Tom and Jerry

film 5 of 7

The Million Dollar Cat

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 29, 2015

These painted backgrounds are gorgeous, and so is that arced, concaved movement that Tom does at the start, and that Jerry repeats at the end.

I must confess that I’ve been feeling resistant to Jerry. Tom and Jerry are constantly playing out what would later become a very Roadrunner situation, obviously, though there are some interesting reversals. The Roadrunner is very present, but he doesn’t actually get a lot of screen time. The Coyote is the core, and in complicated but certain ways, the befuddled protagonist. Here we get much more time with and much more of a sense of Jerry. The Prey is the protagonist, but the result is counter to what you’d expect. With the decks so distressingly stacked against Tom, and with Jerry’s reversals being so pro forma, you start to resent the guy with whom you’re supposed to identify. The Roadrunner looks positively sympathetic in comparison.


Many will disagree with that, which is good.  Like I said, I’m just resenting Jerry right now. In that sense what’s especially good here is that Jerry gets positively vicious in goading Tom. His passive aggression gives way to outright aggression. Then the worm turns, they’re put on near equal terms, and things seem fair for a minute. It’s a relief! It even feels like justice. But fair is for the pigs, as my colleague Jeff Parkin’s mother used to say. And as with the Coyote, Tom is born to trouble. So it’s back to Cruelty at the very end. Your relief or frustration will depend on your sympathies.