The world’s most famous chase cartoon – Tom and Jerry – is the subject of a local experiment in India. WarnerMedia’s Cartoon Network has added a local-language narration track to The Tom and Jerry Show to broaden its appeal and provide an added level of slapstick fun.
It seems to have made an immediate connection with young Indian viewers. Early numbers show that during the first couple of weeks after its Diwali festival launch in November, the show claimed 8 slots in the top-20 slots, including 4 of the top 5.
In many series iterations over its 80-year history, Tom and Jerry has been a non-dialogue show – with voices provided by the characters in only some series. However, in the new India version, for the first time ever, a commentary-style “thoughtover” track has been added.
“We think that cartoon fans will love this layered style of storytelling in India and the initial ratings back this up,” said Leslie Lee, Head of Kids – Asia Pacific, WarnerMedia. “While the show retains the full flavor of the original, an added local spice has been added to the mix. Fans are laughing in that unique way that only Tom and Jerry fans do, and that’s very gratifying for us in the curation business.”
Season 4 of The Tom and Jerry Show (26HH, 2019/2020) is airing daily on Cartoon Network in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. And now that the fan-reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, the local programming team is looking to introduce the new dub to other seasons.
The premiere of Smashing Simmba, a new Bollywood-inspired original on Cartoon Network’s sibling channel POGO, landed straight at number 3 – meaning WarnerMedia kids shows occupied the top-3 slots in India during Diwali week. This follows other successful launches earlier in 2020 for Bandbudh aur Budbak and Titoo on Cartoon Network and POGO respectively.
A quintessential slapstick animation comedy, The Tom and Jerry Show follows the misadventures of Tom, a house cat, in his never-ending quest to nab a feisty and notoriously clever mouse Jerry. The iconic rivalry between the titular characters and their unrelenting capers have garnered a global fanbase.
Tom & Jerry: The Movie, by Warner Bros. Pictures, is set for release globally in early 2021. The live-action cast features Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Rob Delaney, Colin Jost, and Ken Jeong. The voice cast include William Hanna, Mel Blanc, June Foray (using archival voice recordings), Frank Welker and Nicky Jam.