Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Treasure Planet (2002)




























Avast ye scurvy space lubbers! I just recently watched this on Bluray (1080p), holy coconuts it looks good! and bare in mind this film is twelve years old now. I recall when this was released and boy was it destroyed by the critics, really panned, but I can't understand why, this is only the second time I've seen this since the cinema and I loved it.

The idea of sticking this classic 18th Century set adventure into the sci-fi realm is actually a sweet one, I'm surprised it has not happened before. The whole concept really does fit the space adventurer aspect nicely but of course there are some bits n pieces that don't add up. Like why on earth would all spacecraft in the far distant unknown future be built around centuries old galleon designs by humankind? and are those ships actually made of wood??!! Why would these ships require sails? and how come no one (mainly humans) dies from exposure to deep space? there isn't anything to protect anyone accept a gravity force field. Kinda odd seeing a young Hawkins high up on the ships rope ladders with the space winds blowing through his hair.



Are all buildings in this future made of wood?! can there be that much wood left? why are various alien species wearing centuries old human attire? all aliens speak the human language of English? are they actually using rope on these ships?!! ROPE! and there doesn't appear to be many humans left now I think of it...just Hawkins and his mum or so it seems. I could go on but at some point you gotta let it go, its Treasure Island in space with aliens and robots, its just suppose to be visual fun and it is by gum!

Silly absurd nonsensical plot issues aside the whole aged steampunk/historic aesthetic look is really pleasing to the eye. Some of the space sequences really do look gorgeous, a cosmic ballet indeed. Of course the film is dated which means dated CGI is evident throughout, some obvious and some not so. Its nothing too horrendous and is tolerable. Some of the best looking CGI is easily the crescent moon shaped spaceport which borders suspiciously on Mos Eisley. Where as some of the worst CGI would be the huge whale-like space creatures and the rather over the top finale on treasure planet.



The characters are a fair bunch and fairly enjoyable to watch. Old Long John has been crafted into a half alien half Terminator style cyborg which is curious. Sounds stupid but it actually plays out OK and looks pretty good. Jim is your standard rebellious scruff of a boy who also strangely looks familiar to John Connor from 'T2', I think there is some definite influence there. The rest of the crew are satisfactory but nothing amazing, obligatory insectoid type guy, 'Star Wars' Cantina type alien, floating blob, Cat-like female, one eyed alien etc...bog standard alien designs really, possible homages I guess.

I must confess to not liking Martin Short's characterisation of robot B.E.N. with his insanely loud grating voice. The way this character is portrayed as a robot gone mad is just annoying and kinda old. The kind of role you'd give to Robin Williams and his annoying crazy loudness. The only voice I did like was Murray's Irish take on Long John which does give that nice olde worlde touch, you get a good sense of the character with this, a good sense of history.

There are tonnes of problems with this film that just don't add up at all, the idea of a space set pirate film works but also doesn't. I do think they just abandoned a lot of sense simply because its an animated Disney movie for kids and it simply wouldn't matter. True it doesn't matter, it is just an enjoyable fantasy romp for kids, but at the same time it would have been nice to address some of the silliness. After all everyone of all ages will watch it and while it does look awesome with some lovely creativity and imagination, the silliness sticks out like a giraffe at a polar bears only club.

6.5/10