The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993)
Stephen Sommers rendition of Mark Twain's classic is a high-spirited, well-crafted little film. It works well, not only as a children's adventure but also as a highly competent dramatic story. The latter achievement is largely due to the acting which is amazingly inspired by an impressive ensemble. Ron Perlman's Pap Finn is brilliant (you'd want him to be further explored, even though you realize it couldn't have been done in this film), Courtney B. Vance's has depth as Jim, and the skilful duo Jason Robards/Robbie Coltrane is having great fun as The Duke and The King.
However, a film about Huck Finn is always largely down to the actor in the title role, and few have done it better than young Elijah Wood. The film was his first leading role, and he's amazing. Having done sensitive roles in films such as Paradise and Radio Flyer, you'd perhaps not expect him to fill the shoes of Huck Finn, but Wood has captivating charm, a sparkling energy and even a bit of a rough edge. It was a performance that established him as the hottest child actor of the period, surpassing his colleague from The Good Son, Macaulay Culkin.
The direction by Sommers is impressive.
Not only does the movie look great through Sommers' vivid lens, but the
young director also has a great command of the pace and atmosphere of
the film. He changes the tone of the narrative smoothly and poignantly
and even has a few creative camera positions (i.e. when Jim wakes up),
making The Adventures of Huck Finn one of the most vibrant
versions of the Mark Twain classic (even though this is exclusively
about Huck and Jim; Tom Sawyer isn't even mentioned).