Will Vinton (1985)

Join Mark Twain on his airship to meet Halley’s Comet!

The Adventures of Mark Twain is a 1985 American stop motion claymation fantasy film directed by Will Vinton and starring James Whitmore. It received a limited theatrical release in May 1985.

The film features a series of vignettes extracted from several of Mark Twain’s works, built around a plot that features Twain’s attempts to keep his “appointment” with Halley’s Comet. Twain and three children — Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Becky Thatcher — travel on an airship between various adventures.

The concept was inspired by a famous quote by the author:

“I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'”

Twain died on April 21, 1910, one day after Halley’s Comet reached perihelion in 1910.

Included are sketches taken from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Mysterious Stranger, The Diaries of Adam and Eve (Letters from the Earth), Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven, and, a rendering of Twain’s first story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. References are made to his other works, including The Damned Human Race.

This animated film was shot in Portland, Oregon.