April 22, 2013

Movie Monday: Treasure Planet

Treasure Planet Until last week, I had never seen Treasure Planet.  I'd read TREASURE ISLAND by Robert Louis Stevenson and loved it, even if I prefer KIDNAPPED and think it is criminally underrated compared to its more famous sibling.  But my personal collection of children's movies tends slightly to the girlier side of the spectrum.  (And I did see Titan A.E. in theaters, which came out about the same time, I think.)

But I bought Treasure Planet when I saw it for a good price because I thought it would be a good movie for my nephew.  He comes from a family of women so basically all the pop culture that gets passed on - books, movies, toys - is more geared to little girls.  I think he's getting a great deal of exposure to female role models and won't grow up to think being a girl is bad.  Heck, his favorite movie is Beauty and the Beast.

There are some excellent female characters in Treasure Planet.  Jim's mom is only in the movie for the beginning and end.  She's pretty cool though - a single mother running her own business.  And Captain Amelia is fantastic.  She's professional, but caring.  She's competent and willing to listen to other people when they know what they're talking about.  She doesn't put up with false flattery.

Jim is pretty similar to Lilo (from Lilo and Stitch) in temperament.  A little angry and wild, hurt and frustrated by the loss of a parent.  But Jim is older than Lilo and starting to face real consequences for his youthful indiscretions of trespassing.  When he finds the map to Treasure Planet, it's a real opportunity for him to get some experience and discipline.

If you're familiar with TREASURE ISLAND (or even the Muppets' version), then you know the basic plot of Treasure Planet already.  It's a good plot, filled with adventure, betrayal, and redemption.  I do like how Disney animated it.  The blend of computer and traditional animation doesn't always work.  Some parts really pop due to clearly being made with a computer, but I'm not sure that effect works for me.  (I'm looking at you, space whales.)  But other bits, like John Silver's automaton arm, work beautifully.

I think Treasure Planet is a fun movie.  It's rated PG and skews slightly old for my nephew, who just turned three.  There's an upsetting death of a sympathetic character, but I knew he could handle it due to his reaction to Mufasa's death in The Lion King.  Some kids might be upset by the song sequence that reveals Jim's father walked out on his family.  On the other hand, I think Treasure Planet is a great choice for kids growing up outside of the nuclear family structure.  (And it would make a great double bill with Lilo and Stitch.)


  1. I haven't seen this one but the female characters sound great. Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. Yeah, it was a pretty big flop. But watching it I don't see a real reason - it's a good movie.


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