Film Review: Disney returns to its classic form in 'Tuck Everlasting'

    Who doesn’t remember the classic book “”Tuck Everlasting”” by Natalie Babbitt that was so enchanting in elementary school? The theme introduced in the book and now captured in a Disney film of the same name is a familiar one: mortality and fear of it.

    In “”Tuck,”” a young girl, Winnie Foster (Alexis Bledel), breaks the constraints of her stuffy life and encounters a young man (Jonathan Jackson) and his family, the Tucks (Sissy Spacek, William Hurt and Scott Bairstow). She discovers that the family is immortal; then, like all good fiction, she must make the decision of her life between staying with the Tucks forever or returning to the world she didn’t really like to begin with.

    The breathtaking American wilderness serves as the backdrop for the film, bringing the audience back to the days before big metropolises, noise and pollution. The lifestyle of living like time doesn’t exist depicted by the Tucks evokes feelings of despondency in those who realize that life really does pass by too damn quickly.

    Minute details of particular period facts like dress, rules of propriety and technological advances are accurate and nostalgic. The sweet and naive countenance of Bledel, in her turn of the century flowy dresses and long braided hair, in addition to her relationship with the Tucks, depicts an innocence and charm that is lost in so many modern films, especially ones meant for children. But Winnie inevitably grows out of her childish headstrong independence and realizes what’s important (this is a Disney movie, for goodness sakes!).

    “”Tuck Everlasting”” is the first Disney film in a long time to actually resemble what Walt Disney himself would have produced. Its philosophical and somewhat mature theme is scarce in many popular films today, when slapstick comedies and explosive action movies are the big box office draws. But either way, this movie will eventually become a family classic like “”Old Yeller”” or “”The Swiss Family Robinson,”” and if not, the cute guys will at least make it popular with hormone-crazed teenyboppers.

    But don’t let the little kids and teenage girls scare you away from seeing a film worthy of the Disney name. Don’t worry, we won’t think less of you.

    Tuck Everlasting

    ****

    Starring Alexis Bledel and Jonathan Jackson

    In theaters Oct. 11

    Rated PG

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