The Inter-Dimensional Adventures of Mark Twain

Twain, originally uploaded by Coilhouse.

I can’t have been any older than 8 or 9 when my brain was permanently warped by The Adventures of Mark Twain. My folks though they were treating me to fluffy kid’s fare. They were quite wrong. A full length feature directed by claymation innovator Will Vinton, the film follows the existensial journey of Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher as crew members aboard the funky, Verne-inspired flying machine of a very suicidal Mark Twain.

It’s been well documented that Twain –who was born and died with the arrival of Halley’s Comet– was a deeply depressed, reclusive misanthrope in his later years. In the film, disgusted with the human condition, Twain is determined to hunt down the comet and crash into it. “I will continue on doing my duty, but when I get to the other side, I will use my considerable influence to have the human race drowned again, this time drowned good. No omissions. No ark.”

Worried about their own fate, the kids plot to hijack the ship. With the aid of an inter-dimensional portal aboard, they meet several characters from Twain’s various short stories, including Captain Stormfield, the Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and The Mysterious Stranger (this last sequence has got to be one of the impressive displays of clay animation around, not to mention the creepiest):

Brrrruh. Bruce Bickford would be proud.

6 Responses to “The Inter-Dimensional Adventures of Mark Twain”

  1. zoetica Says:

    It appears you have broken the website, ma’am. I suspect inter dimensional foul play.

  2. nYx Says:

    YES!!!! This movie is absolutely incredible, and “The Mysterious Stranger” is still the scariest thing i have ever seen…

  3. Paul Komoda Says:

    I was blown away by Vinton’s claymation work since the first time I had seen “Closed Mondays”as an impressionable child.
    Oddly, I seem to have missed this one, though the incredible “Mysterious Stranger” segment has compelled me to seek it out.

    I can scarcely articulate how ecstatic I was when I saw you had made a reference to Bruce Bickford!


  4. theremina Says:

    Phew. I finally have access to a working keyboard. :P
    Thanks for posting, guys!
    Nyx, we seriously gotta meet someday.
    Paul, I’m ecstatic that you GOT the Bickford reference. (Woooo! Baby Snakes!)
    I really should do a full article about him. Did you get to see the documentary “Monster Road”? So glad that guy is finally getting some proper appreciation.

  5. Jessica Says:

    I’ve made all of my friends sit through it over the last few years and they all concur that clearly this was the piece that warped me for life. I contend that it was my parents encouraging me to watch “The Wall” and “Tommy” when I was around 10 or 11. I loved this since I saw it the first time when I was around 8ish. Mostly I’m just happy that I’m not alone.

  6. theremina Says:

    Oof, Jessica…. The Wall? Don’t get me staaaahted.
    I just checked out your bloggity. Laughed out loud at the “bending over backwards” photo. Thanks for giving us a read!