Kids’ eye view:
out of 5
Treasure Planet was the coolest movie I've
ever seen. It is a great adventure and very funny. The pirate
(Brian Murray's Long John Silver) was evil in the beginning,
but then he met Jim (Gordon-Levitt). My favorite part
was when Jim rode his solar board in the beginning of the
movie. It looked like a lot of fun to ride on the board.
The characters are great—especially Morph, because he is
cute and funny, and Jim Hawkins, because he is cool and smart.
He starts out not knowing who he is, or what he's meant to
do but then he goes out on this huge adventure and figures
out who he is. I also liked Mr. Arrow a lot because he was
so loyal and helpful to the captain, who is athletic and cool.
It is a great story, and it's so good that I can't put it
into words. You'll just have to go see it to know what I mean!
out of 5
So you read the book (or Cliff Notes) many years ago and
don’t really remember how Treasure Island goes?
Maybe you've seen the “Wishbone” version and are wondering
if Disney can do better than a cute pooch. The Disney animators
and storytellers did well. Very well.
For those of you who remember the story enough to wonder
how the Disney folks deal with the relationship between Jim
and John Silver, I don’t want to spoil the movie. Let’s just
say they do a good job that’s realistic and yet fits into
the Disney formula of a satisfying ending.
The tone for the movie is set first thing. After seeing a
very young son totally absorbed by the adventure story of
a pirate and the place he stashed all of his ill-gotten booty,
we move quickly into a scene of Jim joyriding on his solar
board and heading into a restricted area laced with obstacles.
The only reason I didn’t shut my eyes when he headed into
the “jaws of death” was that it was the beginning of the movie,
and I know from past experience with Disney that the heroes
NEVER die at the beginning of the movie. Right? He is soon
captured by robo-cops and returned to his overworked and overwhelmed
mother, who doesn’t seem to know quite what to do with a juvenile
delinquent who can quote the regs he breaks better than the
cops. He gets another chance when old Billy Bones’ (McGoohan)
space ship crashes right outside their inn and the old salt
gives Jim a sphere (star map) and some good advice: “Beware
the cyborg.” And the journey goes into hyperspace when studious
Dr. Doppler (Hyde Pierce), long-time family friend,
offers to fund the adventure he's always wanted to find.
All Disney movies have to have the obligatory “cute” character.
Any of you old enough to remember Shmoo, that cute amorphous
blob (first of lil’ Abner and then of the Saturday morning
cartoons) that could change shape? Well, Silver’s sidekick—instead
of a parrot—is Morph, who looks a bit like floating pink goop
that can mimic shape and short snippets of sound. Cute. Then
of course there is annoying—and that would be B.E.N. (Short),
a robot that lost its brain but not, unfortunately, it’s sound
This is a spine-tingling adventure with wonderful effects
to keep the kids (and adults) glued to their seats. It’s also
a good movie on a deeper level. We are introduced to a boy
who, in our society would have many of us shaking our heads
and thinking “What a waste.” He is brilliantly intelligent
(built his first solar board at age 8) and yet makes poor
choices because of anger, abandonment issues, or maybe just
those annoying hormones of puberty. Whatever the reason, Jim
Hawkins finds himself an outcast and embarks on a journey
to make his name and find unlimited treasure. Along the way
he finds the value in friendship, the strength in self reliance,
and the ability to trust.
If you want a synopsis of the movie, check out the cool Disney
web site which also has some good factual information on Robert
Louis Stevenson for those “teaching moments” we parents
are always looking for.
—Samantha, Caleb, Brian, & Karen