7.4/10
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27 user 17 critic

The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985)

Trailer
2:18 | Trailer
Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher and Huck Finn join Mark Twain on his airship to meet Halley's Comet.

Director:

Will Vinton

Writers:

Susan Shadburne, Mark Twain (segment)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Whitmore ... Mark Twain (voice)
Michele Mariana Michele Mariana ... Becky Thatcher / The Mysterious Stranger / Girl In Crowd (voice)
Gary Krug Gary Krug ... Huck Finn (voice)
Chris Ritchie Chris Ritchie ... Tom Sawyer (voice)
John Morrison John Morrison ... Adam (voice)
Carol Edelman Carol Edelman ... Eve (voice)
Dal McKennon ... Jim Smiley (voice) (as Dallas McKennon)
Herb Smith Herb Smith ... The Stranger (voice)
Marley Stone Marley Stone ... Aunt Polly (voice)
Wilbur Vincent Wilbur Vincent ... The Mysterious Stranger (voice)
Wally Newman Wally Newman ... Captain Stormfield (voice)
Tim Conner Tim Conner ... Three-Headed Alien (voice)
Todd Tolces Todd Tolces ... Saint Peter (voice)
Billy Scream Billy Scream ... The Indexivator / Animals (voice)
Bob Griggs Bob Griggs ... First Heckler (voice)
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Storyline

Based on elements from the stories of Mark Twain, this feature-length Claymation fantasy follows the adventures of Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher and Huck Finn as they stowaway aboard the interplanetary balloon of Mark Twain. Twain, disgusted with the human race, is intent upon finding Halley's Comet and crashing into it, achieving his "destiny." It's up to Tom, Becky, and Huck to convince him that his judgment is wrong and that he still has much to offer humanity that might make a difference. Their efforts aren't just charitable; if they fail, they will share Twain's fate. Along the way, they use a magical time portal to get a detailed overview of the Twain philosophy, observing the "historical" events that inspired his works. Written by Doug Ferrar <DAFerrar@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where dreams become reality.


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When they are ejecting ballast from the airship to catch the comet, a Paige typesetter is thrown overboard, and Mark Twain comments, "Worst damn investment I ever made." In real life, Mark Twain invested, and lost, a lot of money on an automatic typesetter. See more »

Goofs

During scenes in the deck of the airship after they enter the comet, dirt and seams are visible on the rear projection screen. See more »

Quotes

Eve: What is that?
Adam: It's a... valentine.
Eve: Valentine? Where did you get that word?
Adam: It... looks like a valentine.
Eve: It's a good word, and bears repeating.
See more »


Soundtracks

Happy Birthday
(uncredited)
Written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
Performed by Billy Victor
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User Reviews

 
Perfect Tribute to America's Best Writer- Very Original and Very Entertaining
15 September 2008 | by D_BurkeSee all my reviews

A lot of things amaze me about this movie. First of all, this movie came out when I was a kid, and I had never heard of it until this past week. Second, someone actually got around to releasing it on DVD, although with virtually no special features. And third, of all the movies the Claymation guys could have picked, they chose this one. They could have had a California Raisins movie, but instead they chose to go with Mark Twain. In the short run, it was probably not a financially successful move. In the long run, however, it was a very smart move.

This movie, simply put, is so . . . cool. I've always been a fan and admirer of Mark Twain, but never in my life could I have imagined that he could be the subject of a movie where he flies a hot-air balloon/spaceship into Halley's Comet. The Star Wars-esquire introduction in the beginning, however, ties it all together pretty well, at least for those of us who are paying attention.

One of my complaints about the movie, which is more of a compliment than anything else, is that the movie wasn't long enough. Of course, I know that in stop-motion animation it takes an 8 hour day for an animator to make 5 seconds of a film. The fact that it made me want even more is a testament to how good this film is. Anyone who is a fan of animation, AND a fan of Mark Twain will love this movie.

Having said that, however, there were a few issues I had with this movie. First of all, despite the fact that it was G-rated, it was pretty dark in some areas. The one part in particular which I would think would send kids out of the TV room screaming is the part where the three kids (Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Becky Thatcher) encounter an "Angel" named Satan. This part of the movie encompasses Twain's unfinished novel (and unquestionably his darkest story), "The Mysterious Stranger". I personally found that part very chilling, but I can't say for sure if it was because Satan himself was frightening to hear and look at, or if the subject matter from an adult's understanding was too much to handle. Perhaps both.

Also, there were some parts in the movie that were very confusing, and contained a half-baked explanation towards the end. For instance, it's very confusing when another member of the ship is found aboard, without giving too much away. The sequences with this member (up until the very end) are choppy at best, and make way for some serious plot holes. It is also not very well explained why Tom Sawyer wanted off the ship. He was eager to get on, and I could understand his equal eagerness to get off too. However, when you're in space, there's really not a lot you can do about it.

My other complaint with the movie was that it spent way too much time on Mark Twain's take on the Adam & Eve story. I really wanted to see other Claymation interpretations of his other stories, such as Pudd'nhead Wilson or A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, to name a few. Although the Adam & Eve segment was funny, and in the end was actually quite sweet, it still should have been shortened to ten minutes tops.

Other than that, the movie was great, and one I'll probably keep in my DVD collection for as long as I can. James Whitmore made a great Mark Twain (although Hal Holbrook also could have done a great job, since Mark Twain is his most famous role outside of film), and the plot, although confusing at times, was so original. Kids may not get the Mark Twain references that other adults may pick up, but they could return to the movie after graduating high school or college and pick up the references immediately.

So I highly recommend "The Adventures of Mark Twain" to everyone. I loved it, and I'm telling everyone I know about it soon.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huck Finn See more »

Filming Locations:

Portland, Oregon, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$226,525, 19 January 1986

Gross USA:

$849,915

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$849,915
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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