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‘Tom and Jerry’ (G)

By Hal Hinson
Washington Post Staff Writer
July 30, 1993

It's not as exciting as "Garbo Talks," but in "Tom and Jerry: The Movie," the famous cat and mouse actually talk.

And it's horrible.

It's not just that the voices -- as supplied respectively by Richard Kind and Dana Hill -- don't fit the characters, or the way we expect the characters to sound. (Personally, I always thought that if Jerry could talk, he would sound like Morey Amsterdam.) But the words that are forced into their mouths don't fit either; they're too insipid and wholesome for this raucous pair.

The whole movie, in fact, appears to have been run through a homogenizer. And when it is not being aggressively warm and cuddly, it's carefully minding its politically correct p's and q's. There's a subplot involving a towheaded young girl named Robyn (voice by Anndi McAfee) who is being robbed by her evil guardian, Aunt Figg (Charlotte Rae). Tom and Jerry spend most of the film helping Robyn fight off her aunt and her ally, a devious lawyer named Lickboot (Tony Jay). There are also a tough-talking parrot named Squawk (Howard Morris) and a street-savvy mongrel named Puggsy (Edmund Gilbert) and his tiny sidekick, Frankie da Flea (David L. Lander), and all of them doggedly refuse to come to life in that time-honored Hanna-Barbera tradition. The musical numbers were all written by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse, but you wouldn't know it to hear them; they're as forgettable as they are intolerably bouncy and upbeat.

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