Tom Sawyer is a literary character frequently found in Disney properties.
- 1 Background
- 2 Appearances
- 2.1 Film
- 2.2 Television
- 2.3 Printed Materials
- 2.4 Video Games
- 2.5 Disney Parks
- 3 Gallery
Tom Sawyer is a character originating from the literary works of Samuel Clemens (pen-name Mark Twain), first appearing in his 1876 novel, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer". In the books, Tom was a young boy (about 12-13) growing up in the 1840s who was characterized as being overly cunning, lazy and manipulative. Due to these traits, Tom finds himself frequently ahead of his peers despite being disobedient and never following the rules however in-turn it results in him being spurned by his crush, Becky.
Because of this his stories revolve around his cunning exploits, pranks, rebuking society to partake in childish games but learning humility and putting others before him along the way.
Tom Sawyer made his first Disney appearances at the Disney theme-parks, before having received any appearances in other media.
Tom is kind, gentle, and friendly, but also mischievous and boastful.
Tom notably appears in the Disney film, Tom and Huck, played by Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Together with his best friend, Huckleberry Finn, he went looking for the treasure of the evil Injun Joe while also trying to bring Injun Joe to justice for the murder of Dr. Robinson. In the end, he manages to defeat Injun Joe and is hailed as a hero in his town.
He has one shot in The Adventures of Huck Finn, where he is played by Danny Tamberelli as he shouts "Go for the glory!".
Tom is the protagonist in this Pac-Man inspired game where players must outrun bears on Tom Sawyer Island.
One of the booths in Club 33 depicts Tom and Huck on a raft, looking upon the Mark Twain Riverboat.
A window on Main Street advertised, "SAWYER FENCE PAINTING", a business in Anaheim, California and Lake Buena Vista, Florida run by one Tom Nabbe. This is a tribute to Disneyland actor Tom Nabbe who portrayed Tom Sawyer at the parks.
Tom Sawyer's Island is themed around Jackson Island, the island which he, Huck and Harper escape to to play pirate. The island is an interactive attraction themed around the characters of Mark Twain with many allusions to Tom, including his treehouse and messages from him being found.
Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island was a refurbishment made to tie the attraction of Disneyland in with the ever-popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Newspaper clippings and messages referenced the island's fictional history, being known as Jackson Island (from the books) which here was once a smuggling port for pirate's like Jack Sparrow and Jean Lafitte with remnants of their exploits still being found on the island. The island later served as a base for the Americans during the War of 1812 when they made allies with the smugglers and pirates of the Mississippi.
The island would be traveled to by the boys Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Joe Harper as part of their adventures. During this time they turned the island into their own pirate's lair due to their love of piracy, with Tom declaring himself as, "The Black Avenger of the Spanish Main".
Tom Sawyer is brought up by the captain of the Mark Twain Riverboat in Disneyland when passing by the Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. The captain mentions how Tom Sawyer always wanted to be a pirate before an audio-clip of Tom plays with him saying, "It’s just the life for me! You don’t have to get up mornin’s. And you don’t have to go to school, and wash, and all that blame foolishness. You see, a pirate don’t have to do anything!".
Liberty Belle Riverboats
Tom Sawyer is brought up by the ride's narrator Sam Clemens (Tom's real-life creator) on this attraction. While passing by the island, the ride's Sam mentions having been close friends with Tom and the gang growing up and that he played with them on Tom Sawyer Island.
Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are both established characters to meet at the Disney Parks (namely Disneyland) although they have become progressively more rare over the years. Typically the two are found in Frontierland or New Orleans Square. They will also inconsistently appear in parades and similar shows. Tom is usually shown carrying a paddle and wearing a straw-hat.