Disney’s Treasure Planet
A short movie review by Joe Bonadonna
Since I've been writing space opera, and sword & planet stories, I’ve also been reading and, in many cases, re-reading old novels in those genres for inspiration, and to help put me “in the mood,” so to speak. Tonight I decided to finally watch Disney’s animated film of some years back, Treasure Planet. Now, this is not really an actual review of the film, but a short commentary on it. The movie was a lot of fun, though I’m still scratching my head, wondering how the characters were able to stand on the decks of their pirate-ship spacecraft and breathe the vacuum of space! Did the ships have glass domes or an invisible force field surrounding them? What the heck did I miss?
Treasure Planet is not so much a re-imagining of Robert Louis Stevenson’s immortal classic, Treasure Island, as it is a science-fantasy remake of, and homage to the 1931 film starring Jackie Cooper and Wallace Beery. Why, even the character of “Cyborg” John Silver not only looks a lot like Beery, it even sounds somewhat like him, too. And the character of Bones bears a close resemblance to Lionel Barrymore. Indeed, even the ending of the movie (quite different from the novel) was cribbed from that classic MGM film.
Treasure Planet is pure entertainment. I enjoyed it for what it is, for its artistry and imagination, and the wonderful ride it provided. It had some fun characters, great old-school artwork, and a lot of imagination. My only complaint is the annoying robot Ben, voiced by an over-the-top Martin Short who was doing his best imitation of the late Robin Williams.
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