Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Series: a Tom and Jerry movie
Starring: Mark Hamill, Kevin Michael Richardson, Wallace Shawn, Kathy Najimy, Charles Nelson Reilly
Director: Scott Jeralds
Release Date: 22 August 2006
Length: 74 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: DVD
Three rival pirate brothers have been trying to find the treasure of the Spanish “Mane” for years. When Tom finds a treasure map in a bottle, he has no idea that he has located what the brothers have been searching for. Red Pirate Ron soon discovers that Tom has the map and he doesn’t hesitate to snatch it from his cat’s grasp. Meanwhile, Jerry has bargained for his life with Blue Pirate Bob by promising to steal the map from Tom. Of course, everyone really wants the treasure map for themselves and spend the entire movie trying to double cross and get ahead of everyone else and find the treasure!
This is one of the earlier feature-length animated films that star Tom and Jerry and I enjoyed it, but I did not think that it was as cute or clever as some of the later films are. The story is pretty basic, double cross, steal, lie, cheat, whatever it takes to get the treasure and throw off everyone else from following you. I know, I know, pirates. What else was I expecting? Something more. This movie was clearly inspired by the very successful Pirates of the Caribbean movies (skeleton pirates, a cursed treasure, a talking skull, etc) and I cannot blame the animators for trying to capitalize on the popularity of the pirate genre afterwards. Unfortunately, they decided to make a really long version of one of the older Tom and Jerry cartoons where they chase and fight each other for the entire time. I found that most of the skits were pretty predictable and not very imaginative. They also did not manage to capture the sly and sneaky aspects of Tom and Jerry’s personalities and they were just a bit bland for some reason.
What made the movie tolerable for me and the other older children was the humor found in several scenes. Tom and Jerry spend a long time at the beginning stealing the map from each other while trying to dodge an attack dog, parrots, pirates, pirate captains, monkeys, a giant octopus and more. Jerry is smarter, but Tom is bigger and not afraid to go after what he wants. The talking skull (voice by Mark Hamill) is not the brightest bulb, but he provides some unwitting comedy as he challenges the treasure seekers with tests they have to pass before they can get to the treasure. But my favorite characters were the parrots and their owners. The blue pirate and the red pirate only say “yar!” and their parrot mascots translate for them. The purple pirate speaks perfectly well and has a parrot that will only say “yar!”. There is a lot of slapstick, non-verbal comedy and Tom and Jerry do not speak, as is traditional so you have to actually pay attention to what you are watching rather than what you are hearing or you will miss some very funny moments!
The music is a treat, as always. It plays pretty much continuously through the entire film and really added to the quality of the movie. The animation is a bit too slick to match the old-fashioned animation I am used to seeing, but I quickly got used to it. If you rent the DVD or buy the movie, make sure that you watch the bonus feature that shows you what happened after the main story ends (a kind of “where are they now” recap) as it is very entertaining. I enjoyed this movie and it reminded me of how much I loved Tom and Jerry as a child, but it also made me realize that I have moved beyond these cartoons and don’t enjoy all of them as much as I used to. Still, this movie will be sure to appeal to younger viewers who are looking for a lot of action and obvious laughs. The story is super easy to follow and Tom and Jerry are quite entertaining with the way that they bait each other. I still say that there are better, more appealing Tom and Jerry movies out there, though, so shop around to make sure you purchase the best movies for your family.
This movie contains a lot of slapstick violence and punching, kicking, biting, blowing up, setting on fire, etc. is shown in a funny, comedic way. The characters never really get injured and do not have any long-term effects from the violence. The talking skull and skeleton pirates may be a little scary for younger viewers. Recommended for ages 2 and up.