Parents' Guide to

The Animated Adventures of Tom Sawyer

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Sanitized musical adaptation of the Mark Twain classic.

Movie NR 1998 73 minutes
The Animated Adventures of Tom Sawyer Poster Image

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This is a kid-friendly introduction to the classic Mark Twain book -- devoid of deeper meaning and taking considerable and questionable liberties with the original. THE ANIMATED ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER avoids raising questions from young kids that parents might be not ready to answer. The character "Injun Joe" is changed here to "Tattoo Joe," for instance, and Jim's slavery is mentioned only in passing. Instead, the fertile imaginations of Tom and Huck are explored here in greater detail -- typically through musical numbers of mediocre quality.

While some of the changes in the film make sense out of concern for younger viewers, other liberties are just plain weird and bizarrely self-indulgent. For parents who are fans of Mark Twain's work and want something closer to the original story, this movie something to avoid. For parents who want a very basic introduction unconcerned with how closely it adheres to the original and not ready to confront the realities of pre-Civil War America -- with lots of cheesy show tunes -- this is a tolerable venture.

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