Hey gang, Valkor here. Tom and Jerry, the dynamic cat and mouse duo who love to hate each other – and we love them for that very same reason, has seen a bit of a resurgence lately with a slew of interesting pairings (Wizard of Oz anyone?). Most recently, WB Entertainment have released a handful of films and a season one set of a new series – The Tom and Jerry Show: Funny Side Up, which does a mighty fine job of mixing old with the new. And speaking of which, the duo has a new movie out, which also brings in a handful of classic characters in a all-new film “Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest” DVD.
In Spy Quest, Tom and Jerry are enjoying their time on the beach, getting into their usual shenanigans with a brief, but foreshadowy cameo by Spike and Tyke (more on that later). Suddenly a trio of armored cats converge on their position, but it’s not the cat and mouse duo they’re after. Nope, it turns out boy adventure Johnny Quest, his trusty sidekick Hadji and of course we can’t forget his dog Bandit are also on the beach and it’s them who the cats are after. Why? Johnny’s father, Dr. Benton has created a new device called the “Q Sphere” that can solve the planet’s energy problems and their boss, Dr. Zin wants it – and he’ll do anything to get his hands on this new technology. Suddenly caught up in the mix (and mostly responsible for Zin ultimately getting his hands on the tech), Tom and Jerry aid Johnny and his crew to rescue a captured Benton (as well as his bodyguard Race) and to retrieve the Q Sphere, thwarting Zin in his tracks of world domination.
As a bonus, on the Spy Quest DVD, WB Entertainment has gone so far as to include a handful of bonus episodes related to the film of both cartoon series. The film also tosses in the original voice of Johnny Quest as the President – Tim Matheson. Nice! I have to say, I never would have thought a Tom and Jerry/Johnny Quest crossover would ever be possible. But now that it’s here, let’s see how the film fares in the TOV Breakdown.
Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest was an unexpected, but ultimately fun and entertaining crossover film; not some of the cat and mouse duo’s best works, but if you’re a fan of either franchise, then you won’t be too disappointed. The film mainly follows a typical Johnny Quest adventure, with Tom and Jerry tossed into the mix with their typical hijinx that seem to make matters worse, but ultimately gets them out of a precarious situation at the end. The film flows at a quick and easy pace and the jokes are well balanced between the two universes – you get your typical Tom and Jerry slapstick, with some Johnny Quest humor that fans will appreciate as the characters do a pretty good job at making light of the classic series. One prime example is how Dr. Benton dotes over Race’s cooking. I believe it was an episode of Harvey Birdman that made it seem the two had “something” going on. And with Benton laying on the compliments a little too thick, it almost appears that way… almost. But of course this is a family picture, so none of that. The voice casting is solid, with an amazing new cast for the Johnny Quest team who sound almost as good, if not better than the originals. And on top of the cameo by Matheson, you also get Tia Carrerre as Race’s love interest Jezebel Jade, Joe Alasky (who has done countless voices), pops in as Droopy and finally James Hong steps in as Dr. Benton’s nemesis Dr. Zin. I’ll admit, not being the biggest Johnny Quest fan (but a HUGE Tom and Jerry Fan), Spy Quest is an enjoyable crossover flick, fans – new and old, can truly appreciate.
This goes back to the foreshadowing with Spike and Tike’s appearance; in a classic Tom and Jerry ep titled "That's My Pup", Spike teaches Tyke how to chase cats and the entire episode is Tyke running after a none too afraid Tom (because Tyke is little), but he has to pretend to be afraid or else he gets beat up. In Spy Quest, the gag makes an annoying return; first it’s with Spike and Tyke, but only this time Tom is actually afraid. And it keeps going with Bandit from then on. Bandit’s barking puts Tom into a special fighting move that helps defeat Zin’s cat trio… but it’s wicked overdone. Also no original Tom scream as in the Funny Side Up vids. The new voice does a pretty decent job, but nothing beats the classic.
One of Zin’s cats has a Rain Man complex – been there done that. Plus I’m sure this new audience won’t get the reference.
Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest is available now. And if you’re a of either the cat and mouse duo or the adventures of Johnny Quest, then this simple yet fun flick Is just up your alley. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving Spy Quest a 2.5.