Several months ago my wife and I came home late from a family party (I can’t remember if it was my families or hers), and after my shower that night I sat on the couch to rest a bit. As I was going through the channels I saw that Tom & Jerry were on so I stopped to watch for a bit. I’ve always liked Tom & Jerry ever since I was a kid, watching classic cartoons that had been made at least a good 35 years before I was even born, whether it was the original 114 cartoons that creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera made between 1940-1957 and won 7 Oscars for (Yankee Doodle Mouse – 1943, Quiet, Please – 1945, The Cat Concerto – 1947, Mouse Cleaning – 1948, Two Mousketeers – 1952, and Johann Mouse – 1953), or the Chuck Jones ones that he started in 1963 and made a total of 34 shorts.
But the one I caught that night was neither of these. In fact, it was a brand new one from 2011 that teamed Tom & Jerry with The Wizard of Oz. I only caught the end of the movie, it’s only 56 minutes long, and since that viewing I was kind of stunned that not only did they make this movie, but that it looked like the MGM version of The Wizard of Oz.
Hoping to catch it on TV once more I waited and waited for it to be shown again but it was never played. Finally, last month I purchased the Blu-ray version when I bought my wife her birthday present. So one night I finally got to sit down and watch the movie from beginning to end. Is it the best Tom & Jerry cartoon ever? No, but there are plenty of laughs in this film thanks to Tom & Jerry, and it was really cool to see them included into the movie The Wizard of Oz.
One might wonder how they could fit a telling of the Wizard of Oz which clocks in around 101 minutes into a 56 minute cartoon. That’s easy. They don’t. This isn’t Dorothy’s version of her trip to Oz, its Tom & Jerry’s. After they save her from falling into the pig pen Aunt Em asks them to watch over Dorothy, a job they take very seriously. When the tornado strikes, Tom & Jerry are brought along to Oz with Dorothy, but by the time they wake from being thrown to the ground from the tornado, Dorothy has already met Glinda, the Munchkins, The Wicked Witch of the West and is well on her way down the Yellow Brick Road and “Off to see the Wizard”.
Thanks to a Munchkin Mouse named Tuffy, the three of them set off after Dorothy to help protect her on her way to The Wizard to ask for a way home back to Kansas and Tuffy can ask for some height being so short. Along the way they get into a wand fight with The Wicked Witch of the West and are just mere steps behind Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. They even help Dorothy, unbeknownst to her, in stopping the Wicked Witch of the West with the bucket of water.
One of the cool things about this film is how they keep it close the original movie, for instance with having Dorothy sing “Over the Rainbow” but with that flare of Tom and Jerry. Another great feature of the Blu-ray is that you can start the movie off in sepia tone and the cartoon automatically switches to color once Tom and Jerry reaches Oz. This was the way I selected to watch it since it lent more of a feeling like the original film.
One thing I thought would have been cool was if they used the actual dialogue from the 1939 movie characters, but this would be impossible, since at times both Aunt Em and even Dorothy talk to them directly. The vocal cast for the movie is:
Dorothy – Grey DeLisle
The Wizard of Oz/Butch/Droopy – Joe Alaskey
Scarecrow – Michael Gough
The Tin Man – Rob Paulsen
The Cowardly Lion – Todd Stashwick
Auntie Em/Glinda – Frances Conroy
The Wicked Witch of the West/Miss Gulch – Laraine Newman
Uncle Henry/Crows – Stephen Root
Tuffy the Munchkin Mouse – Kath Soucie
So, if you’re a Tom & Jerry fan, a Wizard of Oz fan, or looking for a new way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, why not give Tom & Jerry & The Wizard of Oz a try? It has lots of laughs, great animation, the song “Over the Rainbow”, and not only the cast of friends we’ve known from Kansas and Oz, but also a cat and mouse we’ve known for so long as well.