The Lost Dragon: Tom and Jerry As Surrogate Parents - Movie Review
The enduringly popular Tom and Jerry return in this charming animated movie and while their relationship may have changed somewhat in the 70 plus years since their creation, they show no sign of letting up in the entertainment stakes. The film boasts generally high production values with a story which finds both Tom and Jerry on fine form, showcasing their particular talents in humorous fashion and making this a perfect treat for the whole family this holiday season.
Tom and Jerry playing surrogate parents
The story is an inventive one, allowing the cat and mouse pairing to venture out of the confines of their small screen escapades and into a fantasy setting where they find themselves playing surrogate parents to a newly hatched dragon. However, their troubles don't end there as not only does the adorable Puffy's mother want him back but the evil witch Drizelda also has designs on him for her own wicked purposes.
A couple of songs, plenty of comical hi-jinx
It thus falls to Tom and Jerry, and a small contingent of willing and not-so-willing assistants including some blue-skinned townspeople and a rather hairy pig, to embark on an epic journey to return Puffy to his rightful home while thwarting Drizelda along the way. Throw in a couple of songs, plenty of comical hi-jinx, including the slapstick violence that the cat and mouse are best known for (albeit in toned down fashion), a fearsome dragon and even a little bit of back-story for Tom and Jerry and you have all the makings of a fine adventure.
Well drawn and animated main characters
This being a direct-to-DVD feature, the visuals and animation aren't quite as slick or lush as you'd get in a cinematic release, with some static backgrounds and minimal facial expressions revealing its low budget nature. However, this not enough to stand in the way of your enjoyment, thanks to an engaging script, inventive action and some well drawn and animated main characters. These possess a lot of personality thanks in no small part to some fine voice work from a cast that is seemingly having a great time and wants the audience to enjoy themselves as well.
Lack of brutal nature of the original cartoon shorts
The witty storyline does occasionally sideline the stars which is disappointing as things never seem quite so exciting when they're not around but fortunately these moments are brief and when they return, it's like a whole new breath of fresh has been pumped into the film. There's a reason these two have been around for more than 70 years and in The Lost Dragon we get to see what has made them so popular with several thrilling sequences which are both ingenious and hilarious, but which fortunately lack the somewhat brutal nature of the original cartoon shorts. A particular highlight is the climactic horseback chase which sees both Tom and Jerry facing off against Puffy's fearsome mother in their own inimitable, and somewhat hapless, style.
DVD as a perfect present this Christmas!
The Lost Dragon is not without its faults, but these are mainly of a technical nature and which are unlikely to unduly bother the target audience, leaving viewers instead with an entertaining romp that shows there's still life in the old cat and mouse yet. The running time of just under an hour might seem a little brief but there's little in the way of padding, making this a fun ride right from the start, while some bonus shorts also add in extra value and enhance the movie's appeal. If you're looking for a little extra present this Christmas, you could do far worse than put this in someone's stocking
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