The new direct-to-video Tom and Jerry flick ‘Spy Quest’ is a pleasant surprise despite the fact that for all intents and purposes its existence makes very little sense. I say this not because Tom and Jerry isn’t exactly at its popularity peak (though its been off the radar for awhile), but because ‘Spy Quest’ is a crossover between Tom and Jerry and Jonny Quest. Between the two franchises it’s hard to figure which is the easier sell, but its clear that the film’s creators chose Tom and Jerry. There is no written notification on the film’s cover about Jonny and the gang despite the fact that they are pictured.
Both franchises featured in ‘Spy Quest’ are in their classic formations. Tom and Jerry don’t speak they just chase each other, fight, and get into cartoon-y mishaps. Jonny, Hadji, Race, Dr. Quest, and Bandit are engaged in a battle to save the world against their arch-nemesis Dr. Zin. Best of all, somehow, this crossover works and is entertaining in a classic cartoon nostalgia kind of way. Perhaps its because the writers had to be creative to make this work and weren’t allowed to be lazy (see pretty much all of the recent Scooby-Doo crossover movies).
The plot of the film is pretty straightforward. Tom and Jerry are chasing each other when they run into Bandit, who joins in the chase shenanigans. This pulls Tom and Jerry into the middle of what is a pretty standard Jonny Quest adventure. Dr. Quest has created a device that will solve the world’s energy crisis and the nefarious Dr. Zin is doing everything to steal it — everything including sending his evil cat army (yes, it’s a bit pandering to the crossover, but deal with it). The Quest gang plus Tom and Jerry all join together to save the world.
Perhaps the weirdest thing about this film is that it feels more like a Jonny Quest adventure featuring Tom and Jerry than vice versa, but this is more of an academic argument than anything. The film is entertaining and should be enjoyed by fans of both franchises. The usage of the classic iterations is more than welcome. The road to direct-to-video is paved with bad reinventions of classic franchises. ‘Spy Quest’ is a great example of what one of these releases should look like.
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