The Trial Of Old Drum

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Children's

Animal Planet's first original movie is a down-home kid's picture aimed at animal lovers of all ages, though cynics may find its brand of nostalgia too sweet. Charlie Burden, Jr. (Randy Travis) recalls his childhood in Missouri during the 1950s, particularly an unusual courtroom drama. Young Charlie Jr. (Bobby Edner) and his tomboy chum, Dee (Alia Shawkat),...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Animal Planet's first original movie is a down-home kid's picture aimed at animal lovers of all ages, though cynics may find its brand of nostalgia too sweet. Charlie Burden, Jr. (Randy Travis) recalls his childhood in Missouri during the 1950s, particularly an unusual courtroom drama. Young Charlie Jr. (Bobby Edner) and his tomboy chum, Dee (Alia Shawkat), spent their carefree days building a raft and playing with Charlie Jr.'s pooch, Old Drum. Although Charlie's widowed dad, Charlie Burden Sr. (Ron Perlman), has forbidden him to sail the Huckleberry Finn craft, Dee and Charlie Jr. are too adventurous to obey. With the exception of the threat of a town bully, whom Charlie Jr. manages to befriend, the youngster lives a carefree existence until his Uncle Lon (John Schuck) accuses Old Drum of sheep slaughter. Uncle Lon has been nursing a grudge against his brother-in-law, whom he blames for his sister's death. Charlie Jr. takes a tumble from the forbidden raft, and Old Drum rescues him from the river. Since the dog's a bona fide local hero, the townspeople are reluctant to believe Lon's accusations that Old Drum is a killer. But Lon marshalls enough circumstantial evidence for their sheriff to impound Old Drum. Lon's vendetta takes on a ferocious momentum, and he hires a high-priced attorney. Charlie Sr. would rather bury the hatchet, but hires his own attorney to defend his son's innocent dog. Will the jury clear Old Drum's good name or vote to have him destroyed? This folksy tale tries hard to capture the sense of a rural yesteryear and does create some tart characters who counteract its saccharine essence.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Animal Planet's first original movie is a down-home kid's picture aimed at animal lovers of all ages, though cynics may find its brand of nostalgia too sweet. Charlie Burden, Jr. (Randy Travis) recalls his childhood in Missouri during the 1950s, particular… (more)

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