Leave it to Disney to come up with a way to update Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale "Treasure Island" into a science fiction epic. The studio that brought you the unforgettable live-action film version returned to the source material once again with the idea of taking the adventure into deep space and to other worlds. Unfortunately, moviegoers weren't interested in "Treasure Planet" when it came out in 2002. The film underperformed at the box office but was still nominated for a 2002 Academy Award in the category of Best Animated Feature.
Thanks to every movie on the planet receiving the high definition treatment, audiences get the chance to give this entertaining film another chance with the release of "Treasure Planet: 10th Anniversary Edition." It's hard to believe the movie came out 10 years ago. It was the first to be released in IMAX and regular theaters on the same day. The movie is also of importance as a shining example of 2D hand drawn art used on top of 3D computer animation.
Not much changes in "Treasure Planet" as far as story and characters go. It still revolves around Jim Hawkins (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who discovers a holographic treasure map that supposedly leads to a pirate's loot on a far-off planet. Hawkins and his mentor Dr. Doppler (David Hyde Pierce) embark on a trek across the stars on a ship whose crew is made up of dangerous aliens led by a mutineering cyborg named Long John Silver (Brian Murray). Can Jim and the rest of the loyal crew of the ship find the treasure and collect it before the traitorous buccaneers do?
This will relate to fans of sci-fi both young and old. It takes the great classic tale and successfully makes it relevant to kids in the 21st century used to watching "Star Wars," "Star Trek," and other movies and TV shows that take them to other worlds. The pacing of the film is good and the story will keep the viewer's attention.
The high definition transfer of the film is magnificent. The picture is crystal clear and filled with bright and vivid colors that keep your eyes glued to the screen. The 5.1 surround further brings to life James Newton Howard's musical score and the anthemic pop songs of Goo Goo Dolls' John Rzeznik. The explosions, laser shots, and flying ships will jump out at you from all over your home entertainment center with this great audio mix.
Special features for the film include 43-minutes of production featurettes introduced by actor Laurie Metcalf and a "behind-the-scenes" one entitled "Disney's Animation Magic." There's also comprehensive feature commentary with co-directors/co-writers Ron Clements and John Musker, producer Roy Conli, and supervising animators John Ripa, Ian Gooding, and Glen Keane. Three unfinished deleted scenes are included with introductions by directors Ron Clements and John Musker. A 17-minute "R.L.S. Legacy: Virtual 3D Tour" and the six-part "DisneyPedia: The Life of a Pirate Revealed" featurette are here as well.
The "Treasure Planet: 10th Anniversary Edition" gives movie lovers a second chance to see this excellent example of how hand drawn and computer animation can co-exist. The story is complex enough for adults yet simple enough for children to take in. A great feature film and plenty of bonus material make this a recommended buy for Disney and sci-fi fans alike.