My job, in a perk which is worth more than my lifetime's salary
, decided to give each employee up to four free tickets to Disney
's "Treasure Planet
", at a theatre of their choice. So, naturally, I grabbed my girlfriend
and went, since "The Emperor's New Groove
" made me a real sucker for Disney animated features
A science fiction adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island (and following in the footsteps of "Muppet Treasure Island"), "Treasure Planet" chronicles the adventures of young Jim Hawkins, the surly son of a barmaid from the planet Montressor, a minor galactic backwater. One day, an aging pirate, Bones, crashes his ship in front of their inn, leaving Jim with the map to "Flint's Trove", the stash of a legendary pirate with the repute of Blackbeard and the wealth of Croesus. The inn is burned down by privateers after the map, forcing Jim and lovable sidekicks to search for Flint's Trove, "Treasure Planet", and obtain a better life for them all.
(Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker.)
Jim Hawkins (Joseph Gordon-Leavitt) is the protagonist, a daring young lad with dreams of pirates and romanticism. He also drives a mean solar surfer, and gets in trouble. He has a heart of gold.
Sarah Hawkins (Laurie Metcalf) is Jim's mother, a local barmaid with a heart of gold. She's not in the movie much.
Dr. Doppler (David Hyde Pierce) finances Jim's voyage, after witnessing the sack of Sarah's inn. He's a noted astrophysicist, resembles a dog-human hybrid, and provides comic relief and star power.
Amelia (Emma Thompson) is the no-nonsense, female (shocking!) captain hired for the voyage. Since she and Doppler are the only animal-like characters in the movie (the Cap'n is a humanoid cat (clever, eh?)), a romance naturally develops. Her weakness is a bit of a heart of gold.
Arrow (Roscoe Lee Browne) is her first officer, a huge and exceedingly cool rock-man. That is to say, he's made out of rock. And he's very menacing and cool. Did I mention cool? He has a heart of gold.
John Silver (Brian Murray) is the ship's cook. His cyborg arm and leg make him naturally threatening, as well as one of the more interesting characters. Warning: heart of gold.
BEN (Martin Short) is a robot from Treasure Planet. Anything more would ruin the plot. It's hard to tell if he has a heart of gold, since he's a nice guy to begin with. Irritating, though; Short tries a little too hard to be Robin Williams.
The Etherium - To account for the fact that galleons are used for space travel, Treasure Planet presents the concept of the "Etherium", which is essentially outer space with air. The ships are solar powered, with solar collectors located in their massive, old-fashioned sails. Gravity doesn't exist, and things in fact float upward (with a "natural buoyancy", to quote RoguePoet), which is rather suggestive of the ocean. Well played on the designers' part.
R.L.S. Legacy - The ship comissioned for the voyage is entitled the "R.L.S. Legacy." Get it? If not, think hard about Treasure Island.
"I'm Still Here" - Even if this isn't that great, it's worthy of mention. Johnny Rzeznick, of Goo Goo Dolls fame, performs the original song "I'm Still Here", thankfully the only vocal number in the movie. The song is less than awful, but it's not so great in that it tries to express Jim's whole angsty personality by means of a manufactured pop hit.
Thanks to IMDb, asterphage and RoguePoet.