Friday, May 21, 2010

Twain's "The Mysterious Stranger" 80's claymation style

While one may not often think of the eerie and macabre when thinking of American literary giant Mark Twain, the man's body of work is certainly not without some reflection on the darker sides of life.

I stumbled upon this selection from "The Adventures of Mark Twain," a 1985 claymation film. No, these are not the singing raisins, but the film was directed by Will Vinton, who is better known for his "The California Raisins." I have not seen the film, but have found that, while initially opening with a small theatrical release, it was released on DVD only recently. Wikipedia tells me the child characters in this clip are Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher.

"The Mysterious Stranger" is the last known novel attempted by Mark Twain. There are known to be two versions of the story attempted by Twain. The first, normally called "The Chronicle of Young Satan" follows the nephew of the Biblical Satan during the Middle Ages. The second, much shorter, attempt is titled "Schoolhouse Hill" and concerns Twain's characters of Finn, Sawyer and Thatcher and their encounters with Satan.

This unnerving, thought-provoking claymation clip features what appears to be the latter version, with Twain himself and his child characters encountering the author's Satan.

YouTube User: insertcoolname

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