Thursday, October 13, 2011

Disn-A-Thon: Treasure Planet (2002)

A futuristic twist on Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Treasure Planet follows restless teen Jim Hawkins on a fantastic journey across the universe as cabin boy aboard a majestic space galleon. Befriended by the ship's charismatic cyborg cook, John Silver, Jim blossoms under his guidance and shows the makings of a fine shipmate as he and the alien crew battle a supernova, a black hole, and a ferocious space storm. But even greater dangers lie ahead when Jim discovers that his trusted friend Silver is actually a scheming pirate with mutiny on his mind. [imdb]
On one hand we have the classic story Treasure Island, on the other hand it's set in space and is called Treasure Planet, and on the other hand it's a fairly accurate re-telling of the story, while on the other hand it's practically a "steam-punk" Disney movie, but on the other hand it's really fun and enjoyable, but on the other hand there's a random Goo Goo Dolls song wedged absurdly into the middle of the movie... yet still on the other hand... Martin Short.

Overall, I'd have to say that I like Treasure Planet.  It's fun, it's funny... and aside from the Goo Goo Dolls song, there isn't much wrong with it.  Really, if you want to fix your film into a certain date and cause it to not age well, throwing a song by a mid-90's alt-rock band is about the best way to do that.  There's NO way this movie doesn't feel dated now, simply because of that song.

But I really can only complain about that.  A lot of people complain about the extensive use of 3D computer-generated animation, with the only hand-drawn 2D animation being most (but not all) of the characters, but the only time that really bothered me was in one shot... which looked like a cheap video game cut scene.  See if you can find it!

Treasure Planet does use more computer animation than any films before it, and it's obvious... but considering the futuristic spacey-waceyness of the movie, it fits well.

Despite the video-injected commentary, there wasn't a whole lot to learn about the making of the film.  It seemed pretty standard aside from the computer combination with hand-drawn etc. etc.... Although I was surprised to find out that the original idea for this movie was pitched at the same session as The Little Mermaid, and by the same person as well.  So, they had this on the back-burner, working on story ideas bit by bit, for a long long time.

Anywho, although I personally would have like a more "era"-based official telling of Treasure Island, I am well aware that Disney already did a live-action version years ago... which is one of the reasons for the space-based version now.  Also of interesting note is that the old movie was Disney's first all live-action film.

Alright, enough of this fun, on to the next one...