Treasure Planet


It may have tanked disastrously in the States - after a pitiful opening weekend, it's effectively been written off as a tax loss - but this bold attempt to reimagine Robert Louis Stevenson's 1883 yarn as a sci-fi caper doesn't deserve to be buried.

Okay, so the sight of intergalactic "space galleons" traversing the universe takes some getting used to. Yet the mix of quality (if hardly groundbreaking) animation, top-notch vocal talent and a supporting cast of Men In Black-style aliens makes this a diverting romp.

Treasure Planet was the source of much strife at the House Of Mouse. First pitched in 1985 by Little Mermaid co-creators Ron Clements and John Musker, it's rumoured to have contributed towards ex-Disney honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg's acrimonious departure. Yet what emerges from all that is a capable adventure movie that sticks fairly closely to Stevenson's original.

For example, Long John Silver may be a cyborg with a shape-shifting blob on his shoulder instead of a parrot, but he still becomes a surrogate dad to cabin boy Jim Hawkins as they join a mutinous band of pirates on their futuristic quest. And castaway Ben Gunn still has a pivotal role to play, even if he is a robot.

If Treasure Planet proves anything, it's that good stories never age. Strip away the laser battles, space portals and a sappy romance between David Hyde Pierce's canine boffin and Emma Thompson's catty captain, and you're still left with a rip-roaring, Boy's Own adventure in the classic Disney mould.

Film Details

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  • UK Theatrical Release Date: February 14th 2003

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