Treasure Planet (2002) – movie review

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Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring (voices of): Emma Thompson, David Hyde Pierce, Martin Short, Brian Murray

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker

A futuristic twist on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, TREASURE PLANET follows the story of a teen animated Jim Hawkins who, instead of the ocean, sails, when allowed, across the sea of space as cabin boy aboard a majestic space galleon (nice idea, but still a bit comic book – not unlike the fairground rides in JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS).

Befriended by the ship’s charismatic (villainous?) cyborg cook, John Silver, Jim blossoms under his guidance. He is the father figure Jim never had which, unlike typical Disney, is brushed over and does not have a happy ending – the father left – period. Under Silver an excellent characterization, Jim shows the makings of a fine shipmate as he and the alien crew battle a supernova, a black hole, a ferocious space storm and an insipid (in parts) script version of a classic story.

Even greater dangers lie ahead when Jim discovers that Silver is head of the mutineers, all very creatively animated, aboard the ship who are desperate to find the secret location of the Treasure planet, which holds the booty of a thousand space loots. It is the final resting place of a bounty, but could it also be the final resting place of Jim and his trusted friends? That, my dears, is for you to find out.

Although this really has some excellent moments and the characterizations and voices are spot on, this isn’t classic Disney. Disney must be worried that their co-production deal with Pixar is coming to an end (although it would make sense to extend it) and the threat from DreamWorks is ever present (SHREK was far, far better than this).

All in all this is a fine effort but the obvious jumps between classic painted artwork and CGI are too obvious for you to appreciate it as a Disney milestone. Kids will love the farting alien, but if they are relying on this it’s indeed time for them to look at why we hold Disney ‘animated’ classics so close to our hearts.

Dr Kuma’s verdict: Not a classic, but worth a visit to cinema “isle”.

3 out of 6 stars