Saturday, October 01, 2011

Treasure Planet

We watched Treasure Planet last night. This was my second time, Lana's first. This is a Disney animated movie, in case you don't know. It's based on Treasure Island but with all the action transplanted to space instead of the high seas. It starts similarly to Treasure Island but then moves further and further away from that story as it progresses.

I like the movie quite a lot. It engages my imagination. It's got pirates in space and a bit of a Space Opera / Sword and Planet feel. However, Lana told me it lost 80 million dollars when it was released and is considered Disney's biggest flop. Wow!

At first I couldn't figure out why it lost money, but I think maybe I've figured it out. 1) It's a bit too complicated for really young kids. 2) it's not sophisticated or modern enough for teenagers. 3) There's no love interest for the young man, Jim, which is a staple of many Disney classics such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. 4. The story seems targeted more toward a male audience with its subplot of a developing relationship between Jim and Silver, who becomes the boy's sort of surrogate father.

All in all, I thought it was well worth my time, but I'm apparently one of the few. If you saw it, what did you think? Do you have any idea why it may have done so poorly?
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19 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No, I missed that one...

Tom Doolan said...

Love this movie. One of my all-time favorites from Disney. I imagine you listed all of the major points which lead to its failure.

On a side note, I felt that the story followed relatively close to the book, as far as plot goes.

Randy Johnson said...

Never caught it either. Not a big Disney animated freak. Sounds like something I might like though.

laughingwolf said...

no clue; will have a look when i find a copy, though....

BernardL said...

I disliked it for all the reasons you surmised, and you're right also about the young kids. My Grandson bailed on it pretty quick and he watches Sponge Bob, which in my opinion is one of the grossest, empty-headed pieces of crap ever produced for kids. Without a romantic thread, Disney missed the boat. If they were going to alter the plot at all a romantic angle would have helped.

Charles Gramlich said...

Alex, I bet you'd like it.

Tom, it dead, especially early in the book.

Randy, I'm not either, although I saw many Disney movies when my son was young. But this is a bit different from their usual fare.

Laughingwolf, I could read a book about this one.

Deka Black said...

I do not watched this. But from what i know mix the Stevenson's book and the Spelljammer books from the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game.

That's a really weird mixing.

Btw: I know of a single case watching the movie for the scenes featuring Jim's mom.

The Golden Eagle said...

I've never watched this movie, either.

Cloudia said...

who really can know why some things fall between the cracks, Charles?


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X. Dell said...

Sorry. I didn't see it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernardl, I'm surprised at the lack of the romantic subplot. It needed it.

Deka, she was quite pretty as animated ladies go.

Golden Eagle, well, no particular reason you should or shouldn't.

cloudia, true.

X-dell, it's actually a number of years old now.

Snowbrush said...

I just noticed that one of your interests is Robert E. Howard. Mine too. Have you ever visited his house?

Jeff said...

I never seen it nor have I read Stevenson's book. I should do the latter.

Charles Gramlich said...

Snowbrush, I have visted REH's house. Many times in fact. Probably at least 15 times. I used to go every summer to Howard Days in June. I haven't been in a couple of years but I will go again one of these summers. Great writer.

Jeff, Treasure Island is a great book. I was just thinking that I wanted to reread it.

Travis Cody said...

I must have missed this one. Perhaps we'll look for it. I know Treasure Island was one of my favorite books as a kid.

Steve Malley said...

I do have some thoughts:

1. No toe-tapping, hum-along tunes from this movie...

2. No talking appliances/cutlery/household vermin to sing them.

3. Really, *really* bad commercials-- for whatever reason, somebody's heart wasn't in the advertising.

and finally....

4. This movie is a bastard mongrel.

You gotta remember, early 2000's, Pixar had Disney over a barrel. The Mouse hadn't had an original hit since Lion King, and the good new stuff was coming from an upstart studio whose distribution-only contract with Disney was running out.

Big D was feeling the heat, and historically they don't perform well under pressure. They popped out a 'real computery film, just like those other ones', except that it wasn't.

It lacked the grace and classic beauty of Disney's hand-drawn animation, and it lacked the style and charm of films by pixar or Dreamworks. Instead, they somehow managed to combine the worst of both worlds.

Like a trailer park lottery winner, The Mouse managed to make splashy and big budget look cheap and tacky.

WHich is a shame. It could have been a darn good movie.

Charles Gramlich said...

Travis Cody, I just downloaded a kindle copy of TReasure island to reread.

Steve Malley, I noted the lack of tunage as well. That certainly didn't help the movie. And there did seem to be a certain "paint by the numbers" elements in the story for sure.

Jason E. Thummel said...

I've watched this movie several times with my son, and we love it. I don't know why it would have performed so poorly, but I don't remember the exact timeline of release and wonder if it was following on the heels of the new kid on the block computer animation.

I happened to like the animation style as well, but that's just me.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jason, I guess it just resonates with some of us but not others. I find myself just not understanding why some things hit and others don't.