Mickey and Sullly must solve the mysterious clues left by his grandfather and others.
The Adventures of Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure story line begins at the funeral of Jack Matson (Christopher Lloyd), 13-year-old Mickey Matson’s (Derek Brandon) grandfather. Of all the family present at the funeral, Mickey is the most broken up, because he was very close to his grandfather. Other children at the funeral aren’t even paying attention to the service, too busy on their devices. They have an even bigger laugh at the reading of the will. All Mickey received in his grandfather’s will was a box containing a stone. Devastated, Mickey wanders out to the lake shore and tosses the stone in the lake. Luckily for Mickey, Ivan Stumpwater (Ernie Hudson), one of Jack’s friends has followed him out to the lake and retrieved the stone. “I warned your Grandfather that you might not be ready,” he tells Mickey. “This is not just any stone” The stone is a Petoskey stone (incidentally the Michigan state stone, where this movie was filmed and set). Later when he takes the stone home with him and puts it under a microscope after putting water on it, it reveals a hidden map. While at the lake, Mickey literally runs into Sully (Francesca Derosa), a tomboyish girl from Chicago who is in town visiting her grandmother, causing the kite she was flying to break and fall apart. She follows Mickey home, and up a ladder to his attic room because she wants him to replace her kite. But quickly Sully gets involved in the mystery of the stone, and what it means. The two decide to bicycle over to the location revealed by the map the next day.
Mickey ponders why his grandfather left him a Petosky stone in his will.
Soon Mickey and Sully are engulfed in solving a series of puzzles that lead to three artifacts of great value. The stone turns out to one of the artifacts, along with a blue sapphire and a direction-finding watch. The artifacts are what is required to run an alchemy machine, that will turn anything passing through it into silver. This all dates back to the time of the American Civil War, when the sapphire was first acquired and came into the possession of the Copperheads, a group of Confederate sympathizers who are still fighting the war today. A working alchemy machine will give them massive wealth and the power to take over the government. The Copperheads are led locally by local banker Stalwert Priggish (Rick Plummer). Priggish is assisted by two goons, Billy Lee (Lee Arenberg) and Jeremiah (Frank Drank). They go after Mickey and Sully when they find out that these kids have possession of some of the artifacts, and Mickey and Sully have several narrow escapes. To force Mickey and Sully to give the artifacts over, they kidnap Ivan and demand the artifacts in exchange for his life.
Sully and Mickey discover a clue on a tree in the woods.
The Copperheads aren’t the only ones in town with an interest in the artifacts and the alchemy machine. Mickey’s grandfather was a member of the Secret Order of the Patriots. He and a number of others in town are part of the Secret Order which is pledged to protecting the United States Constitution and fighting the Copperheads. Members include Ivan, Grams (Patrika Dando) Sully’s grandmother, a cemetery worker they run into when following up on a clue, and a few other townspeople. Mickey and Sully are sworn into the Order and go to face the Copperheads to stop them from completing the alchemy machine and rescue Ivan.
At the graveyard, Mickey and Sully must figure how to get past the cemetery worker and inside the Fowler crypt.
The Adventures of Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure is a pleasant family film that is suited for the tween set and younger. It seems from the long winded title that the intention here is to set up a franchise of some sort. You could lose the words “The Adventures of” and still have the same impact. Derek Brandon does a good job as Mickey, a somewhat shy kid who comes out of his shell as he discovers what his grandfather’s true legacy was for him. Francesca Derosa gives the part of Sully a lot of spirit and attitude, explained in the screenplay because she comes from Chicago. Christopher Lloyd is given starring credit, but only appears briefly in a 30 second cameo. The other adults are pretty much stereotypes, especially the bad guys. Lee Arenberg and Frank Drank have their funny moments as Stalwert Priggish’s not so bright muscle men. They get occasional funny lines, but as villains manage to fall for just about every kid trick that Mickey and Sully can come up with. This is typical for these type of films, where I guess the producers don’t want to upset the younger kids with actual villainy. It’s nice to see some attempt to incorporate actual history into the plot of the film. It’s too bad that instead of building the mystery up from things that are real, there has to be that same old reliance on fantasy. Wasn’t the concept of alchemy disproved in the middle ages? And a lot of the discussion about alchemy is quite philosophical in nature, something that probably wouldn’t go over too well in a film designed for kids. The other part of the plot partially misrepresents what the Copperhead movement was about, an anti-war movement started by Western Democrats in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. Copperheads nominally favored remaining in the Union but were opposed to Abraham Lincoln and the Republican party war agenda, the emancipation of blacks, and the draft. The Copperhead movement is generally said to have collapsed around the fall of Atlanta in 1864, when it became inevitable that the North would win the war. The Adventures of Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure tries to be a junior version of National Treasure, but doesn’t have enough story line to be credible in that regard. Maybe a simpler approach, like a search for a lost treasure from the Civil War would have been a better way to go. But if you don’t mind the lack of correct science or politics, this film is a good adventure film for kids.
Grams leads the charge of the Secret Order of Patriots against the Copperheads.
Mickey wears black low cuts at the beginning of the film.
Later he wears white high top chucks and Sully wears black high tops.
Throughout the film, Derek Brandon in his role as Mickey Matson is seen wearing chucks. In the opening scenes of the films, he is wearing black low chucks, and for the remainder of the film he wears optical white high tops. Francesca Derosa wears black high top chucks in all but the opening scenes. We get a lot of close-ups of them mostly during chase scenes, but not a lot of full body shots.
Mickey wearing optical white high tops.
Probably the best shots of them are when they are climbing up the lighthouse to look for the blue sapphire, or when they have just landed on the ground. There are camera close-ups of the soles, when Mickey goes smashing into one of the bad guys, Tarzan style.
Mickey is climbing up the alchemy machine.
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