When space galleon cabin boy Jim Hawkins discovers a map to an intergalactic "loot of a thousand worlds," a cyborg cook named John Silver teaches him to battle supernovas and space storms on their journey to find treasure.
Unequivocally, unmistakably, undeniably Disney's greatest animated film. A masterpiece, as far as I'm concerned. Long read ahead!
Film and reviews are all about opinions, which is only a positive thing. I, for one, though have yet to find a better animation than this. No doubt I'm probably partly clouded by nostalgia, but even a tonne of years later I still remember how blown away I was when I first watched it. Nothing's changed.
Where to start? I love every single detail about this film, for which there are many. Not only does it improve upon the studio's earlier 1950 production about Robert Louis Stevenson's 1883 novel, but it manages to create an incredibly touching, amusing and rather thrilling story for all. They don't rely on the usual, overdone Disney front and center romance to do it either.
It's a story of a young kid coming-of-age into the world. You really go on a journey with Jim Hawkins, who hadn't had the most happiest childhood. We see him grow into a man across just 95 short minutes. Joseph Gordon-Levitt brings Jim to life superbly, no surprise to see he has done other great things in his career.
Gordon-Levitt isn't the only outstanding performer here, with Brian Murray and Emma Thompson showing their talents in the roles of John Silver and Capt. Amelia. I adore the dynamic between Silver and Hawkins, Murray is truly brilliant. Thompson is great in her role, also.
Even below those aforementioned names, you have memorable characters in Delbert (David Hyde Pierce), B.E.N. (Martin Short) and Mr. Arrow (Roscoe Lee Browne). Morph (Dane Davis) is a cracking little sidekick, too.
Away from the cast, you also have the sensational animation. They mix hand-drawn 2D and computer generated 3D, which comes out exquisitely. Sure some of it hasn't aged impeccably compared to now, but it all to this day still looks utterly stunning. I love the attention to detail.
That's not all. How about that music? I couldn't tell you the amount of times I've listened to that soundtrack down the years, it's so beautifully crafted by James Newton Howard and John Rzeznik; the latter's, as part of the Goo Goo Dolls, "I'm Still Here" fits so, so well.
Can you tell how much fondness I hold for this? It's fantastic! Did Disney mishandle it? Sure. Does it deserves more respect? Definitely. However, I'm kinda glad they just let Ron Clements and John Musker do their thing. Heavy Disney interference could've ruined it. The fact this has zero pointless sequels is marvellous, even if it's for the wrong reasons.
There are minor rumours they plan to live-action this. Normally I'd argue against classics being remade, but I think this 2002 production is in a win-win position in that regard. If it's a big success it'll be good for it, if it's terrible then it'll put more eyes on the original.
It's kinda funny, I don't see myself as a Disney fan and yet my two favourites films (this + <em>'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl'</em>) are from this studio - and both pirate-y, interestingly. Hmm.
Go watch <em>'Treasure Planet'</em>!
Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Feature Animation by Ron Clements, John Musker, Robert Louis Stevenson.
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emma Thompson, Martin Short.
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Family
Keywords: cyborg loss of loved one based on novel or book space marine mutiny map pirate gang treasure hunt little boy space alien steampunk money treasure map planet robot troubled teen robot cop space pirate flying ship hoverboard robot police
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