“Treasure Planet” – Film Review

Have you ever been watching a pirate movie and said to yourself, “Gee, what this really needs is some aliens!” Then Disney’s 2002 animated feature Treasure Planet is the movie for you!

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But seriously, it is a really cool re-imagining of the Robert Louis Stevenson tale of young Jim’s adventure, which originally ran as a serial in a boys magazine in the 1880’s. There have been tons renditions of this story; plays, movies, comics, you name it. But this is the first one I have seen that really does anything to ‘punk’ it. Well, besides the Muppets of course, but even that was a pretty straight (if more kid-friendly) version of events.

Spaceport

Here is what is the same: Jim, the son a tavern-keeper, has big dreams for his future, but feels doomed to sweep up after sailors his whole life. A treasure map falls into his lap, and with the help of financial backer he sets off on a journey to find buried treasure. Jim (voiced by the adorable and talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt) befriends the cook, who turns out to be the leader of the mutinous band of pirates who make up the hastily conceived venture.

Here’s what’s different: They are freaking space pirates! They travel in ships that resemble the beautiful wooden pirate ships of old , but the sails glitter with electricity and ports perch precariously on a crescent moon.

On the bow

The whole movie is an interesting intersection of the old and new.  John Silver (Brian Murray) is in fact both an alien AND a cyborg and it is his metal leg that gives him John’s iconic limp. The “map” that Jim encounters gets a nice spacey make over as a metal sphere that only he figures out how to open. There are aliens galore, including the catlike Captain Amelia  (Emma Thompson) who is a female version of  Captain Smollet in this story. I love places like the Star Trek universe where no one seems to balk at how anyone else appears or acts pretty much ever, they are totally open-minded.

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Like my reviews? Check out more cool stuff at my website!

Like my reviews? Check out more cool stuff at my website!

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