While much of this detail will be only of interest to film students, the history of Claymation is well worth the attention of all viewers. Beginning with the first faltering attempts in the 1920s, the video traces the history of Claymation, not surprisingly centering on the work of Vinton. This includes the legacy of Adventures in Vinton's later projects with Michael Jackson and commercials with the California Raisins and M&Ms. It is, however, but an introduction to the subject leaving out, for example, Art Clokey's Gumby and Pokie series.
As writer Shadburne observed, The Adventures of Mark Twain is 86 minutes of entertainment an adult audience can enjoy. The story is about a tired elderly man who wants to die and join his loved ones in the next world. Shadburne is no doubt correct saying women get many laughs during the Adam and Eve sections where Adam admittedly gets the short end of the battle of the sexes stick.
It's perhaps a spoiler to say this, but there are two Twains on the airship. One is the white-suited humorist, the other a dark figure representing Twain's cynical side. This duality is one reason Twain experts and scholars appreciated the film when it debuted as it used the writer's works to demonstrate the psychology of Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens. In fact, there are inside jokes only a Twainian will get, like the jettisoning of the Paige typesetter in the climatic scene. Unless you know just why that investment was a disaster for the real Twain, that's one moment in the film for a select audience.
For everyone else, there's more than enough humor and fantasy to keep kids of all ages happy. There are three-headed aliens in heaven, a frog who saves the day in the end, a man who doesn't know the difference between a bear and a baby, not to mention Twain aphorisms like "Always obey your parents, when they're present." "Naked people have little to no influence in society." "A cauliflower is but a cabbage with a college education."
So The Adventures of Mark Twain shouldn't be categorized as a special effects tour de force and little more. It's a spectacular film appropriately now available on Blu-ray in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 that showcases all the eye-popping imagination even more superbly than when it was released first time around. Get the kids to put the videogames away for an evening and take a trip with Huck, Tom, Becky, and the man who first breathed life into them. If you have a family, this one is for you.