Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Treasure Island in Space

From the directors of Disney's Aladdin and The Little Mermaid comes a spectacular new motion picture for the entire family. Buckle up for thrills and excitement as a classic story of friendship, courage and self-discovery gets an incredible, futuristic twist for an all-new generation. It's "a truly wonderful tale combined with stunning animation." (Paul Clinton, CNN).

The greatest adventure of all time is now a thrilling DVD experience. With sensational bonus features and revolutionary 2-D and 3-D animation, Treasure Planet is an out-of-this-world sensory experience the whole family will enjoy.

Title: Treasure Planet
Release: November 27, 2002
Genre: Animated- Adaptation/ Science Fiction
MPAA Rating: PG
Based On: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Writer: Ron Clements, John Musker, Rob Edwards, Ted Elliott, & Terry Rossio
Director: Ron Clements & John Musker
Music By: James Newton Howard
Produced By: Ron Clements, John Musker, Roy Conli, & Peter Del Vecho
Distributed By: Walt Disney Pictures
Run Time: 95 minutes
Official Site

An adaptation, or more accurately, a re-imagining of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island had been pitched to the Disney company by the director’s Ron Clements & John Musker since their directorial debut with The Great Mouse Detective but they were repeatedly turned down. They directed three more animated films before they ever got the green light to begin work on what they had hoped would be the “first big space adventure Disney [had] ever done,” (Lilo and Stitch released earlier the same year beat them to that title) called Treasure Planet.

They can fiddle with the original storyline as much as they please so long as the “adaptation” still captures the essence of the story which this film fortunately does. The story was unique and so was the technique employed to make it as they used 70% new technology (CG animation) and 30% old technology (traditional animation) but they blend together almost seamlessly to create a wonderful experience.

I also loved how they brought the characters to life too. Long John Silver (voiced by Brian Murray) is one of my favorite characters of all time (mainly thanks to the original 1950’s Disney version) and he was perfect in the film- even if he was a cyborg! I also really loved the look of Jim (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as he always seems a bit younger in the book and all the films I’ve seen. Awesome soundtrack too, especially John Rzeznik‘s (the lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls) song which was Jim‘s theme.

The last few years before Disney stopped making animated films they produced several really good films but not any really great ones and unfortunately Treasure Planet was one of these. It cost quite a bit to make and was a financial failure too- one of Disney‘s biggest! However it was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar anyway but it went to Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away instead. It was a wonderfully, inventive adaptation/ re-imagination of classic story regardless though.

Related Posts: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Disney's Treasure Island (1950), Muppet Treasure Island
Links: Imdb.com, Wikipedia
Interview: Writer Rob Edwards, Q&A with Producer Roy Conli, Ron Clements and John Musker Interview



  1. The movie sounds entertaining - too bad it didn't live up to the quality we expect from Disney.

  2. I liked this movie, found it very entertaining. I still laugh when I hear the Star Trek take off line.

  3. I think even when Disney doesn't quite live up to expectations, they still make a great film :) I don't think I've ever seen one that I didn't like :)
    Nice review, as always!

    Have a Happy Day!

  4. Bermudaonion: Yeah, well it was an interesting concept nonetheless!

    Sharon: Love the music to this one but I don't believe I ever really payed any attention to the Star Trek thing. Weird! Now I've got to see it again :)

    TheChicGeek: Disney just isn't any good nowadays unless they have competition (I still believe we have Don Bluth to thank for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, etc.) and with Pixar working with them, they just haven't been bringing their A-game to anything else for awhile. I mean, when is the last time they haven't thrown in a fart joke or some other cheap humor for a laugh? Mostly their live-action films, everything else seems to be dumbed down. Ugh, sorry for the rant. I'm just sick and tired of cartoon movies instead of animated ones.

  5. I havent seen this one.
    I havent seen a Disney film recently that I really love. It's almost like they lost thier touch.
    The oldies are the good ones, like The Little Mermaid and Lion King.

  6. Naida: It's exactly like they've lost their touch! They used to make almost art and it was entertaining too. Now it's just mindless cartoons going for the funny.

  7. I saw this a while back and really liked it. I gotta say though Spirited Away definitely deserved that award. It's such a BEAUTIFUL movie! Every time I watch it I feel...I don't know how to explain it but I love it :) Hmm..now I feel like watching it again, I should since it's just gathering dust on my shelf. :D

  8. Naida: It's exactly like they've lost their touch! They used to make almost art and it was entertaining too. Now it's just mindless cartoons going for the funny.

    So true!!! Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one to realize this since everyone else seems brainwashed but I'm glad I'm not the only one :) I swear if Walt Disney were alive, I like to believe he wouldn't be happy with what's become of his company. It seriously is not art anymore all they care about is the money. How pathetic and disappointing. :(



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