Tom Sawyer (Animated) (Import Blu-ray)
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The classic Mark Twain bookThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer is presented here as an animated video featuring the voices and music of country music stars Mark Wills, Lee Ann Womack, Rhett Akins, and Hank Williams Jr. Other famous voices include Betty White and Don Knotts. Twain's general plot is reproduced fairly faithfully: Tom falls in love with Becky, Tom and Huckleberry Finn witness a murder and later risk their lives to save the falsely accused Potter, and Tom and Huck eventually find Red Beard's buried treasure. Subtle elements have been changed for either political correctness or plot convenience: for instance, the name "Injun Joe" has been changed to "Injurin' Joe" and Becky has gained an antagonist father. A not so subtle change is the presentation of the characters as animals: Tom and Becky are cats, Huck is a fox, and Joe is a bear. The video is skillfully animated (much more so than the cover suggests) and the voice talent is excellent. Pop-country music lovers will love featured songs such as "You Can't Keep a Country Boy Down" and "There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel," although they seem more appropriate for adult audiences than the 5- to 12-year-olds this video is aimed at. All in all, this is an entertaining, accessible presentation of a classic story that kids will enjoy. --Tami Horiuchi
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