Treasure Planet: Stunning Visuals But a Tepid Re-telling of the Classic "Treasure Island" Tale
Walt Disney Feature Animation adapted the 1883 Robert Louis Stevenson classic novel "Treasure Island" in "Treasure Planet" (2002), another attempt by Walt Disney Pictures to broaden its viewing audience. The directors, John Musker and Ron Clements had ignited the Disney Renaissance with their "The Little Mermaid," expanded it with "Aladdin," and extended it with the comic "Hercules."
"Treasure Island" was one of their pet projects which they had been planning since the mid-1980s. It has the distinction of being the first feature-length film to be released simultaneously to both regular and IMAX theaters. While people tended to like this Disney movie when they actually saw it, "Treasure Planet" bombed at the box office, the first real clunker of an animated Disney movie since "The Black Cauldron." The plan to draw in male viewers by foregoing the princesses and the witches didn't work, and therein lies a tale, a pirate's tale, aaaarrrrggggghhhh matey!
|Solar Sailing looks like fun.|
The map turns out to show the location of Captain Flint's Treasure Planet. After Bones dies, a gang shows up and burns the inn down, with Jim, his mother and Jim's friend Dr. Delbert Doppler (David Hyde Pierce) barely escaping.
|Jim solar sailing high above his town.|
|And now, ladies and gentlemen, the star of our show - the ship!|
|The visuals really are quite stunning.|
|Jim seems to enjoy playing sailor.|
|They did a great job with the artwork, as usual.|
|Captain Amelia is probably the sexiest bug in all of fiction.|
|Aaarghhhh, then we swing left at that star, aaaarrghhhh.|
animation technology that enabled the characters to be placed in a virtual 3D environment. While not quite true 3D, the illusion of depth is apparent, just as it was in "Tarzan." The concept of "virtual sets" was introduced using a further refinement of the animation technique known as "Deep Canvas."
The overall look of "Treasure Planet" was derived from traditional illustrations of books like "Treasure Island," but there is still a sharp science-fiction edge. Sound effects also were traditional, with old toys and other mechanisms used to simulate ship sounds. "Treasure Planet" had a traditional orchestral soundtrack by Disney veteran James Newton Howard, with just a couple of pop songs thrown in by John Rzeznik.
|Silver and Jim looking at the map of Treasure Planet.|
|Now would you trust this guy?|
|Robert Newton was the classic Long John Silver in "Treasure Island" (1950).|
|Lindsay Lohan at the premiere - no, she's not in it. This was before many of her issues. Lilo was just at the premiere, but she might have livened it up a bit for the boys.|
|Jim, Morph, and B.E.N.|