When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

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When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
When Zachary Beaver Came To Town.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by John Schultz
Produced by Michael Corrente
Amy Robinson
Jay Julien
Screenplay by John Schultz
Based on When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
by Kimberly Willis Holt
Starring Sasha Joseph Neulinger
Jonathan Lipnicki
Cody Linley
Jesse Plemons
Jane Krakowski
Eric Stoltz
Music by Richard Gibbs
Cinematography Shawn Maurer
Edited by John Pace
Distributed by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Release date
  • October 9, 2003 (2003-10-09)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3 million

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town is a 2003 comedy-drama film starring Jonathan Lipnicki and Cody Linley. It was adapted from a National Book Award-winning children's novel of the same name by Kimberly Willis Holt.[1][2]


One summer in the small, sleepy town of Granger, Texas, Toby Wilson's life changes. Toby (Jonathan Lipnicki) is a boy who lives with his parents, but his mother runs off to Nashville to try to become a singer. Later, he and his best friend Cal McKnight (Cody Linley) meet a fat sideshow freak named Zachary Beaver (Sasha Neulinger), who has no parents or friends. Zachary, "The Fattest Boy Ever," spends most of his time in a small, silver trailer; he is abandoned by his legal guardian, Paulie Rankin, so [Paulie] can look for new additions to their circus. Toby and Cal get to know him, and slowly become friends with him.

They cope with the loss of Cal's brother, Wayne, who was recruited for the Vietnam war and later dies, which makes Cal extremely upset. Toby doesn't come to the funeral, which makes him even more upset. They have a fight and are not friends anymore. Meanwhile, Toby is in Zachary's trailer during the funeral and Cal shows up. He gives Toby all the money he ever borrowed and tells him his mom is never coming back, just like Wayne. Later, Toby gives a country girl he likes a necklace, which was his mother's, but she gives it back to him because she likes someone else and doesn't like Toby that way. Earlier, Toby got to dance with her after her boyfriend broke up with her. Cal and Toby become friends after Toby chases him down to a lake soon after. In the end, they help Zachary get baptized in Gossimer Lake with the alcoholic owner of a local café owner, Ferris, who once studied to be a priest; later Paulie returns with circus performers to retrieve him. Zachary leaves town with them, Cal and Toby's friendship is reaffirmed.


In order to play the role of Toby, Jonathon Lipnicki attempted to gain the rights to the book when he was only ten years old, but was unsuccessful. He was later cast after he agreed to work with director John Schultz on the film Like Mike.[3]

The film was shot in the cities of Austin and Granger in Texas.[4]


External links[edit]