I read Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” a long time ago. Like, Richard Nixon was president ago. But I remember the gist of it…
What I didn’t know until I grew up and Wikipedia was invented and my kids grew up and I went bald and retired and Diane and I had time to watch a 2002 animated adaptation, was how influential that novel had been. Over fifty movies! Multiple comic and book adaptations! Plays! The whole pirate-romance shtick with the parrot on the shoulder and treasure on a hidden island; it all came from that book.
Treasure Planet puts the whole drama in space, except there are still sailing ships, and I think captain Smollett is a squirrel now? Pew is a giant, terrifying spider. John Silver is a cyborg and Ben Gunn is a malfunctioning robot. The scene and action direction is first-rate; especially the chases and fights inside the ship. It’s a weird crossover and I’d buy a ticket to sit with Robert Louis Stevenson as he watched it. Do you think he had any idea how influential that fanciful tale would become?
Mind you, I love weird crossovers. It was a lot of fun recognizing the whole story in this animated feature. Of course not everything in the book (what I remember of it) is in the movie, but it tracks surprisingly close to the novel. Which, as was the style of the time, was serialized over a period of more than a year. The story is not profound or anything; it’s just for fun. I can only imagine how it must have boosted Young Folks magazine sales.
We made popcorn and enjoyed it. My favorite character was definitely squirrel captain Amelia. I recommend it for your kids – maybe not for real young kids because it’s pretty violent in places, and Scroop (the Pew character I think) is sort of nightmare fuel.
The CGI is not super-advanced but it’s still Disney animation. I have seen some of it in drawing tutorials. The world-building was first-rate. I mean, how do you animate a sailing ship escaping a black hole? They got it done, and it was good.