Tom and Huck
PG
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -1/2

[Editor's Note: Like the Mickey Mouse cartoon which preceded A Kid in King Arthur's Court, TOM AND HUCK is preceded by a cartoon featuring Timon and Pumbaa of Lion King fame. This short animated feature is entitled Stand by Me and has Timon, a merry meerkat, crooning a spirited version of the 1961 pop hit tune of the same name. Virtually in sync with the song, the carefree, clumsy warthog, Pumbaa, suffers a succession of comical catastrophes. Among other things, he is shot from a canon, has a massive safe drop on him, and is battered by explosions and lighting strikes. The producers could have been more imaginative than just having Pumbaa hammered throughout the entire feature] Mark Twain's classic story The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has been remade into this updated film version entitled TOM AND HUCK. It follows the original story closely and finds young Tom Sawyer (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) up to his old mischievous tricks in Hannibal, Missouri, in 1845. And his trusty friend, bad boy Huck Finn (Brad Renfro), is there by his side, although homeless Huck lives in the woods alone. One night in a cemetery, they accidentally witness a brutal stabbing murder and the ruthless killer, Injun Joe (Eric Schweig), knows it. So, he is out to get the boys, and the boys are out to get a map he has of a hidden treasure. The adventure picks up steam as the boys search for the map and the hidden treasure, and try to prove that Muff Potter (Michael Mc Shane), an innocent bystander accused of the murder, is not guilty. It all comes to a climax in a harrowing chase with Injun Joe pursuing Tom and his girlfriend, Becky (Rachael Cook), in a dark, foreboding cave. This Tom Sawyer remake turns out to be an engrossing, believable adventure with plenty of suspense and humor. It promises to be great fun for young and old alike.

At times, the action in the film becomes rather intense and might be too much for young sensitive children. Injun Joe is a mean, terrifying outcast and doesn't hesitate to hurl his bowie knife at opponents to scare them. The stabbing in the cemetery is also intense, but the victim is not actually shown. In the cave, a man falls to his death in a horrifying scene. Also, Becky becomes angry when Tom mentions another girl he likes and later floors Tom with an unnecessarily severe blow to the jaw. All this rough treatment is reasonably acceptable, but the use of two strong GD words by Injun Joe is not. Further, Tom and Huck both use the words hell or damn a time or two. On the positive side, Tom is treated well at home and both he and Huck risk their lives to prove that Muff Potter is innocent. Further, the film has no sexual content or suggestive dialogue. If it weren't for the GD words and the mild crudities spoken by the boys, we could give this exciting adventure our wholehearted recommendation.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution Inc, 3900 Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

Summary
Crude Language: Several (6) times - Mild 4, Moderate 2
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Few (3) times - Regular 2 (GD), Exclamatory 1
Violence: Many times - Moderate (raft wreck, striking on head and face, stabbing, fist fight, knife throwing threat, chase threat, rough treatment, man falls to death in cave)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None; Near nudity - Brief few times (low cut dresses in saloon)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Few times (whiskey drinking, boy smokes pipe)
Other: Good family relations; widow adopts homeless boy; boys risk lives for innocent man; loyalty and trust
Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: 6 years and older

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