UK Release date: 14th February 2003
Watched on Sky+ Friday 10th February 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is one of those films I watched because it was recommended to me by several people in the online community. Now usually such recommendations point me towards a lesser-known work, or an undiscovered gem, but this time it’s a big-budget Disney animation. It’s basically the plot of the book ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson set in space. It does all the things Disney does well and is entertaining enough, but it just didn’t quite hit the mark (for me). I’ll tell you more after this brief summary.
We are told the tale of the pirate, Captain Flint, and how he amassed a treasure and hid it on a planet whose whereabouts are a mystery. This story becomes a legend and many had tried and failed to find the planet. But when a mysterious stranger calls at the Inn run by Jim Hawkins mother, he leaves behind a map. This map, it transpires holds the key to the location of the fabled Treasure Planet. A family friend, Dr. Doppler, finances an expedition. He hires a ship, a captain and a crew and brings Jim along to share in the adventure. The skipper, Captain Amelia, has reservations about the crew, but they set sail post haste. Jim is sent to work in the galley with the ships cook, one John Silver, a cyborg. There is more to him than meets the eye, and as they near the planet Jim discovers his secret. I won’t say any more or the Spoiler Police will have me keel hauled (again).
Very well made with some really exciting sequences and some excellent animation. The look and feel of it are everything you’d expect from a modern-day Disney animation. As far as performances go, well everyone did a good job, so honourable mentions go to; Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jim Hawkins, Brian Murray as John Silver, David Hyde Pierce as Doctor Doppler, Emma Thompson as Captain Amelia and Martin Short as B.E.N.
I am very familiar with the story and I found that so much of it was either changed or left out that I really didn’t enjoy this film as much as I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for updating the classics and I think there have been some excellent modern adaptations of classic novels but this one didn’t hit the mark (for me) I’m afraid. There were bits I did like though, the humour for one; some very nice and subtle jokes in there. I also liked the way they portrayed the relationship between Jim and John Silver; I had never seen it that way before (sorry, no spoilers). Over all though, it didn’t quite have enough for me to recommend it, but I’m sure there are many out there who will love it nonetheless.
My score: 5.2/10.
IMDb Score: 6.7/10 (based on 20,835 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 70/100 (based on 143 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 64/100 (based on 62,586 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Doctor Doppler: It's...
Jim Hawkins: Treasure Planet!
Doctor Doppler: [in disbelief] No!
Jim Hawkins: That's Treasure Planet!
Doctor Doppler: Flints' Trove? The loot of a thousand worlds? Do you know what this means?
Jim Hawkins: It means that all that treasure is only a boat ride away!
B.E.N.: I'm starting to see my life pass in front of my eyes! At least, I think it's my life.
B.E.N.: [shouting] Was I ever dancing with an android named Lupé?
Doctor Doppler: Dang it, Jim. I'm an astronomer, not a doctor! I mean, I am a doctor, but I'm not that kind of doctor. I have a doctorate, it's not the same thing. You can't help people with a doctorate. You just sit there and you're useless!
Captain Amelia: I'm Captain Amelia. Late of a few run-ins with the Procyon Armada, nasty business, but I won't bore you with my scars; You've met my first officer, Mr. Arrow? Sterling, tough, dependable, honest, brave and true.
Mr. Arrow: Please, Captain...
Captain Amelia: Oh, shut up, Arrow. You know I don't mean a word of it.