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Treasure Planet (PG)
Walt Disney Animation
Official Site
Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
Producers: Ron Clements, Roy Conli, John Musker
Written by: Ron Clements, Rob Edwards, Ken Harsha, Barry Johnson, Kaan Kalyon, Mark Kennedy IV, Sam Levine, Donnie Long, John Musker, Frank Nissen, Terry Rossio
Cast: Roscoe Lee Browne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Hyde Pierce, Mona Marshall, Patrick McGoohan, Laurie Metcalf, Brian Murray, Johnny Rzeznik, Martin Short, Emma Thompson, Michael Wincott

Kids' Eye View: out of 5
Parents' Perspective: out of 5


Kids’ eye view:
Rating: 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!

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Parents’ Perspective:
Rating: 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 card.

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

 

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



Pink Floyd

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