Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz
April 10, 2019
(We are shown the Channel Awesome logo and a brand-new opening sequence for 2019. It starts off as usual, with the Nostalgia Critic himself shooting the screen, but when he blows the gun, smiling, the screen zooms in, and we're shown a red-colored space where clips of several episodes made from February to December 2018 are floating. After showing the dancing Pennywise and Devil Boner, the small light floats to the separate credit for Doug Walker appearing when the camera moves to the left. After showing the Devil and Black Willy Wonka, the credit for Malcolm Ray appears. The appearance of Aunt Despair and Hyper Fangirl marks the showing of Tamara Chambers' credit. Next, we're shown Jim drinking from a cup that reads "Really?", before going to the credit "With Jim Jarosz and Rob Walker" and the appearance of Santa Christ. The credit "Written by Doug Walker and Rob Walker" is followed. The camera zooms out of the last clip from The Nutcracker 3D review, showing all the studio team together on the couch. The show's title appears as the space fades to black, and the final credit to the intro's designer, Fard Muhammad, is shown below. We go to NC in his room)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. We mention Tom and Jerry a lot on this show.
(Footage of various Tom and Jerry cartoons are shown)
NC (vo): It's one of the funniest cartoons ever made, they had brilliant comedic timing, and they've been ravished more times than a dog owner's leg. (Posters of Tom and Jerry: The Movie, Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes, and Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory are shown)
NC: We've also mentioned The Wizard of Oz a lot.
NC (vo): It's one of the great movies, and for a film that's over 80 years old still being referenced and enjoyed by all ages, it's truly the definition of the word "timeless".
NC: I also love (images of...) Chip and Dale and Jurassic Park, but just because two things are popular doesn't mean they belong together! (An image that combines Chip and Dale and Jurassic Park together is shown, with the title "Jurassic Munk") Okay, that one kind of does, but this one doesn't! (The DVD cover for this about-to-be-reviewed movie is shown)
(The title of Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz is shown, before showing various clips)
NC (vo): Before meeting Willy Wonka, Robin Hood, and Jonny Quest...
(Brief footage of Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest is shown, showing Tom and Jerry interacting with Jonny Quest)
Jonny Quest: All right, Questketeers! To the Quest Jet!
NC: (face-palmed and snickering) What...?
(Back to footage of this film)
NC (vo): ...Tom and Jerry had one of their most popular crossovers with The Wizard of Oz, so much so that it even spawned a sequel... (The DVD cover for Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz is shown) ...which, I'm sorry to say, has no headless Mombi.
NC (vo; imitating Mombi III): Tom and Jerry! TOM AND JERRY!
(Back to showing more clips from this movie)
NC (vo): These totally unnecessary spin-offs have gotten so much attention that people started making their own random crossovers. (Fan-made images "Tom and Jerry Meet Alien", "Tom and Jerry: The Shining" and even an edited cover for Grand Theft Auto are shown) They're almost taking on a life of their own. But this one was arguably the most popular, showing there is, for whatever reason, an audience for this. So I guess it only makes sense to take a look and see if the attention was warranted at all. Is there anything of redeemable value to this, or is it the worst Wizard of Oz adaptation since...90% of the other ones? (Images of The Wonderful Land of Oz, Emerald City, The Wiz, Tin Man, The Muppets: Wizard of Oz, and the Wicked Witch of the West, as shown in Once Upon a Time and Oz the Great and Powerful, are shown)
NC: Well, let's see the crossover that launched a million crossovers. This is Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz.
(The opening credits of the film start with the classic Tom and Jerry title, but filtered in sepia tone. It fades to the cloud background, and it is now stylized as the 1939 film's credits)
NC (vo): Once again, they do the classic Tom and Jerry intro mixed with the intro of whatever movie they're doing a crossover with. Because they always go so well together.
NC: Yeah, Disney tried that, too, and it worked great!
(Cut to the opening starburst of Donald Duck shorts that has his theme song from the 1950s playing in the background...and fade to the title of The Godfather in the black)
Amerigo Bonasera: (narrating) I believe in America. (Donald's angry quacking is followed)
(The credits read "Based Upon Characters Created By L. Frank Baum, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera")
NC (vo): Few people know these three were really good friends, as much as Matt Stone, Trey Parker and Leo Tolstoy.
NC: (staged whisper, as the photo of Leo Tolstoy and shot of Mr. Hankey from South Park are shown) He really liked Mr. Hankey.
(The list of the film's voice actors is shown)
NC (vo): It looks like a good voiceover cast, but the credits quickly segue into the madness we're about to experience through most of this.
(The following caption is shown after this: "For years, this story has given faithful service to Cats, Mice and the Young in Heart. And Time has not put its kindly philosophy out of fashion")
NC (vo; reading): For years, this story has given faithful service to cats, mice...
NC: (shakes head) Go home, movie. You're drunk.
NC (vo): We then see the opening animation of our main lead.
(The film's first scene is, of course, Dorothy Gale hurrying to Auntie Em's farm, accompanied by her dog Toto. Here, she's seen turning around and almost stumbling)
Dorothy: Come on, Toto. (breathes heavily)
NC: (shaking head again) Go home, Dorothy. You're drunk.
(Dorothy tells her family and friends about Miss Gulch hurting Toto)
NC (vo): At first, it seems to run the same course as the original Wizard of Oz except everybody looks like a Cuphead boss.
Dorothy: I'm all right. (turns to Tom and Jerry, who work on the farm as assistants, and hugs them) Tom, Jerry. Thanks ever so much. (After she stops hugging them, Tom and Jerry embrace themselves)
NC: Something you'll notice very quickly is the animation, while it looks expensive, also looks rushed.
(The following clips showcase the movie's animation on human characters)
NC (vo): Everyone kind of moves like they're on fast-forward. Though there's clearly a lot of technique in the color and line work, they still never quite move right. It's...oh, how does one say?
(Cut to a clip from Amadeus)
Emperor: How shall one say, Director?
NC (vo; as Orsini-Rosenberg): Too many frames, Your Majesty?
Emperor: Exactly. Very well put.
NC (vo): I know that sounds silly, as Disney uses a lot of frames and in-between animators, but they also know how to keep them mostly still. So, while they're not moving much, they still seem alive.
(Back to the movie)
NC (vo): Here, they look hyper-alive. Like, they want to look natural and flowing but don't know how to do it on such a time crunch.
Auntie Em: Now, Dorothy, dear, you always get yourself into a fret over nothing. Now, you just help us out today and find yourself a place where you won't get into any trouble.
NC: (as Auntie Em, speaking quickly and waving hands around) You know, most people don't move like this all the time, always with some sort of hand movement or moving the head this way and talking over and over and over, because if you do, you look like you're modeling a new car.
(A clip from The Price is Right is shown, with a female model showing to a car in the studio)
Rod Roddy: (announcing) A new car! (The audience cheers)
Uncle Rick: This old incubator's gone bad, and we're likely to lose a lot of our chicks.
(Jerry is shown jumping on the typewriter's numbers and gives the paper to Uncle Rick)
NC (vo; scoffs): No wonder the farm's in trouble. They have a mouse for an accountant!
Uncle Rick: Mm-hmm. (gives a thumbs up) Thanks, Jer.
NC: (as Uncle Rick, shaking fist) These answers to everything is always government cheese! The answer is not always government cheese!
(Jerry hides from Tom in a crate for a newborn chickens. Tom shakes it...and gets hit by an egg)
NC: Oh, for a farm concerned about their chick count, they sure are...
NC (vo): ...flexible with killing their unhatched ones.
Auntie Em: (to Tom and Jerry) Will you promise me something? (They nod in response) Promise me you'll be friends and work together to keep an eye on Dorothy. (The two point at each other questioningly)
NC: (nervously making a "cut that out" gesture with his hand) Uh, ix-nay the etting-along-gay. (The clip from Tom and Jerry: The Movie is shown, with the titular characters happily dancing) Ajor-may ullshit-bay.
(Dorothy starts singing "Over the Rainbow")
NC (vo): I'm sure this song will be just as powerful here as in the original.
Dorothy: (singing) Somewhere over the rainbow...
NC: Yeah, it sounds nice. But you know what's missing? Excessive violence.
(As Dorothy sings, Tom and Jerry spend much of the song engaging in their usual antics)
NC (vo): Yeah, no joke. All throughout the entire song, Tom and Jerry bicker, fight, and trip over themselves, because the song really had no emotional weight without it.
(Tom is thrown straight onto Butch the dog in his doghouse. Tom brings out Butch's bone that was in his mouth, puts it back into Butch's mouth, and smiles nervously)
NC: It's like the alternate cut of Meet Me in St. Louis, where they drop a piano on her head.
(The famous "Trolley Song" sequence from Meet Me in St. Louis is shown)
Esther: (singing) Clang, clang, clang went the trolley...
(An added-in piano suddenly falls into the scene and appears to crush Esther. We go back to the "Over the Rainbow" sequence, showing a smiling horse in the background watching Dorothy as she sings)
NC (vo): Even if the violence was taken out, I don't like the way this horse is looking at her. His eyes seem to be saying...
(The smiling horse is shown in close-up, with sexy-sounding music playing)
NC (vo; as the horse; sensually): Oh, yeah, Dorothy. I'll take you over the rainbow, show you what "way up high" really means.
(After the song, Miss Gulch comes in on her bike, and approaches Dorothy's house with a court order to take Toto away from Dorothy to be put down, a situation witnessed by Tom and Jerry)
NC (vo): But the mean-spirited...I don't think they give her a name in this version...comes to take Toto away. I love that this is actually so rushed, that not only does she put up little-to-no fight in keeping him, but she accidentally calls the lady a him, and nobody ever fixed it.
(As Dorothy pleads with Auntie Em and Uncle Henry to not let Miss Gulch keep Toto, Uncle Henry takes Toto off of Dorothy and puts him into Miss Gulch's basket. Due to the fast-paced animation, this movie is very quickly shown)
Dorothy: Uncle Henry, Auntie Em, don't let him take Toto!
(Cut to a clip from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery)
Austin Powers: Well, you have to admit, she is rather man-ish.
(Tom and Jerry witness Miss Gulch ride away with Toto)
NC (vo): How is it Toto is seen as the most dangerous canine on the farm when there's a bulldog named Butch that lives there, too?
NC: Also...come on. You couldn't have Droopy as Toto?
(The scene of Miss Gulch taking Toto away from Dorothy is shown with Droopy Dog's head Photoshopped over Toto)
Droopy Dog: Peep-peep to you, too.