Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island got a Disney-fied update, complete with flying ships and all in 2002’s Treasure Planet. It features The Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik’s music, the voices of actors like Joseph Gordon-Hewitt, Emma Thompson, and Martin Short, and a space-centric world of high adventure.
Jim (Gordon-Hewitt) is the headstrong, fatherless son we’ve seen in other tales, but his love of adventure leads him to figure out what is most important over the course of the story. He’s a teenager but we can see the little boy who is reading legendary tales as a baby boy, and grows to be reckless and disrespectful. He’s aimed at danger, almost with a deathwish, and his mother (Laurie Metcalf) can’t pull him back.
But when Jim sets out with his friend, Dr. Doppler (David Hyde Pierce), searching for the Treasure Planet, he meets the crew of the RLS Legacy, captained by Amelia (Thompson). We know he’s about to be in the midst of it, as we see a conspiracy brewing within the rest of the crew, led by Silver (Brian Murray), who appears to be taking the boy under his wing but is also up to no good.
In the end, Jim will get what he wanted but not how he expected, and he’ll grow up, too. It’s wonderful Disney stuff, complete with examinations of the content (the pirates, the RLS Legacy), and lots of “how we did it” material from the minds behind the film. I’m not a technical guy; I preferred looking at the characters and their development, and with this one, there are plenty of interesting folks to go around.
Jim learns to lead, to sacrifice—all of the things which go into being heroic, and in wonderful high definition, we get to voyage along with him. I can’t believe I’d never seen this one before, but I’m thankful I gave this ship a spin.