(out of 5)
Reinvention of Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved classic adventure Treasure Island, but to appeal to the new order of youngsters who want more than just open seas and blarney-spewing pirates, the story has been adapted to take place in a futuristic world where ships sail in flight into the outer stratospheres, searching for adventure and new worlds to conquer. A young teenage rebel’s chance meeting with a stranger provides him with a mysterious device that details the location of Treasure Planet, a place where gold is in such great supply that the discoverer of it would practically rule the entire universe. To keep him out of the trouble he keeps getting into with the local authorities, his mother (Laurie Metcalf) approves his joining up with an astronomer friend (David Hyde Pierce) to hire a ship and travel towards the place that the map leads them to, but the sailing won’t be smooth with mutinous conspirators on board with them. Characters are memorable, most especially an indomitable Emma Thompson as the voice of the feline captain who leads them into the adventure, and a hilarious Martin Short as an outdated artificial life form. However, it’s dragged down by the filmmakers John Musker and Ron Clements, who are also responsible for the classic The Little Mermaid, not having enough fun in telling the story. The end result isn’t as juicy as you get the impression it should be, instead coming off as a pale knock-off of Twentieth Century-Fox’s exciting Titan A.E.. On the other hand, it isn’t as boring or forgettable as the previous year’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
Produced by Ron Clements, Ray Conli, John Musker
Music by James Newton Howard
Film Editing by Michael Kelly