In this animated straight-to-DVD film, Tom and Jerry are the last two animals left in the petting zoo at Storybook Town, a fairy-tale based theme park. Mr. Bigley has plans to turn the theme park into a strip mall. Young Jack and his widowed mother have until 9am to come up with the money to pay off the mortgage. Jack doesn’t give up hope though. He recalls a phrase that his father used to say all the time, “Dreams come true if you believe.”
Jack takes the family cow to sell to the circus, but by the time they get there, the circus has already packed up and left. As they start to head home, they pump into Farmer Dell (voiced by Garrison Keillor). Farmer Dell says that he will pay the cow in exchange for some magic beans. Jack pulls Tom and Jerry along away from the farmer, until he says, “They don’t look like much, but they can do miracles if you believe.”
Jack takes the beans home, and overnight a giant, green, vine grows. When Jack, Tom, and Jerry awake, they find themselves in Fairy Land. All of the themed rides and attractions in Jack’s park are real here. The story does not veer too far from the original Jack and the Beanstalk story. The giant holds Fairy Land captive by bullying its treasures away. Jack, Tom, and Jerry help them restore peace and order by returning the magic harp. In return, the three friends end up with a golden egg. Part of that egg is used to pay off the mortgage.
Jack is the one who does not give up on believing. His mom is ready to hand it all over to Mr. Bigley. Tom makes a sign that says, “Free to a Good Home.” Jack is the consistent believer. Which is hard to do in a world filled with tragedy, injustice, and death. In a world broken, it is hard to keep believing. But Jack does. He does so when others don’t, and he don’t so even when it seems completely crazy.
It reminds me of this parable that Jesus told:
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in his field. It’s the smallest of all seeds. But when it’s grown, it’s the largest of all vegetable plants. It becomes a tree so that the birds in the sky come and nest in its branches. (Matthew 13:31-32, Common English Bible)
Mustard seeds are known for their extremely small size. And yet, they grow into sizable bushes. A small seed can produce a lot. Jack is a child with a lot of faith in some tiny seeds. And that big faith has even bigger results.