Watch When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
- 1 hr 25 min
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town is a heartwarming coming-of-age drama film that follows the journey of three pre-teen boys - Toby, Cal, and Wayne - in a small Texas town during the summer of 1971. The story revolves around the titular character Zachary Beaver, a 560-pound teenage carnival performer who is billed as the world's fattest boy. Zachary arrives in the town one day, accompanied by his circus manager, to set up his trailer in a local field. The town is instantly fascinated by Zachary and his size becomes the talk of the town.
Toby is a quiet, sensitive 13-year-old boy who spends most of his time with his best friend Cal, who is more outgoing and adventurous. Wayne is a bully who frequently harasses Toby and Cal. One day, the boys discover Zachary's trailer and sneak in to see him. They are initially scared by Zachary's size and intimidating presence, but as they start to spend more time with him, they begin to realize that there is much more to him than his appearance.
As the summer progresses, Toby, Cal, and Zachary become close friends. They spend their days swimming in the creek, playing baseball, and hanging out in Zachary's trailer. Toby, in particular, grows very attached to Zachary and sees him as a father figure. He confides in Zachary about his strained relationship with his father and his feelings for a girl named Scarlett. Zachary, in turn, shares with Toby his own painful past and the reason why he joined the carnival.
The film is predominantly character-driven and explores themes such as friendship, loneliness, acceptance, and family. The relationship between the three boys is portrayed with authenticity and nuance, showcasing their different personalities and perspectives. Jonathan Lipnicki delivers a solid performance as Toby, capturing the character's vulnerability and emotional turmoil. Cody Linley and Jesse Pennington also impress as Cal and Wayne, respectively.
The film also features a strong supporting cast, including popular actors such as Jane Krakowski, Eric Stoltz, and Cynthia Mace. Krakowski plays Toby's mother, who is struggling with her own issues and is distant from her son. Stoltz plays the local sheriff, who is determined to learn more about Zachary and his mysterious past. Mace plays Toby's schoolteacher, who encourages him to write about his experiences.
The film is set in a nostalgic, small-town America, and the cinematography captures the beauty of rural Texas. The soundtrack is also noteworthy, featuring classic hits from the late 60s and early 70s, which effectively evoke the film's time period.
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town is based on the novel by Kimberly Willis Holt and is directed by John Schultz. The film received mixed reviews upon its release, with some critics praising its poignant storytelling and strong performances, while others criticized it for being too sentimental and simplistic.
Overall, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town is an engaging and heartfelt film that will appeal to audiences of all ages. It offers a poignant message about the importance of looking beyond appearances and finding true friendship in unexpected places.
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town is a 2005 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7.