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Treasure Planet /

Rated: PG

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brian Murray, Emma Thompson, David Hyde Pierce, Martin Short 

Directed by: John Musker, Ron Clements 

Produced by: Roy Conli, John Musker, Ron Clements 

Written by: Ron Clements, John Musker, Rob Edwards, Ken Harsha, Kaan Kalyon, Mark Kennedy, Donnie Long, Frank Nissen 

Distributor: Walt Disney


Movie Image

Movie Image

Movie Image

     Disney’s latest beautiful work of animation Treasure Planet is an enchanting intergalactic version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel Treasure Island. Treasure Planet might be altering one of history’s greatest tales, but it certainly is a fantastic ride that all children and adults will enjoy. It uses a beautiful sense of style in its animation, great voice talents, and an astonishingly powerful original song. This is a creative and skillful work that beats out Lilo and Stitch, and is the new best animated film this year. The screenwriters provided a terrific adaptation of the original novel, and the direction is superb. Despite a few confusing moments, Treasure Planet is not only the best animated films of the year, but one of the best real ones too.

     The flick opens up to a youngster, reading a story about a hidden treasure, past his bedtime. His mother walks into his room and reprimands him. Despite her attempts to make him go to sleep, the two end up reading the rest of the book.

     The movie then jumps forward in time, by twelve years to be exact. We see the once young, but now grown, Jim Hawkins riding a high-tech motorized glider through the air. He is having a blast, while skillfully curving through buildings, construction sites, and landforms. This party soon comes to a stop, however, when he is pulled over by two robot cops who tell him that he was riding in an illegal zone. The police escort him back to his mother’s restaurant.

     They tell his mom that if he chooses to commit one more illegal act, than he will be sent to Juvenile Hall. She is very angry at him, once again, and wishes that he were the little boy reading fantasy books past his bedtime that she used to know. He starts to pick up dishes and clean tables in the restaurant for a while, but then heads outside.

     His mother stares at him through the window, and feels deeply sorry. She explains to a family friend that the only reason he is such a troublemaker is because his father left them at a young age. Though the friend feels very controversial about Jim, he is very sad, too. The once perfect little boy is now failing classes and committing felonies. No one knows what to do with him.

     A few moments later, the screen erupts in chaos. A rather odd-looking, space ship type vehicle crashes into the land right outside of the restaurant. Jim rushes to investigate the scene, and finds that the driver is alive, but not in very good condition. He is bizarre looking, and the crash appears to have made him somewhat crazy.

     Jim drags the driver inside, who hands him a golden ball. He tells Jim that people are coming, and will try to steal it, no matter what the cost. Jim must protect it. The man then dies, and the people he was talking about come to the restaurant. Jim, his mother, and their friend escape safely, by jumping out the window and driving away.

     Once out of harm’s way, they activate the intriguing golden ball. They find that when you press a button on it, a giant, transparent treasure map projects off of it. Jim and the family friend, named Dr. Doppler, decide that they must follow the path that it leads, to find the treasure. They recruit a crew, and begin to sail a ship across the planet to find it. Little did they know that on board would be several villains, who try to take the map from them.

     The screenwriting, done by John Musker and Ron Clements, was an excellent way of adapting the classic novel Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson. Many critics say that it was unnecessary of filmmakers to change the original writing, but the idea of a “Treasure Planet” instead of “Treasure Island,” strikes me as much more exhilarating. There have been several versions of the original novel done, one being animated, and I think that it has gotten to be a little tired. This film, however, looks great and feels it. This fact alone should earn critical applause. For a refreshing new look at a delightful literary classic, Treasure Planet is an action-packed, and tremendously exciting flick.

     The original music used for the film, done by John Rzeznik, is a great fit for it. It’s edgy, and works with the action scenes. I especially enjoyed a scene where Jim, and a villain from the ship he’s traveling on are dashing through the air on a small boat while a song entitled “I’m Still Here” is playing in the background.  The two songs, preformed by Rzeznik worked along with the feature beautifully. Treasure Planet has one of the best original scores I have seen this year; it deserves an Oscar.

     Treasure Planet is a movie that I never questioned. I didn’t look at my watch, twiddle my thumbs, or doodle on my notepad once during its duration. A film called Solaris, which I recently reviewed, was nothing but painful to watch. I wanted to turn the projector off! I played with my cup, made funny faces, and cheered when it was over. There is nothing better than a film that you can enjoy, no matter what format it is in. Treasure Planet is one of these films, and deserves all of the recognition it can get.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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