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TREASURE PLANET (2002)

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TREASURE PLANET (2002)

Friday, 16 May 2014 04:06

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Written by 

The Buzz: 

        Treasure Planet is one of those Disney movies that many people seem to have nostalgia for, despite practically nobody having actually seen it when it came out. This movie, along with the similarly action-oriented Atlantis: The Lost Empire, was made during a brief period where Disney was experimenting with epic, somewhat gritty animated adventure films involving male leads, as this was before they settled on the massive money-making potential of just slapping princesses all over everything and calling it a day.

 

Don't be fooled, he's not singing, just rolling his eyes because he's getting pulled over.

 

     As might be inferred from the title, Treasure Planet is an adaptation of the classic Stevenson novel Treasure Island, except IN SPAAAAAAACE! If you happened to watch it when you were young, like much of the internet, then the distinctive characters and spectacular visuals have doubtlessly stuck with you. If you never had the chance to see it in 2002, is it worth Netflixing now?

 

Life of the Party (Positives):

     I was one of those people who hadn't seen this film until recently, and my biggest takeaway was that this movie looks REALLY nice. Disney predominantly used the traditional, hand-drawn animation that we all miss nowadays, but also incorporated some mild CGI elements for certain effects like complex mechanisms, exotic geographical features, and pretty much anything that glows (resulting in a dramatic effect a little like the backlighting in Secret of NIHM). The CGI holds up quite well for being 12 years old, and using it to highlight the more technological aspects of the setting like robotic limbs, ray guns, and solar panels provides a cool contrast to the traditionally-animated 1700s-era costuming and set-dressing. No, they never really explain how open-topped boats that appear to be made of wood can sail through space, but damn does it look cool to dock rows of airships on an orbital seaport shaped like a crescent moon.

 Square-Enix games, eat your heart out. Speaking of which, why no Treasure Planet level in Kingdom Hearts?

 

     Character design is also a strength, as the mixture of roughnecked extraterrestrials who crew the vessel are all imaginative, even if a few species exist entirely for cheap gags. The main characters have good chemistry with plenty of entertaining banter, delivered by a crew of distinctive actors including Emma Thompson, David Hyde Pierce, and a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who, despite being the protagonist, sadly has few lines that aren't sullen mumbling or a Keanu-esque “whoa” at something cool off the starboard bow). Brian Murray is especially charming as the nefarious yet completely likeable Long John Silver, who is the rare Disney villain to be portrayed with a degree of moral ambiguity and character development, just like in the original book.

     Despite that noteworthy departure from the formula, the violence is still toned-down for family viewing, as not a single person is ever hit by any of the copious lasergun fire going everywhere, in true GI Joe fashion. The only deaths are from that classic bane of all Disney characters: gravity. The interstellar setting does allow for one character to die by falling UPWARD for a change, so I guess that's something. Even though the PG rating makes the fight scenes pretty low-stakes, enough swashes are buckled to keep the pace up and the movie consistently high energy.

 

Potential Hangovers (Negatives):

     Martin Short's character.

 Martin.

What the fuck are you doing.

Martin.

STAAAAAAAHHHP.

 

The Vibe:

Well, it's a Disney movie, and you probably already have an idea of how you best enjoy Disney. Nostalgic time-waster on your day off? Snuggly night in with a significant other? Relaxed group viewing you can sing-along to (though there are no actual musical numbers in this one)? This works for all those situations pretty well, and is worth seeing if just for all the cool imagery and interesting reinterpretation of a classic story. It's a little longer than most Disney animated films, but that still puts it at only 90 minutes, which is about as much Martin Short as anybody can tolerate.

+ Blending of animation types looks great, with loads of intricate detail

+ The setting makes for grandiose and unique scenes

+ Main characters are well-developed and likeable, particularly the villain

+/- Stakes never feel that high due to Disney “plot armor”

- Seriously, why does anybody hire Martin Short to do anything

 

Drink up me hearties, yo-ho:

~Drink whenever a boat launches, lands, or crashes

~Drink for each nautical command given (hoist the mainsail, swab the decks, etc.)

~Drink whenever Morph transforms from one object to another

~Drink whenever Silver's arm changes gadgets

~Whenever a musical montage occurs, everyone races to finish their drink before it ends - the loser is designated as Cabin Boy and must fetch drinks for everyone until the next montage occurs

~When they find the treasure, shots of Goldschlager for everyone! 

 

Really cool ship, though I'm pretty sure I punched it in half midway through Asura's Wrath.

 

Read 1055 times Last modified on Friday, 16 May 2014 15:46

About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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