Title: Treasure Planet
Release Date: November 27, 2002
Director: Ron Clements & John Musker
Production Company: Walt Disney Pictures | Walt Disney Feature Animation
I’ve heard of steampunk and cyberpunk, but I guess this movie is sailpunk, since it involves sailing ships traveling through space. The retelling of Treasure Island in an alien setting has some fun features: Jim Hawkins (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) goes skysurfing, John Silver (Bryan Murray) is a cyborg, the captain is the anthropomorphic cat, Captain Amelia (Emma Thompson), and a shapeshifting creature named Morph (Dane Davis).
But outside some impressive visuals, Treasure Planet doesn’t go far enough in reinventing Robert Louis Stevenson’s story as a space opera (and believe me, I just watched Treasure Island and Muppet Treasure Island, so I’m very familiar with the basic plot points that are repeated in all three interpretations. The movie soundtrack also features songs by John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls that does nothing but date the movie to the early 2000s.
Treasure Planet isn’t bad, per se, but it had the potential to be so much more if the filmmakers had embraced the weirdness rather than playing it safe.