Chloë Grace Moretz says the upcoming Tom and Jerry movie integrates live-action with animation more seamlessly than any film before it. After decades of being fully animated, lifelong frenemies Tom and Jerry are making the jump to live-action in 2021. The film (known as simply Tom and Jerry) is being directed by Tim Story and features a cast that includes Ken Jeong, Michael Peña, and Rob Delaney, in addition to Moretz. Story-wise, the movie reportedly revolves around Kayla (Moretz), a regular human who finds herself caught in the middle of Tom and Jerry's everlasting rivalry.
Films that blend live-action and animated characters have been around since the silent era, but have made leaps and bounds from a technical standpoint in the last few decades thanks to now-classics like Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Over the last twenty years, however, these types of movies have shifted away from clearly unrealistic 2D animation in favor of using photorealistic computer animation to bring classic cartoon critters to life in 3D (a la Detective Pikachu). Based on Moretz's recent comments, though, Tom and Jerry may be going for something a little different.
Naturally, the topic of Tom and Jerry during Screen Rant's interview with Moretz for this week's animated The Addams Family (where she voices Wednesday Addams). Here's what she had to say about the project:
It's really exciting; it's going to be nothing like you've ever seen before. It really integrates live action with animation seamlessly. And it's different than any of the movies that you've seen out there right now with that; it's more indicative of the older films.
If Moretz's comments are anything to go by, Tom and Jerry themselves will be a little more cartoony and a little less "realistic" than the characters in other recent live-action and animation hybrids. That's encouraging to hear, if only because the idea of Tom and Jerry being grounded by real-world physics in the movie sounds, frankly, a bit dull. Part of the enduring appeal of the duo's original 1940 animated cartoon shorts (and everything since then) is that their slapstick comedy isn't constrained by reality and can be all the more absurd for it. And with the advancements in visual effects over the last decade alone, it should be easier to integrate their zany hijinks into a real-world setting now (like Moretz says).
Story has made a career out of directing conventional comedies (some more successful than others), so it's probably safe to assume his take on Tom and Jerry will be closer to Detective Pikachu than Roger Rabbit in terms of quality and ambition. Then again, the bar for live-action and animation hybrids isn't all that high, especially when it comes to modern reboots of decades-old cartoon characters. So, with a little luck, Tom and Jerry will hopefully be as slight, but entertainingly silly as one of the duo's classic 2D animated romps.