Have you ever seen a film and wondered why more people haven’t seen it? In 2002, Treasure Planet released in theaters to a resounding whisper as it completely bombed in the box office. Sadly the film was lost in the wide array of Disney films however, I believe it deserves another chance at greatness.
15-year-old Jim Hawkens (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a rebellious teen going through a rough period in his life. All of that changed the day he found a map that leads to “the loot of a thousand worlds.” Knowing that finding the treasure will flip his life upside down Jim travels across the universe in this thrilling space voyage.
Sets the Tone Immediately
From the opening few moments of the film, you see two ships waged in battle. There’s no water to be seen both ships firing cannonballs out in space. The fight is shown in the form of a hologram being displayed by a book.
I love the world this story takes place in. Filled with objects that we are used to seeing on an everyday basis however, now they have more of a futuristic take. For example, there are curtains with the flick of a button that can change the background from a flowery meadow to a monstrous volcano.
When darker themes are discussed in films where the main audience will consist of children I always tend to enjoy the fact that the story was willing to dive that deep. When the writers avoid common clichés like the death of parents it’s truly special and Treasure Planet possesses no such cliché.
Right off the bat, we’re introduced to Doctor Doppler (David Hyde Pierce) a close family friend to the Hawkins family. He’s your stereotypical intelligent character who’s also kind of a goofball. However, it’s not fair to say he doesn’t stand out.
He has some of the best lines in the entire film combined with his seemingly constant act of tripping over himself he really takes this character from a forgettable role to a major player in the film.
John Silver (Brian Murray) is another welcomed addition to the cast. His relationship with Jim is a major contributing factor to why I enjoy the film so much. The best scenes of the movie always occur when these two share the limelight and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
To say the animation is enchanting is taking it lightly. Throughout a scene, there may be three or more changes to the way the scene is being captured. From using a point of view shot to changing from 3D animation to 2D animation in the matters of seconds is phenomenal.
The leaps and progression that this movie used to stand out from its competition are insane. I’m shocked that even by today’s standards this motion picture wouldn’t be left in the dust animation wise.
You’re thrown in the world of Treasure Planet from the start. There aren’t minutes and minutes of exposition things are just the way they are which keeps the pacing steady. You begin to just enjoy what you see instead of questioning was that a ship flying? It’s simply a fun film.
Outside of the characters I’ve already mentioned, there are numerous others that deserve just as much praise. The voice talent is immaculate and I still feel chills during tense scenes because of that fact.
As a child, there are themes I wouldn’t expect you to understand. However, returning to the film older and wiser I can’t help but appreciate the mature themes. Lastly, the animation is top-notch.
To this day I don’t see many animated films that make me want to replay a scene just to watch the film frame by frame to see how the creators completed their task.