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‘Tom & Jerry’ director Tim Story about the pressure and liberation surrounding the iconism of the cartoon series

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Tim Story directs the live-action movie ‘Tom & Jerry’ and talks about the fusion of two worlds in this nostalgic release. Plus, a little bit about that Indian wedding that stars it …

It doesn’t take much for filmmaker Tim Story to express his unadulterated cheerfulness about the future man Tom and Jerry feature film. With a theatrical release scheduled for February 19, the revival of the famous cat and mouse duo is set in the hustle and bustle of New York City – and it’s live action. It somehow still doesn’t feel real to the 51-year-old, who admits in a video interview that he is “very excited to get the chance to do it,” let alone say it. leads the way.

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Story, who was already in talks about the film in 2018, says he knew exactly where the script should go. But he did feel “a lot of pressure because of the iconism of the series, which has been around for 80 years. Whether it’s your favorite cartoon or not, you know who they are. So I know that before people see the movie and even while they watch it, there will be judgment. At the same time you also feel comfortable with the material, so we have to wait and see. ”

Tom and Jerry stars Chloë Grace Moretz (Real detective) and Michael Peña (Ant man), which the titular characters encounter in their luxurious hotel workplace. What can go wrong?

According to history, everything.

A lot of people grew up watching Story’s movies without realizing it, like the early ones Fantastic four movies and even famous comedy movies such as Think like a man and CabHis films combined have grossed over $ 7 billion, but Tom and Jerry is still special, mainly because, “I always watched the cartoons when I came straight home from school.”

He remembers that during the production of Tom and Jerry, he could rattle episode after episode by heart – that’s been the impact of the rivalry between the cat-and-mouse duo on multiple generations, proving the lasting impact the cat-and-mouse duo has had multiple generations on its audience, be it the memorable stunts or the comedic moments.

A still from 2021 feature film 'Tom & Jerry'

Ask him about the importance of the cartoon series to him as a child, and he’ll smile sheepishly. “I have a twin sister and I was the one who often started fights for no reason,” he admits. “It also resonated with me because the sibling rivalry that can be so funny never gets old either. I was the reason for it in my family growing up, and that’s what this movie meant to me, reliving part of my childhood. It was entertaining and challenging at the same time. “

Preparation for animation

The fusion of traditional animation and live action film is reminiscent of Space Jam (another iconic movie rebooting in July). Story and the rest of the team were enthusiastic about this retelling to show respect for the images with which Tom and Jerry creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera started.

Story learned early on that they “should have made the movie two or three times because it takes a lot of preparation to get the animation to a place where you know what you’re going to do. You have to make a lot of decisions, and I admit, I’m not used to putting that into production anytime soon. “

Director Tim Story and actor Michael Peña on the set of 'Tom & Jerry'

He explains that, in the comedy and family films he has made so far, “you introduce [the actors to] what you will participate with [their characters], and they have some input too. Then when you end up with what you have, there are even more ideas. I found its preparation the most daunting; directors like to hold out certain things as late as possible, but here it prepares everyone involved in that particular scene. “

The fat Indian wedding

In the trailer, the hotel where the characters of Moretz and Peña work also happens to be the location of a lavish wedding. The film surprises the Indian audience with a big Indian wedding, complete with the chaos. Story got a great taste of the literal production behind these weddings, adding, “We know we’ve broken a few rules here and there, but we’ve tried to stick to our best!”

Story was excited about the challenge of taking on an Indian wedding. He explains, “By having actor Pallavi [Sharda, who plays the bride] and a writer Vijay who was there for a while, we were able to lean on them and learn, and know where to bend the rules. In doing the research, I saw just how lavish and colorful this expression of culture was. I just loved being over the top in some situations, it gave me the freedom to be creative and entertaining. “

A still from 2021 feature film 'Tom & Jerry'

For Story, having a diverse cast in race and age was ‘life, because that’s what I grew up with’. Tom and Jerry also stars Rob Delaney, Ken Jeong, Pallavi Sharda, Colin Jost, Patsy Ferran and Jordan Bolger.

He explains: “Culture as an added voice allows personalities to come out differently, and in America that is what we are. And after living in Europe for a while, it is even more common there. I thought it should be, and it should never be forced but normal. And of course you have to have a talented cast to do that, and with these actors I had teammates and partners who could create whatever vision we wanted to create on screen. It was heaven. “