A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Joe kills a deputy and chases Tom and Huck down the river, trying to do them in as well. Joe is attacked by hundreds of bats and is killed by an avalanche in the cave finale.
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What's the story?
In this animated musical version of Mark Twain's tale, Tom Sawyer is a mischievous cat who loves fishing, daydreaming about pirates, and thinking about Becky Thatcher -- the pretty new girl at school. But when he goes to the boneyard with his best buddy Huck Finn to search for buried treasure, he comes face to face with the town's mean old grizzly bear, Injurin' Joe, who's also digging for gold. Tom and Huck witness Joe kill a deputy and pin the blame on an old hound dog named Mutt Potter. Fearing for their lives, the boys flee on a raft down the Mississippi River, but return to save Mutt from being wrongly hanged. In Dead Man's Cave, Tom and Huck stumble upon the treasure and defeat Joe once and for all.
Is it any good?
This innovative adaptation of Twain's classic features country songs and the voices of Don Knotts, Betty White, and a few country-music stars. It's a pretty faithful adaptation, but will appeal primarily to younger viewers. Some of the scarier scenes have been toned down here, and there are plenty of songs, which, while lively, bring the movie to a grinding halt every 10 minutes. The animation is simple, but colorful.
Although The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was written more than a hundred years ago, Mark Twain's storytelling mastery still shines and will captivate most kids. Even today's savvy kids can relate to the universality of having problems in school, getting into trouble, falling in love for the first time, and yearning for adventure and intrigue.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the book of the same title. How does the book differ from the cartoon? If you saw the cartoon first, how did it influence how you imagined the book? If you read the book first, did the cartoon live up how you imagined the characters, the settings, and the action of the book?
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