Jim Hawkins is a young man who is struggling. Struggling against the law, struggling against his mother, and struggling with past hurts. One day however, he is arrested, and confined to his home, which also happens to be a bed and breakfast for all sorts of intergalactic species. On a rainy night, a spaceship with pirate in the possession of a mysterious orb. “Beware of the cyborg” are his last words, before turning the orb over to Jim. Immediately after, a band of pirates storm in and destroy the inn, looking for the orb. Jim and his family escapes, and discovers the orb is a map.
But not just a map. It is the map. The map which leads to Treasure Planet. The planet of untold riches and wealth, the spoils of a long dead pirate legend. Jim becomes resolute in finding this planet, so he is able to rebuild his mom’s inn. Garnering the support of a professor and life long friend, Jim hires a crew and sets out to find this planet of immense riches.
But unknown to Jim, pirates never give up, and are more far more crafty than even he expects… And space, with supernovas, creatures, and planets, far more dangerous than any book made them out to be.
Things I Liked
“Jim, I don’t want to lose you.”
“Mom, you won’t. I’ll make you proud.”
Rarely do we see a young hero’s motives so worthy. At the core of Jim Hawkins, we see a young man who loves his mother, yet also is struggling to learn how to submit to authority. His dad, who left years ago, left a gap in him he is striving to fill with spur of the moment actions, rebellion, and making something of himself. Through this tale, he learns what it is to be a man through the ship’s cook, the professor, and the captain of the ship. He fights it at times, but ultimately learns not only how to act in a mature manner, but also learns it isn’t all about him.
The cook of the ship winds up fulfilling the father role Jim never had. This is an amazing thing to see, how one man, taking care of and mentoring a young guy can change that young man’s life. This movie shows how important the father figure is, especially in boyhood. They do it here in an extremely believable and touching way. Not just the fact that guys do stuff together, but when necessary they can be quite compassionate, yet strong at the same time. Well done this time Disney, Well done.
Other valuable lessons are learned through the film such as forgiveness of mistakes, humility in knowledge, and sacrifice for others. At one point, a man give up his lifelong dream to save another man’s life. Another time we see a pirate try to take advantage of merciful act, and loses his life in doing so. The strength of Character and good over evil is strong in this movie.
Lastly, this film is wonderfully made. 3D animation is blended with 2D characters. This results in stunning images of nebulae, planets, ships, stations and more. The detail put into space is astounding, and is candy to the eyes for sure. The script is also deep and witty. I had to look up a few words after this movie, because I didn’t know what they meant.
Things I Didn’t Like
The largest qualm I have with this picture is the amount of mild innuendo between the captain and the professor. While they do end up marrying, comments like “Why thanks I am a master anatomically- I mean astronomically” could have been left out with no loss to the story line. There is also some crude humor, where one alien speaks in “flatulencetia” which comprises of farts, burps, etc. References to the rear end are made several times as well.
There is also a fair amount of cartoon violence in this movie. We see the old pirate die in giving the chest to Jim. One crew member looses his life after falling off the ship into the abyss. There is quite a lot of gunfire, and while we don’t see anyone die, a few people are seriously injured. It can be an intense movie at times, which is something to take note of when considering younger viewers.
Jim winds up letting the villain go after all is said and done. This one scene is pretty… controversial, even for me, because of the bond built up between the two. Jim chooses to break the law and let him go, instead of detaining him for the trial he deserved. The pirate though, had a change of heart, and would not have fought should Jim decided to keep him on the ship. My justice side says he was wrong, but my mercy side says the man did have a change of heart… This is something you should definitely be aware of and discuss with your kids if they watch it. Honestly, I am still trying to figure that one out.
Treasure Planet takes a great classic tale, and turns it into something even more memorable. It is a story which demonstrates the importance of fatherhood, respect for those in authority above you, to persevere, and to forgive and give second chances.
Unfortunately however, the movie is also laden with light toilette humour and subtle innuendo between the Ship’s captain and Jim’s accompanying professor. This makes an otherwise flawless movie into points you should be warned of. It is my opinion however, the strong and positive themes easily overshadow the unacceptable, yet minimal, amount of inappropriate content.
Disney puts in positive light the importance of the role of a father, selflessness, and forgiveness. They develop a villain to be more complex and developed than most Marvel movies which have been released in the past years, We watch with fascination this villain’s transformation. Most importantly however, they show a young rebellious boy, to which all young guys can relate at some point, who learned life isn’t all about doing what you want, but it is about doing what you can for others. That’s what makes this movie one of the most shipshape I’ve seen in a long while.