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Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale is a 2007 American animated Christmas fantasy comedy film starring the seven-time Academy Award-winning cat-and-mouse duo Tom and Jerry. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Turner Entertainment Co., it was the fifth made-for-video attempt to recapture the style of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera's original film shorts from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Produced and directed by Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone (who would later both direct, produce and/or script subsequent Tom and Jerry direct-to-video films), it is an animated semi-adaptation of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E. T. A. Hoffmann, with Jerry in the role of the Nutcracker and Tom in the role of one of the Mouse King's (who, in this version, is replaced with a cat) henchmen.

A Nutcracker Tale would be the last animated production that Joseph Barbera worked on, as he died on December 18, 2006; the film was dedicated to his memory. It was also the last animated direct-to-video film released under the Warner Bros. Family Entertainment label, before it became an in-name-only unit of Warner Bros. Pictures the following year.

On August 13, 2020, it was announced that the film is scheduled to be released on Blu-ray and special edition DVD as paired with Tom and Jerry: Santa's Little Helpers on October 27, 2020.[2]

Plot

Jerry and his nephew Tuffy watch the Christmas ballet in New York City while a group of cats, including Tom, sing a song for the Cat King in an alley overlooking the Empire State Building. Jerry goes to the now-empty stage floor where magic begins to happen, such as toys coming to life, including a pony named Nelly and a pixie named Paulie. The magic then makes a music box ballerina come to life and Jerry dances with her.

The stage is transformed into a wintry wonderland where the toys all enjoy a dinner feast. Tom and the other cats ruin the feast and trap the toys while Jerry, Paulie and Nelly try to stop them but are shot out of a cannon, where they end up worlds away. Tom, as the Captain of the Cat Guards, traps the Ballerina in a cage then brings her to the Cat King, who unsuccessfully asks her to dance for him. Later on, Tom is called to gather other cats and stop Jerry, while Tuffy gives the Ballerina a string attached to a ring of keys and then goes to warn Jerry and stop the cats. Meanwhile, Jerry, Paulie and Nelly decide to follow a very bright star to an elderly man called the Toy Maker. They stop in front of a frozen river and all make it safely except for Jerry, who falls from a frozen waterfall and through the ice, becomes tangled in a weed and seemingly drowns. He is then revived and freed by the magic and then is pulled up by Nelly and Paulie. This makes Paulie unravel by melting the glue that keeps him together. Tuffy gets to Tom and dresses up as an angel and a devil to convince him not to harm Jerry, but inadvertently blows his cover when he ends up sticking the trident in Tom's eye, causing the tower of cats to fall off of a cliff. Tuffy continues on to Jerry, warning him of the cats. Tom and his friends, disguised as Christmas trees, surround Jerry but Tom gets attacked by squirrels and shredded in a tree shredder. The cats attack, but Jerry and the rest of the group escape inside a tree. The group then comes to a hill where Paulie's head is sent flying into another hole. They go into the hole, only to find a fiery world with lava pits and dragons; a flame fairy gives Paulie his head back. A dragon wakes up but is hypnotized by Jerry into lifting them out of the pit.

They launch a cannon which blasts Jerry and his friends into a house with clocks. The mice and toys are chased by the cats again and run into a fairground, where Tom is virtually beaten up after being thrown onto the carousel and the swirling cups and crushed again and again on the roller coaster after Jerry pulls out the pin that couples two of the cars together. They make it to a ridge, and Jerry blows up balloons with which they make it off safely. One cat shoots an arrow, bursting Nelly's balloon. Tuffy grabs on to her and unravels more of Paulie. Nelly is let down and chased by the cats. Jerry saves her, but his grip fails him and her string slips out of his hand. The cats pull her string and she tells them where the others are headed. The remaining three make it to the Toy Maker and, after initially looking like they have failed when Tom and the other Cat Guards cut them off at the door (only to be swiftly sent packing when the door smacks them away as the Toy Maker answers it), the Toy Maker fixes Paulie and gives them a key that allows them to awaken an army of toy soldiers. The three depart with their newly attained army in order to take back their kingdom.

When the cats attempt to escape the army of toy soldiers, the Ballerina appears with the other toys and she leads them in an army in rebellion against the Cat King. Tom vacuums up many of the soldiers, but the vacuum explodes and they are blown back onto the cats. As the Cat King orders his followers to retreat, Jerry activates a toy train that knocks all the cats on top of it as it crosses the stage and exits through the backstage door, hitting the wall of the building next door to the theatre and finally falling into a dumpster back in New York. The Ballerina hugs Jerry in victory and happily tells him that she never doubted him, but suddenly the wall next to them begins to crumble and collapses on Nelly as she shoves Jerry and the Ballerina out of the way, crushing and seemingly killing her. Jerry, Tuffy and Paulie are brokenhearted by this, but the magic revives her and removes her string, allowing her to finally talk without a string. Following this, Jerry and the Ballerina dance after receiving their crowns back. The Toy Maker and the ballerina from the Christmas play are then shown to be watching from the audience; the real ballerina throws Jerry a rose and the curtain is then let down, ending the show.

Voice cast

Production

According to Spike Brandt, Joseph Barbera decided on a Nutcracker adaptation due to thinking its music fitted perfectly with Tom and Jerry.[3] The Amazon page for the DVD appeared sometime in August 2007.[4][when?]

Widescreen

Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale was the fourth Tom and Jerry film to be filmed in high-definition widescreen (the first three being Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars, Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry and Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers), although the Region 1 DVD and the U.S. version of Warner Bros. Family Entertainment label, before it became an in-name-only unit of Warner Bros. Pictures the following year.

On August 13, 2020, it was announced that the film is scheduled to be released on Blu-ray and special edition DVD as paired with Tom and Jerry: Santa's Little Helpers on October 27, 2020.[2]

Jerry and his nephew Tuffy watch the Christmas ballet in New York City while a group of cats, including Tom, sing a song for the Cat King in an alley overlooking the Empire State Building. Jerry goes to the now-empty stage floor where magic begins to happen, such as toys coming to life, including a pony named Nelly and a pixie named Paulie. The magic then makes a music box ballerina come to life and Jerry dances with her.

The stage is transformed into a wintry wonderland where the toys all enjoy a dinner feast. Tom and the other cats ruin the feast and trap the toys while Jerry, Paulie and Nelly try to stop them but are shot out of a cannon, where they end up worlds away. Tom, as the Captain of the Cat Guards, traps the Ballerina in a cage then brings her to the Cat King, who unsuccessfully asks her to dance for him. Later on, Tom is called to gather other cats and stop Jerry, while Tuffy gives the Ballerina a string attached to a ring of keys and then goes to warn Jerry and stop the cats. Meanwhile, Jerry, Paulie and Nelly decide to follow a very bright star to an elderly man called the Toy Maker. They stop in front of a frozen river and all make it safely except for Jerry, who falls from a frozen waterfall and through the ice, becomes tangled in a weed and seemingly drowns. He is then revived and freed by the magic and then is pulled up by Nelly and Paulie. This makes Paulie unravel by melting the glue that keeps him together. Tuffy gets to Tom and dresses up as an angel and a devil to convince him not to harm Jerry, but inadvertently blows his cover when he ends up sticking the trident in Tom's eye, causing the tower of cats to fall off of a cliff. Tuffy continues on to Jerry, warning him of the cats. Tom and his friends, disguised as Christmas trees, surround Jerry but Tom gets attacked by squirrels and shredded in a tree shredder. The cats attack, but Jerry and the rest of the group escape inside a tree. The group then comes to a hill where Paulie's head is sent flying into another hole. They go into the hole, only to find a fiery world with lava pits and angel and a devil to convince him not to harm Jerry, but inadvertently blows his cover when he ends up sticking the trident in Tom's eye, causing the tower of cats to fall off of a cliff. Tuffy continues on to Jerry, warning him of the cats. Tom and his friends, disguised as Christmas trees, surround Jerry but Tom gets attacked by squirrels and shredded in a tree shredder. The cats attack, but Jerry and the rest of the group escape inside a tree. The group then comes to a hill where Paulie's head is sent flying into another hole. They go into the hole, only to find a fiery world with lava pits and dragons; a flame fairy gives Paulie his head back. A dragon wakes up but is hypnotized by Jerry into lifting them out of the pit.

They launch a cannon which blasts Jerry and his friends into a house with clocks. The mice and toys are chased by the cats again and run into a fairground, where Tom is virtually beaten up after being thrown onto the carousel and the swirling cups and crushed again and again on the roller coaster after Jerry pulls out the pin that couples two of the cars together. They make it to a ridge, and Jerry blows up balloons with which they make it off safely. One cat shoots an arrow, bursting Nelly's balloon. Tuffy grabs on to her and unravels more of Paulie. Nelly is let down and chased by the cats. Jerry saves her, but his grip fails him and her string slips out of his hand. The cats pull her string and she tells them where the others are headed. The remaining three make it to the Toy Maker and, after initially looking like they have failed when Tom and the other Cat Guards cut them off at the door (only to be swiftly sent packing when the door smacks them away as the Toy Maker answers it), the Toy Maker fixes Paulie and gives them a key that allows them to awaken an army of toy soldiers. The three depart with their newly attained army in order to take back their kingdom.

When the cats attempt to escape the army of toy soldiers, the Ballerina appears with the other toys and she leads them in an army in rebellion against the Cat King. Tom vacuums up many of the soldiers, but the vacuum explodes and they are blown back onto the cats. As the Cat King orders his followers to retreat, Jerry activates a toy train that knocks all the cats on top of it as it crosses the stage and exits through the backstage door, hitting the wall of the building next door to the theatre and finally falling into a dumpster back in New York. The Ballerina hugs Jerry in victory and happily tells him that she never doubted him, but suddenly the wall next to them begins to crumble and collapses on Nelly as she shoves Jerry and the Ballerina out of the way, crushing and seemingly killing her. Jerry, Tuffy and Paulie are brokenhearted by this, but the magic revives her and removes her string, allowing her to finally talk without a string. Following this, Jerry and the Ballerina dance after receiving their crowns back. The Toy Maker and the ballerina from the Christmas play are then shown to be watching from the audience; the real ballerina throws Jerry a rose and the curtain is then let down, ending the show.

According to Spike Brandt, Joseph Barbera decided on a Nutcracker adaptation due to thinking its music fitted perfectly with Tom and Jerry.[3] The Amazon page for the DVD appeared sometime in August 2007.[4][when?]

Widescreen

Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale was the fourth Tom and Jerry film to be filmed in high-definition widescreen (the first three being Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars, Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry and Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers), although the Region 1 DVD and the U.S. version of Boomerang were in full screen (cropping the left and right of the image), though not pan and scan as the camera stays directly in the center of the image. Like other television shows and films filmed in high-definition, the monitor the animation team would have worked from would have 16:9 and 4:3 safe areas so that the full screen version would not crop off too much of any important visual

Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale was the fourth Tom and Jerry film to be filmed in high-definition widescreen (the first three being Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars, Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry and Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers), although the Region 1 DVD and the U.S. version of Boomerang were in full screen (cropping the left and right of the image), though not pan and scan as the camera stays directly in the center of the image. Like other television shows and films filmed in high-definition, the monitor the animation team would have worked from would have 16:9 and 4:3 safe areas so that the full screen version would not crop off too much of any important visual elements (such as characters). However, the film is broadcast in widescreen on Cartoon Network in the United States.

Reception

Paul Mavis of DVD Talk gave the film a very positive review saying "Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale earns marks for embracing an operatic storyline while keeping the essential punish-Tom-with-pain gags that made Tom and Jerry such a successful franchise for decades.",[5] while Nick Lyons was much more negative stating "Tom And Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale is a rushed animated feature that was simply made to cash in on the Christmas holiday. Avoid this one and rent or buy a holiday classic like the animated Grinch."[1]

Renee Schonfeld of Common Sense Media rated the film 4 out of 5 stars (making it the highest rated Tom and Jerry film on the site) saying "especially at holiday time, for kids who understand cartoon action, it's a delightful entertainment. Teens and

Renee Schonfeld of Common Sense Media rated the film 4 out of 5 stars (making it the highest rated Tom and Jerry film on the site) saying "especially at holiday time, for kids who understand cartoon action, it's a delightful entertainment. Teens and grown-ups might like it, too."[6]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has no critic approval rating, but the audience approval rating is 63% based on 311 .[7]

Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes was released on August 24, 2010.

References