DVD Review: Treasure Planet: 10th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Distributor: Walt Disney Video
· Joseph Gordon-Levitt
· Brian Murray
· Emma Thompson
· David Hyde Pierce
by R.J. Carter
Published: July 9, 2012
The Robert Louis Stevenson classic gets a scifi adaptation in this underrated Disney offering, now released on Blu-ray for the 10th anniversary of its theatrical release. Joseph Gordon-Levitt takes on the lead role of Jim Hawkins, who yearns for an adventure but lacks a father figure after his dad walked out on the family years ago. When he comes upon a three-dimensional map to Treasure Planet, a pirate legend now revealed to be fact. But the discovery comes with a price -- the destruction of his mother's inn. Jim vows to make things right by claiming the treasure, accompanied by the anthropomorphic canine, Doctor Doppler (David Hyde Pierce).
The ship they hire, the RLS Legacy (a nice hat tip to the author), is led by anthropomorphic feline Captain Ameila (Emma Thompson), who is not at all comfortable with the rest of the crew that has answered the call. She's also not keen on someone as young as Jim being on board, and apprentices him to the ship's cook, John Silver (Brian Murray), a cyborg with a multi-functional arm.
Of course, we all know that John Silver is actually the leader of the pirates, all of whom want to get their hands on the treasure -- the loot of a thousand worlds. But Silver is a very humanized character, and takes a fatherly liking to young Jim, a liking that puts itself at odds with his goal of stealing the treasure from him.
Bonus features on this release include a music video, "I'm Still Here (Jim's Theme)" by John Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls; a 3D interactive tour of the RLS Legacy, with two modes of discovery and a game mode; an explorations into various acts of pirate life in the Disneypedia, "The Life of a Pirate Revealed"; deleted scenes; and various other featurettes, with introductions by Laurie Metcalf.
"Treasure Planet" doesn't seem to be the traditional school of Disney artwork, and maybe that's why it doesn't get quite the marquee cred of other Disney films. It's one that I didn't appreciate myself the first time around. However, this Blu-ray release -- and the addition of little Carters running around since this film came out, resulting in multiple viewings already -- have given me a new appreciation for this film. Perhaps other classic tales might get the animated science fiction treatment. Anyone up for "The Three Laserteers?"