"A Fast, Fun, Family-Friendly Fantasy"
TREASURE ISLAND gives a modern, animated spin to Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous, timeless story. It is a wonderful family movie full of heart and creativity.
In this version, 15-year-old Jim Hawkins (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is an expert at maneuvering around his STAR WARS-type futuristic town on his rocket-powered skateboard, but his adventures often get him in trouble with the robot police. His single mother, who runs an inn, is at her wit’s end, and Jim’s father is a distant and painful memory of abandonment.
Jim hears a noise one day and sees that a spaceship has crashed onto their property, whose captain seems to be dying. The captain gives Jim a golden ball with some markings on it and tells him to guard it . . . and to especially beware of the cyborg. Soon thereafter, Jim and his mother are forced to flee a group of pirates, who burn down the inn.
With the help of the bumbling professor, Dr. Doppler (David Hyde Pierce), Jim figures out that the ball is a 3-D map of the galaxy, showing a hidden planet filled with the booty of the notorious Captain Flint, a legendary pirate whose ship seemed to appear and vanish at will. Jim’s mother reluctantly agrees to let Jim and Dr. Doppler hire a crew and take a spaceship (a glittering space galleon) away on a great, intergalactic expedition. On the ship, however, Jim is startled when Captain Amelia places Jim as apprentice to the cyborg cook, Long John Silver.
As time passes, Jim overcomes his suspicions of Silver and becomes friends with him. Though he is rough and kind of scary with his “Edward Scissorhands” appendages, Silver encourages Jim that he has the makings of a fine “spacer” as he and the alien crew battle supernovas, black holes and violent space storms. Silver tells Jim such things as, “You’ve got the makings of greatness. When the time comes to show what yer made of, I hope I’m there to catch some o’ the light comin’ off ya that day!”
Unknown to Jim, however, Silver and the rest of the nasty-looking alien crew are scheming to find the treasure map and take over the ship. Things come to a head when Jim discovers their plans. Confronted with the pain of betrayal, Jim must grow up quickly as he faces life-and-death challenges.
TREASURE ISLAND is the fifth film that John Musker and Ron Clements have written, directed and produced. Others include such classics as THE LITTLE MERMAID and ALADDIN. The movie includes hand-drawn animation and incredible 3D “virtual sets,” and it is being released in both 35mm and large format (IMAX) settings.
The characters in this movie are fun, especially Long John Silver’s character, who’s voiced by Broadway star Brian Murray, and a robot that Jim finds on Treasure Planet named Ben, short for “Bio Electronic Navigator,” which is voiced by the hilarious Martin Short. Musker and Clements have wonderfully captured the essence of the complex, ultimately heartwarming relationship between Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins. Their story is brilliantly written, presenting a beautiful mix of adventure, science fiction mystery, humor, and heart.
TREASURE PLANET is an excellent movie for the whole family. In fact, it may be the best animated movie of the whole year. Many moral, biblical lessons are played out, such as the ugliness of personal greed, the emptiness that children can feel when they have poor or absent fathers, the resulting rebelliousness in such abandoned children, the ability of father figures to draw younger men into the joys and challenges of life through encouragement and example, the seriousness of betrayal and false accusation, the need for repentance and forgiveness, and the redemptive triumph of good over evil. Some of the space monsters might scare very little children, but the movie is very tame in its portrayals of violence and evil. Parents, therefore, should have no problems with taking their any of their children to see this funny, exciting, family-friendly animated adventure.
(BBB, C, V, N, M) Very strong moral worldview with clear portrayal of the need for good fathering, the decision to not compromise, the ugly fruit of greedy ambition, the victory of self-sacrifice, the need for repentance and forgiveness, and the redemptive triumph of good over evil; some action violence with pirate fights and some scary, STAR WARS-type frightening monsters, a skeleton, man goes overboard and falls into black hole and dying, and aliens fall into deep pit with molten lava; brief upper alien nudity where pirate on a ship has his shirt off; and, false accusation, greed, selfish ambition, poor parenting, rebelliousness, and betrayal are all rebuked.
In the animated TREASURE ISLAND, young Jim Hawkins finds that a spaceship has crashed nearby. The dying captain gives Jim a golden ball with some markings on it and tells him to guard it . . . and to beware of the cyborg. With the help of Dr. Doppler, Jim discovers that the ball is a 3-D map, showing a hidden planet filled with treasure from a legendary pirate. Jim and Dr. Doppler take a space galleon away on an intergalactic expedition. Jim befriends the rough cook, Long John Silver, who tells him he has the makings of a fine “spacer” as he and the crew battle supernovas, black holes and space storms. Jim discovers, though, that his new friend is actually a scheming pirate with mutiny in mind. Jim must grow up quickly as he faces life-and-death challenges.
TREASURE PLANET is a brilliantly written, exciting, often funny animated adventure with many good moral lessons for both parents and children. It provides a great mix of adventure, mystery, humor, and heart. The writing and directing team of John Musker and Ron Clements have created another classic example of Disney animation for the whole family.