HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
   
 
Newest Articles
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
   
 
  Adventures of Mark Twain, The Never The TwainBuy this film here.
Year: 1985
Director: Will Vinton
Stars: James Whitmore, Gary Krug, Chris Ritchie, Carol Edelman, John Morrison, Dale McKennon, Herb Smtih, Marley Stone, Michele Mariana, Wilbur Vincent, Wally Newman, Tim Conner, Todd Tolces
Genre: Animated, Fantasy
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: The year Mark Twain (voiced by James Whitmore) was born was a year in which Halley's Comet appeared in the skies over the Earth, and the next time it appeared was in 1910. Twain was in his seventies by this time and planned to leave the world along with the comet, so to that end he built a special airship to take him into it. Meanwhile, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer were discussing adventures they wished to embark upon and Tom decided on the sky as being the best place to go. How fortunate, then, that Twain and his airship were just about to take off in the vicinity...

Claymation was devised by animator Will Vinton, but it took him a while to get around to making a whole feature based around the technique, after a run of acclaimed short films. The result was The Adventures of Mark Twain, ostensibly a method of bringing the American literary giant's work to children, but in effect enjoyed more by indulgent adults. It employs a heavily fantastical atmosphere, and in between the stories it adapts there is very little that Twain would have conjured up himself.

And yet, Vinton and his collaborators, including scriptwriter Susan Shadburne, really capture something of the personality of the tales. Not so much the humour, mind you, more the cynicism and uncompromising look at human nature. Once Tom and Huck get airborne (along with an unimpressed Becky Thatcher), Twain doesn't appear the least bit surprised and indeed welcomes them aboard with, what else, one of his own stories. It's the one about the jumping frog, expertly rendered, but at one point there's a gag that's oddly unsettling.

When the lead character in the frog tale is looking around for another amphibian to race against his champion jumper, a massive beast pokes his head up from the water, scowls and submerges once more. And that sums up the tone, it may be bright and fun on the surface, but there are dark undercurrents to the tales. In one such instance Huck, Tom and Becky get to meet Satan himself, and there's the novelty of clay characters fashioning smaller clay characters to be animated only for them to turn against each other and be destroyed by an earthquake instigated by a bitter, though powerful Satan.

There is a mysterious figure onboard the airship, but we don't find out his identity until the end although it is guessable. This merely underlines the spectre of death that looms over the characters, not so much the children who remain optimistic, but everyone else although the film reccommends we make our peace with the world before we shuffle off this mortal coil. In the spirit of invention, the Biblical story of Adam and Eve is given a modern twist, combining the Twain take on it with up to date humour which seems out of place with the rest of the film. That said, the animation remains irrefutably inspired, with the expression in the faces something to marvel at. It's just that the more outlandish aspects (including computers) don't entirely fit with Twain's world. Music by Billy Scream.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5628 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: