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dan_plaz's Review of The Adventures of Mark Twain

rated it: posted: Nov 23, 2010
Reviews: 14 | Mad Scribbler
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Mark Twain, we know him as a famous literary writer know to create "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn", but also his life has an interesting connection with the famous Halley comet. He was born the time it came, and began to "brag" that he is connected to it and that when it comes again he will go with it.... and he died the next day it came.... Coincidence much?

As a tribute to his belief, the famous claymation animator Will Vinton (Known as the creator of the California Raisin) decided to make this movie along with all his wrinkled surreal art to become probably the first animated feature length in clay animation... And I must say that I actually loved it.

Storywise it feels more like a tribute rather than a good vs evil plot. Having Tom Saywer, Huckleberry Finn and Becky Thatcher meeting their creator (who resembles Albert Einstein for some reason) seems kinda unreal but it is imaginative. I like that the characters stay a bit true to it's literary selves. The story mostly tells some Mark Twain's best works while we embark into a very imaginative Quixote airship quest to the Halley comet. Is all surreal and yet wonderful... And all the stories has it's own variety of emotions like happiness, sadness, and even fear; seriously, there is a very scary scene that is a must see which has probably the scariest Satan ever put on animation as well as one of the most awkward and yet cleverest scenes I have ever seen.

Is no Aardman animation quality, but the handle of the clay to create the characters expressions as well as transformations is really something to admire, especially since it was the time in which there was no computer aid.

The voice acting can be seen as kinda wooden but not terrible. Actually, they did a very good job. Mark Twain is voiced by James Whitmore, and he really did portrays some kind of mysterious kindly professor who has the patience of the world and when inspired, you can feel his determination for a surreal quest. The kids luckily sounds like kids, the other characters feels right, and Satan... well.... you gotta see to believe it.

But for me, apart of the story, the best thing of this film is the music. Every note fits in the mood and feelings that there is. When something is sad, the music makes me want to cry. When is happy, it gives me a good mood. Also the credit song is wonderful.

This movie is pretty underrated. Maybe people are not sure of the wrinkled character design, the kinda adult surreal themes (especially the controversial ypu-know-what part) or the primitive animation. But as for me, I do recommend this artistic wonderful film in which someone should not take it too seriusly. But if you do, think of this: This is a tribute to Mark Twain, the man connected the Halley Comment.

animated movie The Adventures of Mark Twain © Will Vinton Productions / Harbour Towns
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The Adventures of Mark Twain
3.5 stars / 2 ratings
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