Welcome To The Review!
Welcome back to another review from LL! This week I’ve decided to step away, from all recent films that are coming out in the cinema, and will be reviewing a film that has been close to my heart since its release. That film is Disney’s animated take, on Treasure Island, known as Treasure Planet. There will be spoilers, but as it has been out for so long, there is no warning here. These sort of reviews will happen once a month (maybe once every two months…we’ll see), as I think it will shift things up (and maybe open up new “old films” to watch).
And without further ado, let’s begin.
One of the Greatest Stories Vamped Up
As you can tell, this is a space adaptation, of the 1950 novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Although it doesn’t fully follow the book (as most films don’t nowadays), it done an amazing job with creating a beautiful atmosphere, and a galaxy that’s to be explored by Jim Hawkins (Joseph Gordon Levitt) (<– WAIT What!!), and the pirates that he would be facing off against; all the while, chasing this treasure. The film teaches a very important lesson that touched my heart, and speaks true to me.
I’ll briefly go through the plot with you, Jim Hawkins is a young boy, who gets into trouble (probably from the loss of his father), and by chance, comes across a map to Treasure Planet (courtesy of Billy Bones). This then sets Jim, and Doctor Dobbler (David Hyde Price), on a galactic journey towards it, in which they are being pursued by pirates. After a lot of drama, and social bonding Jim becomes friends with John Silver (Brian Murray), who ends up being the pirate captain. Upon arrival on the planet, Jim discovers this, and ends up escaping the ship, with the Captain, and Doctor Dobbler. After much confusion, as to where the map is, they are captured by the pirates and are forced to lead them to the treasure. As they finally discover Captain Flint’s bounty, which was rigged to explode, if anyone attempted to steal it, Jim and the other protagonists escape, survive and are set on a better path in life, than when they started. (Trust me that’s very very BRIEF, if I did a proper summary it would be the whole post long).
How Unknown Is This Film
Treasure Planet is a very underrated film, due to the fact that it was a MASSIVE flop in the cinema. One reason was the fact that (as critics and people say) it has taken an incredible story, and blown it out into extreme proportions (by that I mean a space journey). However, I actually like it, because of it’s incredible scenery, and it makes the journey seem more strenuous, for Jim. Another reason for it’s flop, was due to the fact that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was released around the same time, meaning it had huge competition.
So, what is it that makes this film one of my favourites? Well, to me it is very touching; the father/son relationship between Jim and Silver really hit home with me. A young boy, who’s father left when he was a kid, ends up bonding with a pirate captain that tells him he has a bright future, and that he has to stick at his course, no matter the colours. Although Jim’s original plan was to bring back Flint’s trove, to impress his mum and show how much of a man he has become, he, instead, is put through a perilous journey, which teaches him about trust, loyalty and responsibility. From nothing more than a troubled boy he becomes enrolled in the military academy. Quite a wake up call he had!
Now, for John Silver, we see him turn from a deceiving back-stabbing pirate, to a loyal father figure towards Jim. Silver is, unfortunately, put in the worst position; he has spent his entire life chasing this treasure, and has sacrificed part of himself to get closer towards it, but then as he has bonds with Jim, and nurtures him, throughout their journey in space, he has forced himself to decide whether to stick to his course, or change. His own advice had backfired on him, which usually happens now in films.
10 Years In The Making, Yet Still Not Fully Polished
Yes, it did take 10 years or so to make, which is quite long, for the outcome of this film. Don’t get me wrong, the animation and design were beautiful; the camera positioning and choices were spot on, to show and create emotion, and the voice acting was spot on. There were a lot of great picks, including Joseph Gordon Levitt, Emma Thompson, Brian Murray and Tony Jay. However, I feel that so much more could have been done to this film. Yes, they had their main plot, a side love plot (i.e. the friendship between Jim and Silver, as well as the budding romance between Doctor Dobbler and Captain Amelia), but then there was a lot of empty space at points.
And here is my favourite shot! One of the best bonding shots in the film, Silver and Jim out on a longboat following a comet. Sat next to each other, Jim in control, whilst Silver is watching the surrounding and making sure everything is alright. To me this is exactly like a father and son going fishing. Tight space, similar pose and both looking out in the same direction meaning they understand one another, and look out for each other.
Of course my final thoughts will be slightly subjective, but I shall be as open as I can about it. It is an unknown classic in Disney’s world that deserves more credit than what it got. Yes, it wasn’t the best when it came to creating a similar story to Treasure Island, however, it did pretty well, in terms of an adaptation that took place in outer space, by casting a handful of big actors/actresses that made the characters more relatable, and not only do they give advice to each other, but to us, as an audience as well.
Well that wraps up this review, what do you think of Treasure Planet? Did this galactic film grab your attention? Or is it still in the uncharted for you? Leave your thoughts below whether they be critical or not.