From the Three Stooges hitting each other in the 1920’s, to Bugs Bunny harassing Daffy in the 1950s, to Jim Carry making zany faces—slapstick comedy has been around for quite some time. While the characters and scenarios have changed over the years, one thing remains the same: audiences love slapstick.
Even though the popular methods of slapstick have evolved, the principle stays relatively the same: slapstick uses exaggerated physical comedy—that often involves some type of violence—in a humorous way. The upcoming animated Tom & Jerry film is betting on younger generations loving slapstick comedy, and older generations craving nostalgia that the classic cat and mouse will bring.
The question is: Will it actually work?
Tom and Jerry premiered in the 1940 as a series of short, animated films and was successful well through the 80s and 90s largely because of the absurd physical comedy. However, each generation gravitates to its own distinct type of humor. While an entire essay could be written about the preferred types of humor for Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z, let’s zoom in on Millennials and Gen-Zers.
Google will tell you that Millennials and Gen Z prefer dark, ironic, and absurdist humor. And don’t discount the bonus points for every joke that gets uploaded to the shared consciousness of internet memes and videos. After watching the trailer for the upcoming Tom & Jerry movie, it seems like the creatives behind the film have nailed this type of humor on the head.
The trailer opens on Tom and Jerry waiting at the bus stop. As Tom goes to shake Jerry’s hand and say good-bye to his little friend, he is hit by the very bus he was waiting for. We won’t spoil the rest of the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet, but it only gets even better from there. Check it out here.
From the looks of it, Tom & Jerry has the potential to appeal to all audiences. The nostalgia kick and slapstick humor might be the perfect combination for adults and kids alike.
Tom & Jerry premieres on February 26 in theaters and on HBO Max.
What do you think of the upcoming Tom & Jerry film? Will it be a success, or would you rather slap(stick) it away?