Treasure Planet is a futuristic update of the classic RobertLouis Stevenson novel Treasure Island. Jim Hawkins is afifteen-year-old boy who longs for adventure and finds it when he comesacross a map that point to a treasure planet in a galaxy far, far away.
Inorder to get there, he and a friend of the family, Dr. Doppler, join up on aspace galleon. While on the ship, he’s befriended by the ship’s cyborg cook,John Silver. But as they get closer to the planet, Jim discovers that Johnisn’t the tough yet tender mentor he pretended to be. He’s a pirate who,along with his crew, is out to grab the loot for himself.
Taking a great adventure story like Treasure Island andtransplanting it to the future was an idea with potential. TreasurePlanet is impressive to look at (especially on an IMAX screen), even ifit does borrow heavily from Star Wars and Japanese animation. Too badeverything else fails to impress.
With the exception of thecomputer-animated features from Pixar Studios, Treasure Planet‘scharacters and plot can be interchanged with any Mouse House cartoon madesince 1989’s The Little Mermaid (also directed by the teamresponsible for this film). This familiarity sucks the life out of thestory. Kids will care less but older viewers will be experiencing dj vu inno time flat.
The voice cast doesn’t do much to help matters any. JosephGordon-Levitt’s Jim Hawkins comes off as a whiny brat who deserves to beshot into the nearest black hole, David Hyde Pierce’s Dr. Doppler and MartinShort’s B.E.N., a robot Jim finds on Treasure Planet, are as funny asfingernails on a chalkboard. Brian Doyle-Murray as Silver and Emma Thompsonas the ship’s Captain, Amelia, are okay but hardly memorable.
Treasure Planet is another animated brick in the wall for Walt Disney’salready troubled animated studios. In my recent review for RedDragon, I stated that familiarity bred contempt the fourth time around.For Treasure Planet, it’s more like the thirteenth time around.
Thar, it blows.