As far as beloved children’s movies go, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is basically bulletproof. Not even Johnny Depp, or his assortment of interesting hats, could taint the talents of Gene Wilder, or the visual dazzle of Harper Goff’s legendary set designs, for long. But, then, Depp and Tim Burton didn’t have the inexplicable staying power of America’s longest-lasting cat-and-mouse cartoon duo on their side.
Cue the trailer for Tom And Jerry: Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, a new Warner Bros. direct-to-video release that dares to suppose: What if Tom and Jerry had also been in the factory with Charlie Bucket, having adventures, shedding constantly, and shitting in the chocolate river? (That part’s not shown, but we’re pretty sure murine Oompa-Loompas don’t pass health code muster.)
The movie isn’t just a treat for America’s last remaining Tom & Jerry fan, though; it’s also an opportunity for various voice actors to struggle fruitlessly to capture the original actor’s voices, while animators dilute the magic by transforming a live-action cartoon into a real one.
Look: We know it’s trendy to rip on stuff like this, despite the fact that it’s basically harmless. But consider this: Somewhere, at some point, a tired parent is going to sit their kid in front of this thing, without having seen the original Willy Wonka first. That kid is going to grow up with “Tuffy The Oompa-Loompa” and knock-off Wonka in their head. And how does the realm of pure imagination come back from that?