Combustible Celluloid
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With: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brian Murray, Emma Thompson, David Hyde Pierce, Martin Short, Dane A. Davis, Michael Wincott, Laurie Metcalf, Roscoe Lee Browne, Patrick McGoohan
Written by: Ron Clements, John Musker, Rob Edwards, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, based on a novel by Robert Louis Stevenson
Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker
MPAA Rating: PG for adventure action and peril
Running Time: 95
Date: 11/27/2002

Treasure Planet (2002)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Sails of Light

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Taking a new approach for Disney's 43rd animated feature, filmmakers Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, etc.) departed a bit from a classic source, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, to make this sci-fi hybrid. In a further hybrid, the film combines hand-drawn characters against computer-generated backgrounds and effects. The result is different, but not unpleasant.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt provides the voice of Jim Hawkins, who discovers a map of "Treasure Planet." He goes on an expedition to find the treasure and save his mother's inn. During the trip, he bonds with the ship's cyborg cook, John Silver (voiced by Brian Murray), who turns out to be something other than he seems. David Hyde Pierce, Martin Short, and Emma Thompson provide other voices.

The movie has a terrific look and feel, it moves well, and it's exciting and funny and sometimes even touching. The reviews were mostly good, but perhaps it was a bit too daring; the film failed to catch on with audiences, and it became an expensive flop for Disney.

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