hanna and Barbera— extremely limited in his vision, and to borrow a line from the late, great Frank Zappa, “Only in it for the money.”

    Not that there’s anything wrong with making money, but isn’t animation supposed to be a creative medium? Shouldn’t it not only make audiences laugh, but astonish them with things they could never have imagined on their own?

    There’s really not much excuse for years and years of “treading water,” except that Hanna and Barbera and the artists who worked for them had to keep providing for their families, especially after the MGM cartoon unit folded. For that, they deserve a pass, but…

    Their shoddy work does not!

  • Mesterius

    Pilsner Panther: You might argue that Hanna-Barbera’s later product (especially the TV series from the 70s and 80s) were done more or less “for the money”, but in Tom and Jerry’s case. I don’t think it’s right at all. Way too much creative energy, inventiveness with plots and not least genuine love for their main characters shine through in Tom and Jerrys’ best years. Bill and Joe started out experimenting with a lot of different consepts and one-shot shorts, but when they found that Tom and Jerry was their thing, they decided to concentrate on that. But, repetition? At least during Tom and Jerry’s first 12-15 years, Hanna-Barbera were masters of NOT falling into repetition, instead coming up with new ways of varing the stories in practically every cartoon.

    In other words… only because some creative people desice to focus on one consept, that doesn’t automatically make them “only in if for the money.” Charles Schulz worked almost exclusively on Peanuts for nearly 50 years. Tove Jansson, creator of Moomin, also kept working within that universe throughout her career. Does that make them “in it for the money”?

  • Deaniac

    Is another Tom and Jerry movie a good idea? Nah.
    Is this author of this article overreacting a little too much? Yeah.

  • R.J. Laaksonen

    Mesterius: I agree with your point of not falling into mere repetition.
    Variation is the word to describe the chase scenes of Tom and Jerry. And, of course, there are stories that do not rely on chases at all: The Cat Concerto, Heavenly Puss, Blue Cat Blues, and many others. Tove Jansson never concentrated on the Moomins. Even when most of her Moomin books and the comic strip were created (mainly the ‘fifties) she worked all the time on her ‘serious’ stuff: painting and writing.

  • Eric

    Tom & Jerry (which entered syndication the year my brother was born) did always remind me of our sibling rivalty. Of course, it is exaggerated for them with the violence, but it was not always like that. Earlier on maybe, but once they became more established beyond the “cat preys on mouse” premise, they were like quarreling brothers a lot of times. They even team up together in certain situations. Of course, making them friends for a whole series or feature is stretching it, but “sibling rivalry” is not totally out of character for them.

  • Eric

    Should add, that their quasi-”sibling rivalry” is what made the franchise so charming, compared to all the other cat-and-prey cartoons.

  • http://natebearart.com Nate

    Hoo boy.

    You know what’s sad. If they Just remade Mouse Hunt and replaced Nathan Lane with a CG cat that would probably be closer to real T&J than this executive clusterfrack.

  • Mathew

    I may be an only child, but even I know that sibling rivalry doesn’t typically involve high-grade explosives, disembowelment, and attempts to eat the other sibling.

    Growing up there wasn’t a day that went by without me or my brother trying to disenbowel each other. Shows what you know.

  • http://tillmyhands.blogspot.com Adam VM

    I’d like to take this moment to announce that my script for Baby Huey the Movie has just been optioned by Warner. See it in theaters in 2012.

  • Mesterius

    Dan:
    “…I am aware these cartoons began as THEATRICAL shorts. They were the Pixar cartoons of their time.”

    First of all, Pixar’s biggest mark on the silver screen is set by their feature length movies; and comparing a Pixar feature to an original “Tom and Jerry” short simply doesn’t make sense… at least not from an artistic standpoint. Yes, Pixar does have some nods at classic Warner Bros. at times, but other than that, the studio has far more in common with Golden Age Disney than they’ll ever have with the Chase Cartoon genre which Tom and Jerry stems from. They’re just too aesthetically different. Also, Tom and Jerry was a continuous short series featuring the same main characters in every film… whereas Pixar introduces new characters and stories in almost every feature film or short, except for a few sequels and DVD shorts.

    Secondly: If what you meant was to compare the Tom and Jerry shorts with the shorts Pixar has been putting in front of their features (alternatively on their DVDs), you’re even further off the mark. Back in Tom and Jerry’s heydays (the 40s), short subjects were an obligatory and well-known part of the cinema program, which is one of the reasons why all the major film studios were producing cartoon shorts: If the studios managed to get popular, continuing cartoon stars, people would often choose their movie because they liked the cartoon series that ran in front of it. So in other words, theatrical cartoon shorts were big business; with their own movie posters just as the feature length films.
    Those days are long gone, though – and Pixar’s shorts program doesn’t work like that. Seldom, if ever, do you see a poster for the Pixar short running in front of the Pixar feature. It’s there as a nice extra touch, and because the Pixar people like experimenting in other forms than just features. But what audiences really come to watch is the Pixar feature… the shorts aren’t ‘big business’ in themselves, like the “Tom and Jerry” shorts once were.

    My third guess would be that you’re comparing the Tom and Jerry series with the Pixar studio in the light of commercial and critical success. Sure, Pixar is tremendously successful and popular today; winning Oscars and garnering rave reviews… and Tom and Jerry were both avid Oscar winners and beloved stars. Still, Pixar has a very different image in the public eye… partly because the studio skews more toward family entertainment (albeit often with adult content) than Tom and Jerry did back in the 40s. Tom and Jerry, with their insane violence and over-the-top gags, were actually aimed much more at adults, who could appreciate the gags and content even more than kids (which is not to say that kids haven’t loved the series ever since it started its television run, of course). Still, Disney is the studio to compare with here. So, all in all, commercial success is the only element I can think of where your comparison sounds even remotely logical.

    I appreciate you saying that you want the Tom and Jerry movie to have the same high quality as the cartoons, and I wish I could really believe that would happen. But such off-beat comments don’t really help your credibility as a cartoon enthusiast.

    And anyway, if the same high quality as the cartoons IS your ambition, you should fight to have Tom and Jerry animated as hand-drawn 2D characters (á la the style of Looney Tunes: Back in Action). And hire the best Warner Brother artists, like Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone, to direct the animation. Now THAT could be something to see on the big screen!

  • Mesterius

    R.J: Yeah, you’re compeletely right about Tove Jansson. I’ve never been that into her other work, which I guess is why I forgot about it when writing that comment.

  • http://www.classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

    I’ll bet if that unless MGM movies from ’85 and beyond are sold to Time Warner, they would be stupid enough to use Warner-Pathe-Movies rooster instead of MGM lion.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    >>And anyway, if the same high quality as the cartoons IS your ambition, you should fight to have Tom and Jerry animated as hand-drawn 2D characters (á la the style of Looney Tunes: Back in Action). And hire the best Warner Brother artists, like Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone, to direct the animation. Now THAT could be something to see on the big screen! >>

    I would pay twice to see that! Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone are great with Tom and Jerry, I didn’t really like their work with the Looney Tunes but they do fantastic things with Tom and Jerry.

  • Stephen Rhodes Treadwell

    to the guy or girl who said it’s annoying that they have, in the T&J movies, talking humans who didn’t exist in the TV cartoons:why would you say that? Why hate the movies just because they have characters that weren’t in any of the cartoons?

  • Stephen Rhodes Treadwell

    There’s also a few messages above saying T&J have no personalities. That’s so not true! They definitely have personality! They have dual personalities; the bad sides of them want to hurt each other but on the good sides they care about each other & are good friends. By the way why do people hate T&J the movie just because it was different from the cartoon. The muppet movies are different from the Muppet Show & people like them.

  • Lisa Montemayor

    And by the way, Dan Lin, the supposed “clueless” guy graduated from Wharton and then received his MBA from Harvard. He’s not talking out of his butt like most of you.

  • Stephen Rhodes Treadwell

    I look forward to the live action T&J movie. The Yogi Bear one was good & so were the Chipmunk ones & I don’t see why a T&J one shouldn’t be good. By the way I disagree about the 1st T&J movie being awful. I thought it was great! I think it’s the best movie I’ve ever seen that was based on a cartoon. I thought it was great when they surprised each other by talking & I thought Franky & Pugsy were great characters & it was a very nice movie because they helped a little girl find her father. I read somewhere people don’t like it because it was different from the cartoon but I can’t really see that it was all that different. Them becoming friends didn’t make it different because they become friends in some episodes & that’s one of the best things about T&J; one of the things that makes it such an unusual cartoon. TOM AND JERRY: THE MOVIE FOREVER!

  • Stephen Rhodes Treadwell

    I certainly don’t think calling T&J the Movie awful’s as ridiculous as calling the 1975 version of T&J that. I think those T&J cartoons are by far the best cartoons ever made. They’re very fascinating! T&J are drawn very beautifully in that version! It’s very cute & it has the best theme song of any cartoon I ever saw. One reason I liked T&J the Movie so much is that it was similar to that T&J version because of them becoming friends & working together.

  • Stephen Rhodes Treadwell

    As it says above, T&J are not Looney Tunes characters. As a matter of fact they’re more beautifully drawn than any LT character.

  • Stephen R Treadwell

    Oops! I used bad grammar in one of my messages above! I said there’s also a few messages when I should have said there are.

  • Stephen R Treadwell

    I know I’m quite alone in this but I find T&J way more likable than any LT character.

  • Stephen Rhodes Treadwell

    I’ve decided not to put any more messages on youtube saying the 1975 version of T&J’s the best but I still think it is & no one will ever convince me otherwise.