Movie Review – ‘The Adventures of Huck Finn’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

My parents and I saw another Disney film on Disney+ recently! This time around, it’s ‘The Adventures of Huck Finn’, a 1993 adventure film written and directed by Stephen Sommers. Some of you may know him for directing the first two ‘Mummy’ movies as well as the 1994 ‘Jungle Book’ film.

This film also features a young Elijah Wood playing Huckleberry Finn. This was before Elijah Wood went on to become famous, playing Frodo Baggins in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ films. It was so surreal to see a young Elijah Wood in this particular film. I’ve also seen him in ‘Spy Kids 3D: Game Over’. 🙂

‘The Adventures of Huck Finn’ is based on the 1884 novel ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ by Mark Twain. I’ve not come across that book before, but I’ve heard of Mark Twain. Apparently the film focuses on at least three-fourths of the book. I’m sure artistic licence was made from adapting the book into film.

The film focuses on Huckleberry Finn, a young boy who escapes his home with a black slave called Jim, played by Courtney B. Vance. They travel the Mississippi River together and overcome various obstacles along the way. Wait a minute! I’m being reminded of another tale I read featuring a similar scenario.

Oh yes, that’s right! It’s was in the ‘Doctor Who’ short story ‘The Dark River’ by Matthew Waterhouse. It had Nyssa and Adric helping a slave called James, I believe, when they travelled on the Mississippi River. I wonder if that’s where Matthew Waterhouse got his inspiration from in writing the story.

More from the book rather than the film, I think. I’ll have to ask Matthew that the next time I see him at a convention. 😀 Anyway, back to ‘The Adventures of Huck Finn’. I enjoyed the film, although I do wonder if this film might be a little bit less appropriate for kids to watch when viewing it on Disney+.

The film received a PG rating for some mild violence and language. This is clearly evident when Elijah Wood’s Huck Finn kept saying “Hells bells” a lot. He must have taken lessons from Richard Briers in ‘Ever Decreasing Circles’! 😀 Not sure how Disney would approve that kind of language in the film.

And yes, there is clearly violence in the film, especially with a dead boar and its blood being spread about at a certain point. Mind you, this isn’t the first Stephen Sommers film where I’ve seen things like this. The 1994 ‘Jungle Book’ film he did was pretty disturbing in terms of mild violence and language.

Maybe that’s ‘The Mummy’ influence coming into the film rather than a Disney film. 😀 Elijah Wood does deliver a good performance as Huck Finn and I can see why director Peter Jackson would later cast him as Frodo in ‘LOTR’, since he has the intensity and drive that a young actor would need here.

I enjoyed Courtney B. Vance’s performance as Jim and it’s interesting how the slave trade aspect of the film gets dealt with. Huck Finn and Jim become close friends and it’s intriguing how Huck’s views on slavery get challenged, especially when he has to save Jim’s life on certain occasions from people.

The film also has Robbie Coltrane (after he did ‘Danny the Champion of the World’ and before he did Hagrid in the ‘Harry Potter’ films) as the Duke and Jason Robards as the King. The Duke and the King are con men trying to pass themselves off as British members of the Wilks family to steal something.

There’s Ron Perlman (before he did ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ and the ‘Hellboy’ movies) as Pap Finn, Dan Ivey as Widow Douglas, Mary Louise Wilson as Miss Watson, Anne Heche as Mary Jane Wilks, James Gammon as Deputy Hines, Paxton Whitehead as Harvey Wilks, Tom Aldredge as Dr. Robinson, Renee O’Connor as Julia Wilks and Laura Bundy as Susan Wilks. The performances of the cast are enjoyable.

Even director Stephen Sommers cameos as a silhouetted man in the film. Overall, ‘The Adventures of Huck Finn’ was an enjoyable film to see on Disney+. I enjoyed Elijah Wood’s performance as Huck Finn. It was fun to see this adaptation of a Mark Twain book by the director of ‘The Mummy’ films. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂


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