Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

How the new Tom & Jerry movie tries to honor the toon's "smashing" history

When Hanna-Barbera’s Tom & Jerry first appeared in 1940, they were called Jasper and Jinx, and the cartoon they appeared in, “Puss Gets The Boot,” also featured a racist housemaid archetype named Mammy Two Shoes. Pitched by Joseph Barbera as “two equal characters who were always in conflict with each other,” Tom & Jerry quickly became cartoon icons and have since appeared in 161 theatrical shorts, spawned a number of self-titled television shows, and have appeared in 14 movies. The fifteenth Tom & Jerry movie, aptly titled Tom & Jerry, hits HBO Max this weekend, and brings with a hefty cast of characters including Michael Pena, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Rob Delaney. It also, of course, features Tom & Jerry.

The A.V. Club sat down with Tom & Jerry director Tim Story and producer Chris DiFaria to talk about how the two approached adapting these much-beloved characters. Is there a Tom & Jerry bible? A designated archivist? And how does a movie appealing to kids in 2021 deal with the realities of what happens when someone takes a frying pan to the face? Or does it? All of those questions and more are answered in the video above.

Tom & Jerry hits select theaters and HBO Max this Friday.

Marah Eakin is the Executive Producer of all A.V. Club Video And Podcasts. She is also a Cleveland native and heiress to the country's largest collection of antique and unique bedpans and urinals.

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