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Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone
Chantal Strand, Ian James Corlett, Kathleen Barr
Writing Credits:
Spike Brandt

Tom and his army of stray cats take over Jerry's magical kingdom of living toys.

Rated G.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 2.0
French Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 48 min.
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 10/27/2020

• Two Additional Shorts
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 28, 2020)

Back in 1892, Tchaikovsky produced his Nutcracker, a ballet that would go on to become a Christmas staple. However, it took 128 years for Tchaikovskyís original vision to come to life: a version of The Nutcracker that starred feuding cartoon animals!

Thus we find 2020ís Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale, the ultimate adaptation of Tchaikovskyís work. To the surprise of no one, the film focuses on feline Tom and rodent Jerry.

Jerry adores the Nutcracker ballet, and after its final pre-Christmas performance, a magical transformation takes place. As a result, Jerry ends up as the leader of a realm populated by magical toys.

Unfortunately, problems emerge when the King of the Cats (voiced by Garry Chalk) uses Tom and his gang of stray cats to gain control of Jerryís domain. This leaves Jerry in need of assistance, so he seeks the Toymaker (Richard Newman) to help get back what belongs to him.

My last experience with anything related to Tchaikovskyís classic came when I watched 2018ís big-budget dud Nutcracker and the Four Realms. That one offered a substantially more ambitious take on the property, but it also became slow and tedious.

Given that it runs a little less than half as long as the 99-minute Realms, Tale comes with one advantage, as its brevity makes it more difficult for the cartoon to wear out its welcome. Otherwise, I canít find much to praise about this forgettable piece of animated product.

And make no mistake: Tale does exist as a product and not as a creative enterprise with any real reason to exist beyond financial game. I get the sense that some executive figured they could make a quick and cheap animated flick based on the holiday classic and score some easy money.

I have no idea whether this will prove accurate. Because Tale sells at a low price, I suspect itíll sell more than a few copies to parents who grew up with Tom and Jerry and who now think a Christmas-related adventure with those faves could entice their kids.

Those kids might find something to enjoy here Ė the youngest ones, at least. Tale does come with bright art and enough slapstick action to entertain little children.

Anyone older than, say, six may find little to like about this uninspired film, though. The entire project feels like itís on cruise control, as the movieís producers just toss out random adventures without much cleverness or excitement or wit.

Even at 48 minutes, Tale feels long. As I watched, I glanced at my playerís display with the anticipation that the flick must be near its end.

Nope Ė to my shock, Iíd only reached the halfway point! When Iím already sick of a story after 24 minutes, I know Iím in trouble.

Though I canít call Tale genuinely bad, as it does nothing overtly wrong. It seems inoffensive in all possible ways.

Unfortunately, Tale also canít do anything especially right. Monotonous and uninspired, this new take on a holiday classic becomes a bore.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio C+/ Bonus C+

Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image consistently looked solid.

Sharpness worked well. No signs of softness materialized in this tight, precise presentation.

Jaggies and moirť effects also remained absent, and the image lacked edge haloes or artifacts. In addition, print flaws were a non-factor and didnít appear at any point.

In terms of colors, Tale 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 Tale 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 didnít 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 didnít 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 ďC+Ē, though it wouldíve gotten to a ďB-ď if the disc brought us a lossless option. No Blu-ray circa 2020 should only come with lossy Dolby Digital, so I docked the mix a little for this bizarre choice.

Two additional seasonal Tom and Jerry shorts appear on the Blu-ray: 1941ís The Night Before Christmas (8:42) and 2014ís Santaís Little Helpers (21:56).

In Night, Jerry plays with toys and accidentally wakes up Tom when he mistakes the cat for a toy. Antagonistic hijinks result.

Night doesnít really delight, but it uses its themes in a moderately clever way and certainly becomes much more entertaining than this discís main attraction.

As for the more modern Helpers, Jerry and mouse pal Tuffy love their life in Santaís workshop. This changes when a cat named Tom finds his way into this location. Antagonistic hijinks result.

Helpers brings a madcap tone to the franchise that we donít see in Tale or Night. Toss in the voices of Mark Hamill and Edie McClurg as Santa and spouse and Helpers becomes fairly entertaining.

The disc opens with an ad for Cats & Dogs 3. Trailers adds a preview for SCOOB.

If you enter Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale with exceedingly low expectations, you may enjoy it, but even then, I doubt it. Uncreative and dull, the movie turns into a tedious 48 minutes of monotony. The Blu-ray brings excellent visuals along with adequate audio and a pair of bonus shorts. With all the quality holiday entertainment out there, you can do much better than this.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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