Fans of iconic cat and mouse duo Tom & Jerry are having a good time of it at the moment. Tom & Jerry The Movie only hit theaters back in February and subsequently arrived on HBO Max, and now the pair are coming back to HBO Max with a brand new series, Tom and Jerry in New York, which will premiere July 1st. The series will see the rivals settling into a new home in the city’s Royal Gate Hotel, with all kinds of madcap hijinks ensuing in and around the streets of America’s best known city. While the movie received middling reviews, placing the pair on the small screen where they have always worked best could well see the duo back to their best.
Coming from Renegade Animation and directed by Darrell Van Citters, the series should be in good hands, as Renegade have been involved with the Tom and Jerry franchise for many years with Warner Bros. February’s movie outing, which obviously arrived at a time that theaters where only just starting to open up again after the pandemic closures, pulled in a solid $118 million at the box office, with a domestic opening weekend of $14.1 million. Considering the unfortunate timing, while numbers like this in normal circumstances would not be great, it instead suggested that there is still a substantial demand for the cat and mouse adversaries.
Tom and Jerry first appeared on screen all the way back in 1940. Although they have changed quite a bit over years, receiving numerous animation upgrades and having some of their violent antics toned down to meet current guidelines to maintain their child-friendly ratings, the principle story is still always the same – chaotic madness ensuing as Tom tries to constantly see off his murine frenemy.
Over the last eight decades, the Hanna-Barbera created pair have appeared in 161 theatrical short films, 114 of which were produced by Hanna and Barbera for MGM between 1940 and 1958. During that original run, the pair picked up seven Oscars in the Best Animated Short Film category, tying with Disney’s Silly Symphonies for the most awards in the category.
While there were more cinematic shorts produced, most of Tom and Jerry’ s appearances from then on were on the small screen, in numerous incarnations of The Tom and Jerry Show, which began its first run in 1975 and featured short cartoons stories, sometimes interspersed with additional material featuring other prominent characters from the series such as Spike the Bulldog. Their first feature-length movie, the original Tom and Jerry: The Movie was released in 1992 and was followed by 13 direct to video movies.
For those who have loved the antics of the duo over the years, the new series will breathe a little bit of something fresh to the series, following on from the movie and keeping their legacy alive for a whole new generation to enjoy. Unlike many franchises that have spent decades in hiatus before coming back in a much more modern form of animation and setting, Tom and Jerry have evolved over decades and managed to avoid that kind of jarring change, ensuring that old fans and new fans have both been satisfied with the recent efforts. Catch their new series on HBO Max July 1st.