Willy Wonka: You allowed a cat into my factory! A cat, and his two filthy mice friends!
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
Both the Tom and Jerry cartoons and the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie are incredibly creative and funny…on their own. When you put the two of them together, you get a movie that doesn’t appeal to either fanbase.
The story is that cat and mouse duo Tom and Jerry help young Charlie Bucket win a Golden Ticket providing five children a tour of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and get roped into the factory as well. All the while they must prevent the theft of Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper.
When it comes to the story meshing these two properties together take away from one another. What is supposed to be an emotional moment in vein of the original is distracted by slapstick between Tom and Jerry. In fact sometimes the movie gets so distracted in Tom and Jerry’s antics that it gets in the way of the continuity of the Willy Wonka stuff. The story is almost shot for shot the same as the original so there’s no real appeal to any of it if you have seen the original. It also has some strange cartoon logic regarding the animals. Some are on leashes and yet we others working jobs and owning property.
The slapstick between Tom and Jerry looks well enough but what really stands out is the animation on the human characters. The expressions and movements just sometimes look so rushed and unfinished that it results in some creepy faces. Sometimes it works such as with Slugworth and the expressions on the Oompa-Loompa intern named Tuffy during the creepy boat ride (the only moment where the movie outdid the original). But everything else is entirely unintentional and it makes the characters look soulless and dead with no joy whatsoever.
When it comes to the characters things are even worse. Tom and Jerry are just slapped onto this movie. The voice actors for this movie in no way come even close to replicating anything of the original characters. Aside from Grandpa Joe, they all just sound so bored. They made Slugworth German in this version, which is a nice nod to his original voice actor. They make a few changes by giving him more of a presence in the factory but it makes no sense whatsoever.
Much like the characters and story the songs are the same as the original. And once again the new voice actors for this movie don’t bring much of any life into the songs and the visual moments in them take a backseat to Tom and Jerry’s antics. The once difference is that Slugworth also sings the I Want It Now song prior to Veruca (and then again with her during the same scene) and it is just baffling.
Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a sad attempt at a crossover purely lacking in imagination. Sometimes the animation is okay but the combination is completely on opposite sides of the spectrum resulting in the movie completely falling out of focus. Tom and Jerry’s mayhem get in the way of the emotional moments of the Willy Wonka movie and vice-versa. And the Willy Wonka bits are just devoid of life. In Wonka’s own words,