March 12th, 2003


Review - Treasure Planet

I remember the days when I was impressed by CGI - when smooth textures, smooth morphing and dazzling explosions were enough to keep me happy. Glorious days indeed, we'll not see the likes of them again.

Which is sad really, because that's largely what Treasure Planet relies on to keep the audience happy.

The plot for Treasure Planet is pretty much identical to the plot of Treasure Island, replacing islands with planets, pirates with space-pirates and sailing ships with space-sailing ships. Which is kind of odd, because pirates are cool (as any kid knows) and spaceships are cool (as any kid knows) but mixing the two doesn't really work. By sticking so close to the original they made the final effect look more strained than necessary, whereas either an animated Treasure Island would have looked great, and a Treasure Planet 'inspired' by the original, but allowed to do its own thing would have also worked well (see, for instance, Forbidden Planet). As it was, they seemed hamstrung in some places by the desire to follow the original as closely as possible but also to fit in the traditional Disney themes of redemption and understanding.

As it is, the film has some good set pieces, looks fantastic and has the usual outstanding voice cast (Emma Thompson, Michael Wincott, David Hyde Pierce and Patrick McGoohan for a start). Emma Thompson in particular does a great job as the ship's captain.

There are no songs, which is good in some ways (yay! no terrible songs!) and bad in others (some Disney songs are fantastic - the Genie's song in Aladdin and the Hyena's song in The Lion King spring to mind).

They've definitely gone for a slightly more adult approach to things and it feels a little less Disney. Whether that's a good thing depends on how much you like Disney.

Score: 7/10
B.E.N.: ... I'm beginning to see my life pass before my eyes... at least, I think it's my life... WAS I EVER DANCING WITH AN ANDROID NAMED LUPE?!