DVD Shopping Bag: Treasure Planet Blu-ray (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Monday, July 09, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Let’s see... In 2002 where was I? It’s all kind of a foggy haze and I usually look at time in terms of what movies were released. The summer Jaws came out I was a few months old. When Star Wars arrived I was two plus a few months. When Raiders of the Lost Ark came out I was 6 and damn if that face melting scene didn’t scare me. However, in 2002 I was knee deep in post production of my own film and had little to no time for something called Treasure Planet. It looked like no one else did either. 

In my time as a columnist and critic I have come across a lot of re-releases. They usually coincide with another title hitting the big screen. In the case for Treasure Planet there hasn’t been any reason to re-release the film until now. Why? Well it is the 10th Anniversary of the picture. With a new format, there shall forever come a new release of older titles. However, one wonders about the bombs and the financial disappointments. As of 2011, IMDB reported that Treasure Planet was Disney's biggest financial loss. Total cost: $180 million (including $40 million for advertising). Total worldwide gross: $101 million. Total loss: $79 million. Yikes. Though, today, I wonder if John Carter comes close? 

I decided to give the Treasure Planet Blu-ray a shot. If anything, my curiosity and my love of Robert Louis Stevenson’s original work was enough to sacrifice a few hours. I had read the book in junior high and spent weeks, in class, discussing and analyzing it. We even took on the names of the characters to address one another. This was a clever trick by the teacher as I vividly remember the likes of Billy Bones, George Mary, and Mr. Arrow. Now let’s get on to the Sci-Fi telling of this classic tale. 

The story follows closely to the structure of Stevenson’s novel. Young Jim Hawkins (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is inadvertently given a treasure map. With the help of some good and evil men Hawkins sets out into the universe to find Treasure Planet. The brilliance of Treasure Planet is that it never stops to explain why or how something works. Imagine if Obi-Wan Kenobi took the time to explain a light saber. We see it, we understand it, and we move on with more important things. With that concept in mind, this distant version of the future uses space vehicles that look like sea vessels; a great homage to the original tale and an incredible way to illustrate the wondrous colors of the universe. 

The animation is is beyond what I expected. Even as far back as 2002, numerous animation studios were blending computer images and two dimensional art work horrifically. Here in Treasure Planet it is seamless. In fact, the style and production design reminded me of Gerald Potterton’s Heavy Metal (1981). With each turn, Jim and the audience never knew who or what they would discover. As the story got under way and the adventure set sail I was worried that perhaps there wasn’t going to be enough time to get everything into the story that mattered. 

“Treasure Island”, whether it be the book or any of the numerous film incarnations, all hinge on one very important thing, the Long John Silver/ Jim Hawkins relationship. I was watching the clock on this and felt that already, with a few early moments/ scenes missing, this relationship was going to get skipped completely. It doesn’t and the Disney animators work their magic perfectly. John Silver (Brian Murray), a cyborg, takes Jim under his wing and educates him about space travel. He quickly becomes Jim’s surrogate father. This makes Silver’s betrayal even harder to fathom for Jim. That cut-throat mentality and storytelling is what makes “Treasure Island” so intoxicating. The layers mixed with true conscience tied together with friendship make the story a classic. Rest assured, Treasure Planet delivers.

For the die hard fan of either the original book, the classic 1950 version produced by Walt Disney, or (my personal favorite) the 1990 version with Charlton Heston and Christian Bale, you’ll enjoy Treasure Planet. The Sci-Fi take reinvigorates the old tale, yet keeps reminding you of what you loved so much about the story. 

2002 was a long time ago. Many of us were probably drowning in Middle Earth lore as our newly released Fellowship of the Ring Expanded Editions had just arrived. Now as we sit here with months to go until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I suggest picking up this forgotten Disney gem. It’s not the sea drowning wreck that everyone was led to believe.

 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:

1. The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] 
2. Doctor Who: Death to the Daleks
3. Twins Of Evil (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack)
4. Flowers of War [Blu-ray]
5.
Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series (Deluxe Edition) 


ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Ace Of Cactus/Romance Of The Wasteland Starring Clifford Davidson and Art Mix

Black Limousine Starring David Arquette, Bijou Phillips and Vivica A. Fox

Butterfly Swords Starring Donnie Yen, Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Michelle Yeoh

Cherry Bomb [Blu-ray] Starring Julin Jean, Nick Manning, John Gabriel Rodriquez

Cherry Bomb Starring Nick Manning, John Gabriel Rodriquez, Allen Hackley

Ferocious Pal Starring Robert Seiter

Flowers of War [Blu-ray] Starring Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang and Paul Schneider

Flowers of War Starring Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang and Paul Schneider

Lightning Range/Range Rider Starring Lafe McKee and Buddy Roosevelt

Mercenary for Justice [Blu-ray]

On the Ice Starring Josiah Patkotak

Paraiso Starring Miguel Gutierrez, Adrian Mas and Tamara Melian

Rawhide Romance/Range Warfare Starring Jay Wilsey and Lafe McKee

Royal Deceit Starring Christian Bale, Gabriel Bryne, Helen Mirren

Sand Starring Bill Patton and William S. Hart

Seven Minutes in Heaven Starring Reymond Amsalem, Nadav Netz and Eldad Prives

Silent House Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens

White Oak Starring Robert Walker, William S. Hart and Alexander Gaden

You're Nobody Till Somebody Kills You Starring Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Mosley, Chance Kelly

ANIME

El Cazador de la Bruja - The Complete Series S.A.V.E. Starring Maxey Whitehead, Trina Nishimura and Bob Carter

Mahoromatic: I'm Home

Mahoromatic Ultimate Collection

Naruto Shippuden: Uncut Set 11 (2012)

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt - Complete Series (Limited Edition) Starring Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial and Christopher Sabat

CARTOONS

Adventure Time: Complete First Season (2012)

Despicable Me Presents: Minion Madness (2012)

Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series Starring Charles Adler, Jeff Bennett, Dan Castellaneta

G.I. Joe Series 2: Season 2 Starring Chris Latta and Maurice LaMarche

Jem And The Holograms: Season Three Starring Samantha Newark and Cathianne Blore

CLASSICS

A Southern Yankee Starring Red Skelton, Brian Donlevy and Arlene Dahl

The Clown Starring Red Skelton, Jane Greer and Tim Considine

The Lucky Devil Starring Richard Dix and Thomas Findley

The Saphead: Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Buster Keaton

Sky High Starring Tom Mix and Sid Jordan

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

American Reunion (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan

American Reunion Starring Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan

HORROR

Blade II [Blu-ray] Starring Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman

FELL: Relationships Can Bring You Down Starring Jeff Dylan Graham, Kristian Day and Katie Walters

Freakshow Apocalypse: The Unholy Sideshow Starring The Enigma, The Amazing Barry Silver, Frank Walsh

I Kissed A Vampire Starring Lucas Grabeel, Drew Seeley and Adrian Slade

Twins Of Evil (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack) Starring Peter Cushing, Dennis Price, David Warbeck

MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY

Chariots of Fire [Blu-ray] Starring Ian Charleson, Ben Cross, Ian Holm and John Gielgud

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Altered States [Blu-ray] Starring William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban and Charles Haid

The Astronaut's Wife [Blu-ray] Starring Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron, Joe Morton and Clea Duvall

Brainstorm [Blu-ray] Starring Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Louise Fletcher

Coma [Blu-ray] Starring Genevieve Bujold, Michael Douglas, Elizabeth Ashley

Dark Nemesis Starring Kyle Walsh, Aaron Farb and Debra Lopez

Doctor Who: Death to the Daleks Starring Jon Pertwee and Elisabeth Sladen

Doctor Who: Ep. 47 - The Krotons Starring Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury

Frequency [Blu-ray] Starring Dennis Quaid, Jim Caviezel, Shawn Doyle

Outland [Blu-ray] Starring Sean Connery, Peter Boyle, Frances Sternhagen

Spawn [Blu-ray] Starring John Leguizamo, Michael Jai White and Martin Sheen

TV LAND

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] Starring Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Simon Helberg

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] Starring Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Simon Helberg

Father Dowling Mysteries: The Second Season Starring Tom Bosley, Tracy Nelson, Mary Wickes and James Stephens

The Glades: Season 2 Starring Matt Passmore, Kiele Sanchez, Carlos Gómez and Jordan Wall

Warehouse 13: Season Three Starring Simon Reynolds, Saul Rubinek and Eddie McClintock

BOX SETS

Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series (Deluxe Edition) Starring Jonathan Frid, Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott

Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.



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