A young man stumbles onto a map to the greatest treasure in the universe.
Treasure Planet (2002)
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker
Written by Ron Clements, John Musker, Rob Edwards
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brian Murray, David Hyde Pierce, Emma Thompson, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Wincott, Martin Short
Based on the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Oscar Nominations - Best Animated Film
Treasure Planet was one of the last of Disney's 2D animation run that lasted a good six decades, before 3D animation took over the industry. Rumor has it that Disney deliberately killed this movie at the box office by releasing it near Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Regardless of how or why Treasure Planet bombed at the box office, the film now must exist on its own merits. And it's not terrible. It's far from Disney's best work, but it's a creative adaptation of Treasure Island that deserves a second look.
In a galaxy far far away, on the planet Montressor, young Jim Hawkins (Gordon-Levitt) dreams of a better life. His mother Sarah (Metcalf) is an innkeeper, and his father bailed when he was a kid. One day, Jim stumbles onto a map to the fabled Treasure Planet, where the dread pirate Flint hid away his enormous wealth. With pirates hunting for the map, Jim and his friend Dr. Doppler (Pierce) hire Captain Amelia (Thompson) to sail them to Treasure Planet. But the sinister John Silver (Murray) and his motley crew are onboard waiting for their moment to strike. Jim and Silver become friends, and when they make it to the planet, Silver starts having a change of heart about what's really important to him. It's similar to the book's relationship between the two, but ultimately way too saccharine, even for Disney.
The animation is beautiful, and a testament to why Disney should never have bailed on 2D animation. It's what built their empire, for God's sake. Ultimately, Treasure Planet has a weak script that doesn't take any risks. It remains forgettable as ever, alongside Atlantis and Home on the Range. The early 2000's was rough for Disney's animated classics. Nothing really stands out.