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Spike Brandt
JP Karliak, Lincoln Melcher, Jess Harnell
Writing Credits:
Gene Grillo

The classic Roald Dahl tale gets a modern twist when Tom and Jerry enter the amazing world of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

Not Rated.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1/16X9
English Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Thai Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 79 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 7/11/2017

• Five Bonus Cartoons
• Trailers
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 13, 2017)

When I heard about 2017’s Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I thought it sounded like a terrible idea. The combination of violent animated animals and a beloved children’s story just struck me as a recipe for disaster.

Then again, I felt 2015’s Kiss/Scooby-Doo pairing Rock and Roll Mystery would be a catastrophe as well. Instead, that one provided passable entertainment, a fact that left me open to potential charm from Factory.

Just like the classic 1971 film, the animated 2017 Wonka follows young Charlie Bucket (voiced by Lincoln Melcher) and his financially depressed family. Charlie lives with his mother and both pairs of grandparents, none of whom have departed their beds in decades. Nonetheless, they give him lots of support, especially from his Grandpa Joe (Jess Harnell).

When reclusive candy maker Willy Wonka (JP Karliak) decides to open his fantastic factory to five lucky families, worldwide panic ensues. In a masterful marketing move, the only way to win a slot is to find a “golden ticket” inside a Wonka Bar.

This causes a feeding frenzy, and we gradually meet all of the children who obtain the tickets. These include boob-tube-obsessed Mike Teevee (Lauren Weisman), crass, gum-smacking Violet Beauregarde (Dallas Lovato), spoiled brat Veruca Salt (Emily O'Brien), and tubby glutton Augustus Gloop (Rachel Butera).

Not surprisingly, unassuming little Charlie ends up the final component of the group, aided by his new pals Tom and Jerry. He endears himself to the starving animals when he gives them food, and they help him get the needed Wonka bar.

Each kid and one family member enters the confines of Wonka’s magical building. While they witness some spectacular sights, all is not perfect, as the factory forms a kind of morality mall.

One prominent difference between this Factory and the aforementioned Kiss/Scooby-Doo collaboration relates to the actors involved. In addition to the members of Kiss themselves, Mystery used a mix of People You’ve Actually Heard Of, as the cast included Matthew Lillard, Penny Marshall, Jason Mewes, Garry Marshall and others.

Such prominence doesn’t befall Factory. Animation fans will recognize some of the actors here, but when the “biggest name” in the cast comes from Demi Lovato’s older sister, one shouldn’t expect any star power.

That doesn’t mean the film won’t succeed, as famous names don’t always equate to quality work. However, the absence of any “names” in Factory leaves me with the impression the studio didn’t have enough confidence in the project to invest real money into it.

I can’t blame them, as Factory offers an experience wholly devoid of creative merit. In truth, it does little more than remake the 1971 film with Tom and Jerry awkwardly crammed into the mix.

This doesn’t make sense. Even if we ignore the oddness of various anthropomorphic animals in a human society, the mix of T&J and the world of Wonka fails to coalesce.

When it sticks to the Wonka elements, Factory offers a fairly literal recreation of the 1971 film. Karniak and Harnell do their best to imitate Gene Wilder and Jack Albertson, respectively, and the story/character beats come very close to those from the movie.

A few variations do occur, though, especially in terms of how Factory uses candy rival Slugworth (Mick Wingert), as he plays a more prominent role here. We also get to know Tuffy (Kath Soucie), a rodent who wants to be an Oompa-Loompa.

These alterations bring cosmetic changes, so most of Factory offers little more than a recreation of the 1971 film with Tom and Jerry crammed into the tale. This doesn’t work at all, partly because the slapstick ways of T&J don’t suit the Wonka universe.

Even without the conflict of comedic styles, Factory simply shoehorns T&J into the story without real logic or purpose. The movie seems to exist as a marketing enterprise, not something with any organic rationale.

Granted, that always felt true for the Kiss/Scooby-Doo mash-up as well, but at least it managed to give us a little creativity and flair. Factory lacks even rudimentary stabs at originality or cleverness, factors that mean it ends up as a charmless experience.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C

Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Given the restrictions of SD-DVD, the image consistently looked solid.

Sharpness worked well. Occasional wider shots felt a smidgen soft, but these failed to create prominent distractions. Jaggies and moiré effects also remained absent, and the image lacked edge haloes or artifacts. In addition, print flaws were a non-factor and didn’t appear at any point.

In terms of colors, Factory went with a pretty cartoony, peppy palette. The tones looked solid, as they showed positive richness and vivacity. Blacks were deep and tight, while shadows showed nice clarity. Across the board, the picture worked well.

I thought the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Factory opened up the material in a moderate manner, as the forward channels brought out the majority of the material and became the focal point. Music presented strong stereo imaging, while effects cropped up in logical spots and blended well.

The surrounds threw in occasional elements, but they didn’t do a whole lot. Action scenes gave us a smattering of involving components and periodically brought the material to life. However, much of the movie emphasized the forward channels and didn’t create a particularly involving mix.

Audio quality always satisfied. Speech was warm and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music sounded lively and full, while effects displayed good definition. Those elements seemed accurate and dynamic. The soundtrack merited a “B-”.

Five bonus cartoons appear. We find Here’s Looking A-Choo, Kid/Superfied (21:26), Joy Riding Jokers/Cat Got Your Luggage/City Dump Chumps (22:43), No Biz Like Snow Biz (8:40), The Maltese Poodle (8:40) and Cast Away Tom (8:41).

If you expect “classic-era” cartoons, you’ll find disappointment. Kid comes from 2014’s Tom and Jerry Show and Jokers stems from 2006’s Tom and Jerry Tales. The other three originally appeared on 1990’s Tom and Jerry Kids.

As far as quality goes, the 2014 and 2006 cartoons work acceptably well. I wouldn’t call them classics, but they come with a modicum of cleverness and wit. The three 1990 shorts have aged poorly, though, as the whole “characters as children” motif doesn’t satisfy and gives us too much cutesy material.

The disc opens with ads for The Lego Batman Movie and Max 2: White House Hero. We also get trailers for DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games, Jetsons & WWE: Robo-Wrestlemania, Scooby-Doo: Shaggy’s Showdown and Justice League Action.

A pointless endeavor, Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory offers an odd combination of properties. The movie boasts no form of inspiration, as it instead gives us a sub-mediocre remake of the 1971 classic with cartoon animals shoved into the mix. The DVD provides very good picture along with acceptable audio and a few modern-day cartoons. I can’t imagine this misbegotten enterprise will appeal to many viewers.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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