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What Parents Should Know About Tom and Jerry on HBOMax

Tom and Jerry Is a Family-Friendly Film, but It Does Have Some Adult References

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TOM AND JERRY, (aka TOM & JERRY), from left: Jerry Mouse, Tom Cat, 2021.    Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

If you're ready to watch the live-action Tom and Jerry movie with the kiddos, now available in theaters and HBO Max, you might be wondering if the new film is appropriate for children of all ages. Given a PG rating, the latest installment of the classic morning cartoon does feature lots of violence and trickery between the famous cat and mouse, which might be something to watch out for. That being said, watching it will bring back sweet childhood memories for you as a parent, and will be the perfect way to introduce younger kids to the quintessential animated show. It might also make for great conversations about the differences between what we see on screen and what should occur in real life. Ahead, find everything you should be aware of when watching Tom and Jerry with your kids.

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  1. There's a lot of violence between Tom and Jerry, as expected.
    Just like the classic cartoon, Tom and Jerry are aggressive toward each other throughout the entire movie, although neither ever get truly hurt. At the beginning of the movie, Jerry devises a way to have a piano fall straight on Tom's head (pushing his entire head in). Also, when Tom tries to kick Jerry out of his hotel room due to jealousy, Jerry electrocutes Tom so he falls several stories down, slamming on the street.

    Later on, Jerry maneuvers Tom to slam straight into a wall, making him into an accordion, and at one point, Tom rips his own body open to check his "DNA." Apart from Tom and Jerry's famous fights, Tom hits rival dog Spike with a baseball bat several times, but also gets hit by a bus at one point, and is badly thrown to the ground by the hotel's manager. Jerry also sprays the cat Toots in the eyes with perfume. It's important to note that the famous cat and mouse's fights are the whole point of their dynamic, so this aspect of the film is expected.

  2. The movie features a fair amount of deceiving and lies.
    For one, main character Kayla gets a job at the Royal Gate Hotel by lying to the hotel's managers about her identity and résumé. She "befriends" a woman named Linda in the hotel lobby, tells her she is the interviewer and rejects her, taking her résumé and passing off Linda's experience as her own. Apart from that, the hotel manager Terence deceives Tom and Jerry into hating each other more while they are at animal control, instigating another fight between them that ends up ruining celeb couple Preeta and Ben's wedding at the hotel.

    Moreover, Tom and Jerry of course use a good amount of trickery throughout the movie to trap each other, such as when Tom sets up an elaborate mouse trap to catch Jerry and lock him in a box. Even Preeta lies to fiancé Ben about losing her engagement ring. It's important to note that Kayla ends up coming clean to everyone by the end of the film, giving Linda the job she deserved, and redeems herself.

  3. There is one instance of profanity (kind of).
    At Preeta and Ben's wedding, the elephants they rented see Jerry the mouse and go wild, yelling "WT . . . " followed by an elephant noise to convey "F."
  4. Alcohol use is depicted.
    Surprisingly, there are many depictions of alcohol use throughout the movie. Jerry drinks dirty martinis with olives at his hotel room, both Tom and Jerry drink Champagne with the bottle showing, and the bartender Cameron is regularly pouring others drinks. Tom and Jerry also both drink cocktails at Preeta and Ben's second wedding in Central Park (until they become enemies again!).
  5. There are many adult themes and mentions that kids won't likely understand.
    Although these mentions aren't necessarily inappropriate, there are many moments in Tom and Jerry's dialogue that seem exclusively made for adults. For example, there are mentions of Star Trek, alcohol use, Michelin stars, and millennials who get "whatever they want, whenever they want it with free shipping." Ben makes a few "adult" comments too, using a simulator and shouting out, "I haven't seen this many shanks since I was in prison – white collar crime," and even talking about shooting aliens. Later, when Ben wants to include a drone in the wedding, there is a mention of it being "harmless" with a sarcastic comment about how "military things" usually are. Later, when the elephants show up to the wedding, they are enclosed in a small truck, with a mention of it being inhumane. There's lots of areas for discussion, depending on what your kids pick up on.
  6. There are a few "scary" moments.
    Even though it isn't extremely scary, a clip of the 1974 movie Young Frankenstein is featured (Jerry watches it in his hotel room), which can be just a bit off-putting to younger viewers. Tom and Jerry also get taken to animal control after interfering with a Yankee game, which looks just like a jail. They get cornered by a gang of cats there, who threaten to eat Jerry unless Tom does first (Tom fake-eats him). They also vaguely hint to possibly killing both of them, although that is never explicitly stated.
  7. Prepare for lots of trashing of the hotel.
    Tom and Jerry completely destroy Jerry's hotel room, with broken windows, fallen chandeliers, broken pillows with feathers everywhere, and mess absolutely everywhere. Later, a fight in between the animal characters destroys the hotel lobby, breaking the entire ceiling into pieces.
  8. There's just a tiny bit of romanticism.
    Tom falls in love with Toots at first sight, getting heart eyes and singing to her with his piano. Also, Ben and Preeta passionately kiss at the end of their second wedding in Central Park.

All in all, there are tons of funny moments and gems for both adults and kids, and as long as you're aware of the themes, it should be a perfectly enjoyable experience for the whole family!

Image Source: Everett Collection
What Parents Should Know About Tom and Jerry on HBOMax
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