Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Video review: "Treasure Planet: 10th Anniversary Edition"
Even Disney occasionally makes a bad animated movie, but "Treasure Planet" isn't one of them.
This 2002 blend of hand-drawn animation and CGI was a dazzling science fiction version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, "Treasure Island." Alas, not too many people thought so -- it was savaged by critics and bombed at the box office. The directing team of Ron Clements and John Musker, who'd made hits like "Aladdin" and "The Little Mermaid," were effectively marooned and didn't make another movie for seven years.
I'm glad to see the House That Walt Built is giving "Treasure Planet" a nice present with a handsome 10th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release.
The bones of Stevenson's novel are there, but with a sci-fi twist smattered with zany cartoon sidekicks and villains. Jim Hawkins is a teen rapscallion who longs to escape the drudgery of working in his mother's inn, when a dying pirate gives him a star map to an entire planet filled with riches. Chased by marauders, they commission a ship to find the treasure.
But John Silver, posing as a humble ship's cook, is planning mutiny. Little did the old swashbuckler know he'd take such a shine to young Jim.
An engaging voice cast includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brian Murray, Martin Short, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Wincott and Emma Thompson. The cast of characters includes a feline ship's captain (who nonetheless takes a shine to Jim's canine professorial friend), android crewmates and a robot left all alone on an empty planet, Wall·E-like, who's missing a few important circuits.
Hopefully a few of the many folks who missed this gem a decade ago will pick it up and discover a little bit of lost treasure.
Bonus features are as good as you'd expect from a special edition like this. Clements, Musker and some of the film's producers take part in a pop-up commentary that includes additional footage of the film. There are deleted scenes, including a different ending and prologue, music video and a featurette, "The Life of a Pirate Revealed."
Movie: 3.5 stars out of four
Extras: 3 stars