Why is a cartoon that was popular in the ’40s crossing over with a movie that was popular in ’70s — in 2017? In the head-scratching flick, Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wonka and Tom and Jerry team up to show what would have happened if the candy factory impresario owned pets who attempted to murder each other. There are so many questions — and leaps of logic — but the biggest is that Tom would be deathly allergic to chocolate as a cat. It contains theobromine and caffeine. This would kill him more effectively than swallowing a bundle of TNT.
But maybe the pairing is more calculated than stupid. Tom & Jerry is an animated classic. It has been revived multiple times since the ’40s, most recently finding a new audience with the vintage cartoon app, Boomerang. Wonka is a children’s literature classic by Roald Dahl and spawned two films. Clearly, there’s an audience in both properties as they’ve stood the test of time. The only sticking point is that they have absolutely nothing to do with each other. And cats can’t eat chocolate because they’ll die.
There’s one possible, albiet subtextual, connection: both properties are about sadism. Tom and Jerry live to torture each other. And when he’s not ruling his chewy empire, Wonka’s side job is tormenting children. All these characters exist in worlds where grotesque violence has no consequence. Is it really farfetched to think that Wonka would just want to see what happens to Tom after a few Wonka bars (because, once again, chocolate would kill him)? After all, this is the same man who let Augustus Gloop drown, Violet engorge herself, and Mike TeeVee be trapped in a parallel universe. Just note all of that while the kids giggle at the pratfalls, oblivious to the horror. The film is set for a Blu-ray and digital HD release this August.