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Overall Rating
3.73

Awesome: 29.55%
Worth A Look: 18.18%
Average47.73%
Pretty Bad: 4.55%
Total Crap: 0%

3 reviews, 26 user ratings


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Treasure Planet
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by Erik Childress

"Reimagine The Reimagination"
3 stars

Hollywood filmmakers have been creative with the red ink over the years to hide profits from those who would dare take it from them. If its in their nature to cook the books, then you certainly couldn’t put it past them to invent a term to conceal the repackaging of material you’ve already seen and calling it fresh and original. Nobody “remakes” a film, they “reimagine” it. As if updating the setting of an old story could be a strain on anyone’s imagination. Walt Disney Studios are nevertheless giving it a shot with Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island. As if using Muppets to tell the story just a few short years ago wasn’t enough, the only thing they’ve reimagined this time out is the same old mediocrity.

We’ve had Jason Voorhees and the Leprechaun, so why not Long John Silver in space? For a complete “reimagining” the story we all know hasn’t been changed all that much. Young Jim Hawkins (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) seeks the adventure he’s only read about in storybooks and continually gets himself in trouble bringing distress to his mother (who looks a bit young to be Jim’s mom, doesn’t she?) (Laurie Metcalf). When dying pirate Billy Bones makes his way to their inn, he gives Jim a metal ball to hide (that looks exactly like the destruction mechanism in The Arrival) and warns him to beware “the Cyborg.”

When they discover they may have found the way to Treasure Planet, (where countless stolen treasures await), Jim and family friend, Dr. Doppler (David Hyde-Pierce) charter a spaceship (with sails) and look to make their fortune. But mutinous danger anticipates them, led by the cook with one eye and a robot arm that would make Edward Scissorhands blush. His name is John Silver (Brian Murray) and yes, he is a cyborg.

Treasure Planet’s insistence on following Stevenson’s story almost to a tee is like the same ol’ James Bond films hoping to entice by filling in the cracks with some technology or action that audiences didn’t see in the last one. Sure, there are creatures instead of humans and spaceports instead of those with water, but what good does it do to make such characters as annoying and unfunny as portrayed here? Pierce’s Dr. Doppler is a bumbling not-so-brainiac whose futile attempts at humor pull up lame with every pixel (“Go Delbert, Go Delbert” – please people, just stop.) The only thing more annoying than Martin Short in any film since 1988 is just hearing his voice as the marooned robot B.E.N. whom with every blip makes you either want to see R2-D2 smack him down or feed him to H.R. Giger’s Alien. And why is it necessary in a straight space adventure to create a fart-sound monster named Flatula? (Imagine someone making armpit noises every time they move and you get the picture. Check that – RE-imagine it!)

Disney and most recent animated attempts at full-blown adventure since Tarzan have failed miserably. Atlantis: The Lost Empire was a futile experiment barely worthy of a slot on Saturday mornings and even Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (while far superior and intriguing) failed to maximize the possibilities of true excitement. Treasure Planet kicks it off well enough with a neat opening sequence portraying the backstory through Jim’s storybook and an impressive solar surfer sequence that should have just been a warmup of things to come. But an encounter with a black hole and subsequent escapes barely register and take a backseat to the respectably handled relationship between Jim and Silver and cutesy, overused anachronistic punchlines that elicit more groans than smiles.

Maybe the filmmakers should have taken a hint when they were animating futurariums and impressive spacescapes that all the humans were wearing clothing right at home in the Stevenson novel. You can take the flying whales left over from Fantasia 2000 and throw ‘em into this, but it doesn’t change the fact that just because the setting has changed, the other elements will adapt as well. Visually rather stunning, but ultimately a handsome-looking bore, the true creativity would have been to hide Treasure Planet entirely and completely reimagine it.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6391&reviewer=198
originally posted: 11/28/02 06:10:39
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User Comments

12/04/11 Quigley Incredibly imaginative with amazing visuals and artistic vision. But not a classic. 4 stars
10/19/11 Magic Even being mostly faithful to Stevenson can't make space galleons with open air decks work. 2 stars
9/20/08 Little Buddy Directors of BLACK CAULDRON,THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE,THE LITTLE MERMAID,ALADDIN,HERCULES. 5 stars
9/20/08 Little Buddy From the directors of THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE,THE LITTLE MERMAID,ALADDIN and HERCULES. 5 stars
9/07/08 Little Buddy Treasure Planet is the best Disney feature since Lady And The Tramp and The Jungle Book. 5 stars
5/28/08 PAUL SHORTT BEAUTIFUL, SUNNY & COLOURFUL, BUT SOMEHOW THE MAGIC ISNT EXACTLY THERE IN FULL MEASURE 3 stars
1/13/08 Tenacious Fox Truly underrated, Treasure Planet is definately worth seeing, minus a few rough spots. 5 stars
2/17/07 Kali Ravel The relationship between Jim and Silver is well handled, and the soundtrack rocks. 4 stars
6/20/06 Herculade Like an inverse of Mulan, in this case too targeted at teenage boys. Looks great though. 3 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer It bombed at the Box Ofiice. What's that tell you? AMERICA IS OVERRUN WITH MORONS!!!! 5 stars
10/28/03 amanda beatty i rate this the most highest flime out of walt disneys pictures. 5 stars
7/20/03 Cat In my own opinion it was great, for a number of reasons. 5 stars
6/14/03 Andrew Boyle Outstanding Technology 5 stars
5/07/03 Charles Tatum Incredible action sequences lifts this above the norm 4 stars
4/08/03 Andrew Carden Outstanding Animation and Voices, but Weak Storyline. 4 stars
3/03/03 Jess This movie deserves a 10 out of 10. It was beautiful, I liked it more than the book. 5 stars
2/20/03 Michael J White Totally absorbing and enjoyable. Lots of fun. No problem with animation. Great characters 4 stars
2/12/03 The Quirkfetch Kid Typical contemporary Disney noise&fury, smothering the story less than some other times. 3 stars
2/07/03 Turtle Great animation, a great script, and true heart make for a very good, underrated film. 4 stars
12/28/02 Carrie Summit i loved this movie! it was verry sweet! 5 stars
12/27/02 alien assassin Robert Louis Stevenson must be spinning in his grave !!!!! 2 stars
12/21/02 Aya Braeden MY FAVORITE MOVIE EVER. 5 stars
12/11/02 Cigar Store Santa Starts out lame but picks up. Emma Thompson's voice in that sexy cat body is delicious 4 stars
12/06/02 Emma I found the film heartwrenching, powerful and simply amazing. 5 stars
12/06/02 wintermute Not an instant classic, but I enjoyed this film - Not the kid's rattail however.... 4 stars
11/28/02 KingNeutron I consider myself a tough critic, but this movie rates 5+ stars. See it. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  27-Nov-2002 (PG)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  26-Dec-2002




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