Many considerations must be weighed when reviewing an iconic remake, and even more so with an animated take. To say that “Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is a film that adds to the Roald Dahl canon is an exaggeration at best, but Warner Brothers prefaces its animated reimagining by emphasizing that the film’s use of the madcap cartoon duo is to “introduce” younger audiences to the joys of Dahl’s Wonka, not “replace” the beloved original film.
Sadly, the film is not a reimagining of the chocolatey goodness with Tom and Jerry as central confections – ala Star Wars being given the Lego treatment – but is simply a retelling of the classic tale with Tom and Jerry peppered in so that loyalists and toddlers might give it a chance. As an entertainment writer, my immediate thought as the credits rolled was to deliver a scathing review of the film that Slugworth himself would be proud of. However, as I write this, I must admit that I have now seen the tale a total of five times. Not by my volition, mind you, but at the urging of my three-year-old daughter. Shouts of, “Daddy, wanna watch kitty chocolate factory!” again and again led me to believe that, while the film may not be groundbreaking, Warner has the pulse of the film’s target audience.
The special features menu is also toddler friendly, but will likely fall flat for older fans. Made up of shorts from the later “Tom & Jerry Show,” “Tom and Jerry Tales,” and “Tom & Jerry Kids Show,” the extras menu – in my opinion – was an opportunity lost to give adult fans the nostalgia that likely made them consider this title to begin with. So with bland candy passed around for hardcore loyalists, but a tasty gobstopper for its target audience, “Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” serves up pure imagination with age discrimination.
Studio Synopsis: In this entertaining new film, Tom and Jerry meet Charlie Bucket, a young boy who finds one of five golden tickets, hidden inside the wrappers of Wonka chocolate bars. The lucky few who find a golden ticket are invited to visit Willy Wonka’s world famous chocolate factory and win a lifetime supply of chocolate. As Charlie sets out to meet Willy Wonka, Tom and Jerry secretly accompany him. Along the way, they help him steer clear of the evil Arthur Slugworth, who tries to talk Charlie into bringing him Willy Wonka’s latest creation, the Everlasting Gobstopper. They also meet Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde and Mike Teevee, the four other kids who also find golden tickets and are invited to tour the chocolate factory with Charlie.
Studio: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 79 minutes
Number of Disks: 1
– Five Tom & Jerry Episodes:
– Here’s Looking A-Choo Kid/Superfied (2014)
– Joy Riding Jokers/Cat Got Your Luggage/City Dump Chumps (2006)
– No Biz Like Snow Biz (1990)
– The Maltese Poodle (1990)
– Cast Away Tom (1990)
Voice Cast: JP Karliak | Jess Harnell | Lincoln Melcher | Mick Wingert | Lori Alan | Jeff Bergman | Spike Brandt | Kath Soucie
Director: Spike Brandt
Central Writers: Roald Dahl (original screenplay), Gene Grillo
DVD Release: July 11, 2017
Genre: Animation | Adventure | Comedy
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE
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