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Customer Review

85 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Adventure Bigger than the Stars, March 18, 2012
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This review is from: Treasure Planet (10th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray + DVD) (Blu-ray)
Treasure Planet was not a blockbuster hit like its predecessors, through no fault of its own. It is one of Disney's rare cult classics, gathering a small but rabid following of fans who praise its beautiful, revolutionary art direction, including the use of fully-mapped CGI environments upon which the characters were animated, and the fun, genuine voices of the all-star cast including Emma Thompson, David Hyde Pierce, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It is a true Disney story with its young protagonist, Jim Hawkins, growing from a sullen teenager to a brave, hard-working young adult in one amazing adventure through space.

The story was pulled from Robert Louis Stevenson's swashbuckling masterpiece Treasure Island, in which the young Jim Hawkins grows to care for his mentor John Silver and is therefore devastated to learn that his teacher is in fact a pirate in disguise, looking to mutiny along with the rest of the crew. The story is translated to sci-fi amazingly well, using a 70-30 ratio for the mise-en-scene of the whole thing. 70% is true to its original tale; characters wear 18th century fashion, the architecture of the spaceport is all Georgian, and the ship on which they travel is a beautiful three-mast schooner with a few modifiers for the journey. 30% is sci-fi, with laser guns, giant holographic treasure maps, and a crew of exotic aliens ranging from cute to downright scary.

(Detractors of the movie quickly point out that the ship is not closed, and how could they be breathing in space anyway? The directors, Ron Clements and John Musker, revealed in the 'Art of...' book that the universe where they live does not work with the same properties as ours. There is air and weather in space, as well as nebulas and dying stars to make the journey treacherous.)

Treasure Planet as a whole deserves more credit. It features all the basics of a Disney classic: a handsome, sympathetic main character; a diabolical antagonist who you come to care for as much as the heroes; a bumbling sidekick and his leading-lady love interest; and the slightly-annoying Third Act Addition character. The story carries as much heart as, say, Lion King or Pinocchio. The art is truly stunning; just sit back and watch the colors of space swirl across your TV screen, or the subtle-but-perfect facial expressions of the characters. Clements and Musker admit much time and thought was put into the eye movements of the characters, trying to make them look as real-life as possible.

Last but not least, I need to mention and rave about the score. James Newton Howard really seemed to throw himself into making the soundtrack as beautifully classic as possible, with a full orchestra really setting the mood for a pirate tale set in the 1700's. It has several moments of pure adrenaline, pure bittersweet happiness, and pure longing for your own ship and crew to take to the stars.

The picture quality for the Blu-ray is sound. The transition up from standard def did not result in the sparkling white of the drawn lines that afflicted the Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray; everything here is crisp and clear and smooth, and the upscale resulted in the most vibrant colors I've ever seen from this movie. The background of space in its swirls of blues and purples and the warm and cool colors of the digital lighting from fire to nighttime are better than they've ever been. The CGI parts of the movie were also upgraded with the release; one of the detractors of the film was that the brand-new computer graphic technology looked janky or amateur. Not anymore. Now it fits seamlessly into the 2D world and you barely notice it.

The sound of the movie blew me right out of my living room. Granted, I do have Bose speakers, but I've watched my DVD of Treasure Planet plenty of times, and never before has it sounded so grand and clear. It was clearly tinkered with, to give even more life to this movie. I heard background noises that I've never noticed before, like the conversion had made them better.

The ONLY, ONLY ONLY ONLY, problem I had with this release was that the special features have all been seen before. The only new parts were introductions to each section of feature (art direction, characters, animation, development, etc.) by Laurie Metcalf, the actress who voiced Jim's mother Sarah Hawkins. The interviews with the creators and directors were all on the DVD, and they're included on the Blu-ray in standard def, with black borders and pixellated images reminding you that you're watching featurettes from 10 years ago.

Regardless, this is a Blu-ray worth buying and treasuring forever. Since I never, ever believed it would come out in 1080p glory, I'm about to fall to my knees and kiss Disney's boots. You will not regret giving this larger-than-life movie a chance, and I'm willing to bet you will find it a welcome addition to your Disney Blu-ray collection.
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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 19, 2012 9:56:56 AM PDT
P. R. Blay says:
Excellent review,.. thank you.

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 12:54:30 PM PDT
A. Gass says:
One can't review a film of bluray quality until it's been released. All you're getting is a fan of the story not a fan of the bluray. Amazon needs to close this link.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 10:22:32 AM PDT
You can review the movie that the bluray contains. The medium shouldn't always dictate the review of the content. This is a legitimate and thorough review of the movie and the reasons for buying it. It can be revised to include details on the bluray quality itself once it comes out. Amazon has no cause for closing this link.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 1:49:43 PM PDT
P. R. Blay says:
Although I think it is a very good review,.. it doesn't belong in this section. It belongs in a forum. Reviews here are supposed to be about the quality of the picture and sound as well as the packaging.

Posted on Mar 30, 2012 1:27:04 PM PDT
SerbianWolf says:
Excellent review of an awesome movie! I was always a fan of this Disney masterpiece and I can't wait to get it on Blu-Ray disc!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2012 2:45:01 PM PDT
BuryMyLovely says:
I completely disagree. There are plenty of sites to find reviews of the movies. I come here to find reviews of the disc. I am tired of people posting reviews for products they haven't seen yet. If you haven't seen the actual product listed, don't post a review. I am also sick of Amazon grouping the reviews of various releases together. DVD is not the same as BluRay. ugh

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2012 10:53:11 AM PDT
Neil Shapiro says:
Nope, I disagree with your disagreement! I had not heard of this movie before and from the review here I have pre-ordered it. As to what the blu-ray quality may or may not be -- who cares? This review saved me a few buck with the pre-order price. Disney blu-rays have usually been very good. If this is a weird exception Amazon's topnotch return policy will let me send it back. Caroline, thank you for your review and your help!

Posted on Mar 31, 2012 6:37:44 PM PDT
C. S. Popper says:
If this is anything like Disney's anniversary edition of The Rocketeer, there won't be any special features; however, since there were special features on the DVD, I doubt they would completely abandon them in the blu-ray release -- I don't recall Disney pulling a stunt like that, unlike other studios. One never knows until it's actually announced, though.

Posted on Apr 1, 2012 7:05:57 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Apr 5, 2012 11:13:04 AM PDT
J D says:
Quit your complaining. Are we all in high school?

This movie is currently for preorder. This review gives an amazing review of the movie for anyone who happens to come by this page and doesn't know about it (Hey! There's a review! I don't have to leave this area to find out about it).

Caroline will update with a review of the blu ray, when it's released. I do not believe it is too hard a concept to understand that the review can not be fully completed until the blu ray itself is released, and that this is a completely acceptable and thorough review leading up to release date.
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