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Western Animation / Tom Sawyer (2000)

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Tom Sawyer (2000) is a direct-to-video animated film by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Animation. It's an Anthropomorphic Animal Adaptation of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; in this version Tom and Becky are cats, and Huck is a fox.

Two mischievous boys, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, sneak into the local graveyard on the night of the full moon in hopes of finding treasure, but end up witnessing a murder instead. They know they must speak up about what they've seen to help clear the name of the innocent Mutt Potter, who is to be hanged for the crime. That won't be easy though, because the real murderer - Injurin' Joe, a monstrous grizzly bear - is out to get them and silence them permanently. Meanwhile, Tom develops a crush on Becky Thatcher, the new girl in town, but neglects to tell her that he was previously engaged to someone else.

Popular country music singers, including Rhett Akins, Mark Wills, Hank Williams Jr., and Lee Ann Womack, provide many of the voices.


  • Adaptation Name Change: The book's Injun Joe became Injurin' Joe in this version (likely due to Values Dissonance), and Muff Potter became Mutt Potter (a pun on his being an anthropomorphic dog).
  • Adapted Out: A few supporting characters from the original novel are absent:
    • Joe Harper, another close friend of Tom. He accompanies Tom and Huck on Jackon's Island and their funerals.
    • Dr. Robinson, the town's local doctor who joined Injun Joe and Muff Potter in the grave robbery. It was him who was murdered by Joe and Potter took the heat for. Deputy Bean, who is an original character for this story takes the role of Dr. Robinson as the murder victim. Though he was not part of the robbery and was killed when he tried to apprehend Injurin' Joe and Mutt Potter.
    • Mary, the daughter of Aunt Polly and the cousin of Tom and Sid. She doesn't appear in this story at all and only Tom and Sid live under Polly's care.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The film ends with Tom, Becky, Amy and Huck preparing to go on another treasure hunt.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Huck, a sly character, is portrayed as a fox.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: As in the book, Tom and Huck are presumed dead and watch their own funeral service.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Light at the End of the Tunnel"
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Tom, Huck, and Amy.
  • Barefoot Poverty: Huck doesn't wear shoes for this reason, and while Tom often goes barefoot, it's because he wants to be like his friend in that way. He does own a pair of boots that he wears from time to time. The reason Amy goes barefoot is never explained, though it is implied she comes from a fairly poor family.
  • Betty and Veronica: Amy is the Betty and Becky is the Veronica to Tom's Archie.
  • Big Bad: Injurin' Joe.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Right as the noose is being tightened around Mutt Potter's neck, Tom and Huck shout that Injurin' Joe was the real murderer of Deputy Bean.
  • Bookends: The film begins and ends with a shot of a river boat going down the Mississippi.
  • Bowdlerisation: In the book, Muff Potter was drunk when Injun Joe convinced him he committed the murder. In this story, he's just really dimwitted. Tom and Huck's swear into secrecy also involved signing their names in blood, this was omitted in this story.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mr. Dobbins
    • Rebel to a lesser extent, often a victim to slapstick caused directly or indirectly by Tom's shenanigans.
  • Carnivore Confusion: The preacher and the church choir are anthropomorphic pigs but Aunt Polly also fixes a baked ham for dinner. There are also a few anthropomorphic birds in the town and one scene shows Injurin' Joe eating a drumstick.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Tom gets Becky to agree to become "engaged" to him, but she is furious when he lets it slip that he was previously "engaged" to Amy Lawrence. It takes a while before she forgives him.
  • Deranged Animation: The "Friends for Life" sequence.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Most all of the musical sequences qualify at least in part, though "Friends for Life" is an especially notable example.
  • Disney Villain Death: Injurin' Joe dies by falling from a crumbling ledge in Dead Man's Cave.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Tom has several moments of this when he sees Becky.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Mutt Potter.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Tom becomes smitten with Becky, a beautiful blonde, the instant he sees her.
  • Fence Painting: In this adaptation, the fence has been changed to a houseboat, but Tom still convinces the neighborhood kids to paint it for him.
  • Forged Message: Tom forges a note from Aunt Polly to explain his absence from school which claims he was "at death's door" the day before.
  • Free-Range Children: The child characters generally wander around town without supervision.
  • Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal: The characters wear entire outfits of clothes.
  • Furry Confusion: The main cast are anthropomorphic animals, yet Tom has a pet frog named Rebel. Becky also at one point mentions that baby kittens are some of her favorite things. She is a cat herself, and it's never explained whether the type of kittens she refers to would be the equivalents of human babies in our world, or if there are non-anthropomorphic cats in that universe.
  • Furry Reminder: Injurin' Joe acts more animal-like than any other character. He grunts and roars more often than he talks, he runs on all fours, and attacks with his claws and teeth.
  • Gospel Revival Number: "Leave Your Love Light On"
  • Humanlike Foot Anatomy: The cat characters have feet that are just like those of humans while, curiously, none of the other animals do.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: Tom loses one of his shoes during a storm on the water. He discards the other shoe before he continues his adventure with Huck.
  • Love Confession: While trapped in the caves, Becky confesses that she liked Tom the first moment she saw him and kisses him. After which they become a couple.
  • Loveable Rogue: Tom, as usual.
  • Love Triangle: Becky and Amy are both in love with Tom, at least until Amy falls for Huck.
  • Mythology Gag: Tom jokingly says he'd rather have his teeth pulled than have to sit with the girls at school. The original book had a scene where Aunt Polly pulled a loose tooth from Tom with a string tied to a bedpost.
  • Official Couple: Tom and Becky. As well as Huck and Amy.
  • Pair the Spares: In the end, after Tom and Becky become a couple, Tom's formerly resentful ex-girlfriend Amy falls for Huck.
  • Pirate Booty: The characters search for (and eventually find) Redbeard's treasure.
  • Public Execution: Mutt Potter is framed for the murder of Deputy Bean and is nearly hanged, but Tom and Huck reveal that Injurin' Joe was the real killer Just in Time.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Amy Lawrence
  • Running Gag: The school bell falling on Mr. Dobbins.
  • Say My Name: Multiple characters shout Tom's name, and he shouts Becky's several times.
    Aunt Polly: Tom? TOM SAWYEEERRRR!
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: When Amy tries to flirt with Tom in school after seeing how infatuated he is with Becky, he insists that "We're just friends." In reality, he was previously engaged (though it was just a promise made between two kids) to Amy and has promptly dumped her in favor of Becky.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Tom's daydream during "Hook, Line & Sinker" where he imagines himself and Becky as fish seems to be one to Xanadu. It's almost identical to part of the animated sequence in that movie.
    • A turtle who is one of Tom's friends is named Puddin' Head as a reference to another story by Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson.
  • Stern Teacher: Mr. Dobbins, though more often than not he ends up a laughingstock.
  • Taking the Heat: While peeking at graded papers, Becky accidentally knocks a jar of ink onto them. When Mr. Dobbins discovers what has happened and demands to know who is responsible, Tom takes the blame and is whipped.
  • Talking Animal: The entire cast.
  • Toothy Bird: Mr. Dobbins, an anthropomorphic turkey.
  • Treasure Room: Tom and Becky find one in Dead Man's Cave.
  • World of Funny Animals: Every character is an anthropomorphic animal of some kind.
  • Youthful Freckles: Tom has these (along with red hair), though because he is a cat the freckles are somehow on his fur.