At the Movies #2- Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes

Welcome back to the theatre!  Today we’re gonna take a look at Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes.  I wasn’t expecting much from this, but I was blown away.  Just a standard-ish review this time, so significantly less spoilers ahoy.

The first thing you will notice is this movie is pretty.  The animation is in the classic style, and it is awesome.  All it takes to see this is the badass opening scene, robbery performed by three cats with freakin’ jet packs.

In this movie, Jerry is cast as Sherlock Holmes’ little apparently super genius mouse buddy that performs dangerous experiments in his hole in the wall and who he trusts enough to go get his paper, although if it always goes so poorly (the only bit of paper he makes it back with is the main plot point of the film), one has to wonder why.  Being chased by Tom didn’t help though.  Speaking of Tom, he is cast as a maitre d’ (I guess) of the low class club Red sings and dances at (wolf cameos FTW!).  He was actually on his way to see Holmes when , sent by Red.  Droopy, Butch, Spike & Tyke, and Tuffy all play supporting roles of various import, the latter being the most.  There are several other cameos of old characters too.

I’m not sure how, but they manage to fit classic Tom and Jerry shenanigans and characters into an otherwise pretty serious plot by (UNSPOILER) Moriarty (Really, an animated Sherlock Holmes adaptation intended for a younger crowd and you were expecting someone other than his arch-foe?  Child please…).  It all works though.  Tom and Jerry are not bestest buddies as they usually seem to be in most of their movies.  Holmes explicity tells them they must learn to coexist if they are to help Red, but they really don’t work together well at all until things get serious.  The cat-and-mouse games are still there, and much like the old cartoons, Jerry doesn’t take the worst of it, but does get knocked around some.  That was always why I preferred Tom and Jerry of Looney Tunes, where no matter how much of a douchenozzle Bugs Bunny (or that heinous little bastard Tweety, just as egregiously) would be, he never got any comeuppance at all.  Ever.  So it was great to see things not being one-sided.  And Jerry really took a beating here, even in not getting the worst of it by a long shot.

Like I said, even with the characters involved (and the steampunkishness of the scheme), the story is played pretty straight. Unexpectedly to Holmes though, most of the work unexpectedly falls upon Tom, Jerry, Red, and later Tuffy (as a mouse of faith-contact of Jerry’s who offers to hide them in the church and gets caught up in the action) as they have to avoid the po-po (mainly Droopy and Butch when Red is implicated as the mastermind behind the jetpack cat heists.  Holmes and Watson end up on a literal wild goose chase and only come back into the main story just in time for the excellent climax, which of course leaves the bulk of the time for Tom and Jerry to work their misadventurous magic.  The movie just cuts to Holmes and Watson doing actual dull detective work occasionally while the stars of the show have all the excitement happen to them for the bulk of the movie, which makes the pacing fast and fun as it should be.  It never really drags at any point throughout.

The Good: The voice acting, OMG!  Michael York and John Rhys-Davies play Holmes and Watson, respectively, and Malcolm McDowell is Moriarty.  And they are all f***ing awesome!

The animation is stellar, as noted.  The pacing is good.  Spike and Tyke’s small parts are probably the funniest bits in the entire movie.  Good plot, great villainous scheme by Moriarty, fun climax.  Also good is there is no ugly to speak of here.

The Bad: Butch and Droopy.  I guess there was nothing wrong with them, I’ve just never have cared for them.  The very end of the movie annoyed me for some reason.  Everyone reverting back to form kinda bummed me out.

Fun Facts:

Several cameos by characters from classic shorts, mainly in the bar scene.

A few references to stars of fondly remembered Holmes portrayals.

Holy Hand Grenade sighting!  Presumably it’s supposed to be the Sovereign’s Orb, being the crown jewels & all, but it looked more like the Holy Hand Grenade to me.  Tom even double-takes at it when he has it in his hands briefly, if I recall correctly.

Final Score: I give it a 4/5.  Just a fantastic movie.  It’s a worthwhile entry as both a Holmes story and a Tom and Jerry tale, which is just mind-boggling.  If you are a fan of either or both, or just animation in general, SEE IT.

That’s all for this one, folks.  On the movie front, I may review Cop Out in the near future and also begin taking a look at the Father’s Day/Birthday present I picked up for my dad (if I’m feeling brave enough, because oh boy…), that being the 1943 Batman Serial!  On the card front, pictures of the cheese from my latest (and last for the foreseeable future) packs of cards, and maybe some scans of trades and group breaks and COMC orders and stuff if my lazy arse gets around to editing them.  Aside from all that, I also have Topless Robot contest winnins from a couple weeks ago to share, and more(i)art(y), of course.  Yaharr, that was a bad pun…

Until our next…