Tom Sawyer (2000 film)

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Tom Sawyer
Tomsawyer2000.jpg
VHS cover
Directed by Paul Sabella
Phil Mendez (co-director)
Produced by Paul Sabella
Jonathan Dern
Patricia Jones (co-producer)
Donald Reiker (co-producer)
Cary Silver (co-producer)
Written by Patricia Jones
Donald Reiker
Jymn Magon (additional material)
Based on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 
by Mark Twain
Starring Rhett Akins
Charlie Daniels
Alecia Elliott
Waylon Jennings
Richard Kind
Don Knotts
Mark Nesler
Marty Stuart
Betty White
Hank Williams Jr.
Mark Wills
Lee Ann Womack
Music by Mark Watters
Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Animation
Distributed by MGM/UA Family Entertainment
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates April 4, 2000
Running time 89 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Tom Sawyer is a 2000 direct-to-video animated film from MGM Animation and was released in the year 2000. It is an adaptation of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, with a cast of anthropomorphic animals instead of humans. The characters' voices are generally performed by country music singers.[1]

Plot[edit]

Tom Sawyer and his half-brother Sid are on their way to school when they see Huckleberry Finn fishing. Tom skips school to join Huck, but changes his mind after he sees Becky Thatcher. He tries to sneak into class, but Sid snitches on him to the teacher. Tom's teacher makes him sit with the girls, which Tom actually likes since he's able to sit next to Becky. He is also sat beside Amy Lawrence, a friend to whom he became "engaged". She still has romantic feelings for him but he is too transfixed by Becky to notice. Tom's pet frog Rebel then disrupts the class, meaning they are given early dismissal.

On the way home from school, during the musical number "Hook, Line and Sinker", Tom tries multiple times to steal a kiss from Becky, but is thwarted each time by her father, Judge Thatcher. The next day, as Tom is about to go fishing with his friends, Aunt Polly makes him paint the house as punishment for what happened at school. Tom, however, gets his friends to paint the house for him instead.

That night, when Tom and Huck go treasure hunting, they find Injurin' Joe and his friend Mutt Potter uncovering a chest of gold. Deputy Bean, who is visiting his wife's grave, discovers Joe and Mutt. As the boys watch from behind a tombstone, Joe brutally murders Bean who tried to hit him with a shovel, frames Mutt and captures Rebel. Tom knows that Joe can track him down through Rebel, so he and Huck make a pact never to tell anyone what they have seen.

The next day, at school Becky accidentally spills ink on test results but Tom takes the blame, for which he receives a spanking. After school, Tom becomes "engaged" to Becky, before a musical number by Becky and Amy, "One Dream", where the two individually express their shared love for Tom. He then admits he did the same with Amy, causing Becky to call off the engagement. Tom and Huck visit Mutt, who is on death row. They try to get him to remember Injurin' Joe murdering Bean, but Mutt doesn't remember. Joe meanwhile finds Tom and Huck, but they escape on a raft. They celebrate their survival and friendship with a musical number, "Friends for Life".

When Tom and Huck return to town, they learn that the townspeople are mourning their deaths, believing the boys to have drowned. They disrupt the service, showing up at their own funeral, and are welcomed back. Judge Thatcher sentences Mutt to be hanged, but Huck and Tom testify against Joe at the last minute. Joe goes after Tom and Huck but fails and is pulled away by a river, while Mutt is freed and the boys are hailed as heroes.

During the celebration, after making up with Tom, Becky talks Tom into exploring a cave, where they get lost and Becky begins to lose hope to finding the exit. Tom sings a number, "Light at the End of the Tunnel" to try and reassure her that they will find a way out. Instead of finding an exit, they find treasure—and Joe. Meanwhile, the townspeople notice Tom and Becky missing and Amy, who saw Tom and Becky go into the cave, reveals where they are. The townspeople go to look for them in the cave. With Huck's help, Tom subdues Joe and is reunited with the townspeople and Aunt Polly. In the end Amy becomes Huck's girlfriend (after being impressed with how he assisted Tom in killing Joe) and Becky becomes Tom's girlfriend. The next day, Sid again tries to snitch on Tom, but it backfires, as Aunt Polly makes Sid paint the house instead of Tom. The movie ends with Tom, Becky, Huck and Amy having a picnic, during which Tom shows the others a gold coin and tells them about another treasure hunt.

Character comparisons to original[edit]

Character in the original story Character in the movie Species
Tom Sawyer Same Cat
Huckleberry Finn Same Fox
Rebecca "Becky" Thatcher Same Cat
Judge Thatcher Same Cat
Amy Lawrence Same Cat
Sid Same Cat
Mr. Reginald Dobbins Same Turkey
Injun Joe Injurin' Joe Black Bear
Muff Potter Mutt Potter Dog
Aunt Polly Same Cat
Dr. Robinson Deputy Bean Dog

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

  • "Leave Your Love Light On" - Marty Stuart
  • "Can't Keep a Country Boy Down" - Charlie Daniels
  • "Hook, Line, and Sinker" - Mark Nesler
  • "Houseboat Painting Song"
  • "One Dream" - Lee Ann Womack/Alecia Elliott
  • "Friends for Life" - Rhett Akins/Mark Wilis
  • "Light at the End of the Tunnel"/Reprise - Bryan White/Rebecca Lynn Howard/Rhett Akins/Lee Ann Womack
  • "Never, Ever, and Forever" - Lee Ann Womack/Mark Willis

Critical reception[edit]

Harlene Ellin of The Chicago Tribune gave a negative review, saying that it "stray[ed] too far from Twain."[2] An uncredited review in the Wichita Eagle was also unfavorable, calling it a "shallow" interpretation of Twain's work.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MGM animates Mark Twain.". Video Business. 2000-01-24. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  2. ^ Ellin, Harlene (2000-04-06). "THIS `SAWYER' STRAYS TOO FAR FROM TWAIN". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  3. ^ "NEW ANIMATED 'TOM SAWYER' ONLY SHALLOW VERSION OF CLASSIC, -- TOM'S A CAT AND HUCK'S A FOX, BUT MGM'S FULL-LENGTH CARTOON HAS LITTLE SPARK, NO MAGIC.". Wichita Eagle. 2005-03-25. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 

External links[edit]