In Honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, Let’s Talk About ‘Treasure Planet’

AVAST! YARR!Every year on September 19 it is officially (according to the internet that is) Talk Like a Pirate Day. As you all know, I am not a traditional pirate. I have respect for it’s long time traditions and customs such as looting, plundering and drinking a lot of ale. Since I am the Space Pirate Queen, I do my looting and plundering in space (much bigger than the ocean!) and instead of ale, I drink a lot of space wine.

That is why I wanted to blog about Disney’s Treasure Planet which is honestly one of my favorite animated films.

Unfortunately, Treasure Planet didn’t get as much love as it deserved and suffered severe criticism for being “gimmicky” for taking the literature it was based on to space. I will not discuss why this movie was not as successful as most Disney films are but I will tell you why I personally love it.

As much as the original book, Treasure Island by Louis Stevenson, is a literary masterpiece, I find nothing wrong with changing things up and putting the adventure in space! Of course I amincredibly biased because I love stories that take place in space and I am the Space Pirate Queen. Titan A.E. is my other favorite animated film. I love the idea of the space ships in Treasure Planet looking like traditional ships. Who cares if it doesn’t make any technological sense whatsover? There is an invisible shield that keeps the oxygen in, okay?! The Tardis doesn’t make sense either and it’s in space all the time. Ships in space are cool just like bow ties are cool. I’m pretty sure the Doctor will approve.

Probably doesn’t need much explaining because I hope most of you are aware by now that we are JGL lovers on this website. He did the voice of the main character, Jim Hawkins and Hawkins is pretty much an animated/Disney-fied version of Gordon-Levitt. The resemblance is definitely still there. I freaking love it.

The movie is just plain fun to watch and it’s very much unlike its Disney brother and sister films. The family trouble in the beginning is a little dark. For once in a Disney movie– the mom exists and is not evil. Think about it. Most Disney Princess movies often only have kindly father figures with evil stepmothers or evil strong female figures. Treasure Planet does away with all of that and women aren’t victimized and weak. Still, it keeps the heart-string tugs to a Disney level. I also love how they also did not fall into the typical villain type. We sympathize with John Silver and the fatherly relationship he developed with Hawkins felt natural and real, not forced. Who doesn’t love a pirate with a good heart after all?

I also love that the characters were different sci-fi and fantasy based creatures– such as Captain Amelia, an anthropomorphize cat, who replaces the role of Captain Smolett as captain of ‘Hispaniola’ the ship that they hire to hunt for the treasure.  Dr. Delbert Doppler is an anthropormorphize dog and John Silver is part pirate cyborg. Then there is B.E.N. a goofy robot, voiced by Martin Short, who lost his ‘memories.’

Speaking of creatures… Morph, Silver’s blob-like pink pet, is adorable.

I want one. Seriously. He is so cute.

I love Captain Amelia, voiced by Emma Thompson and Dr. Doppler, voiced by David Hyde Pierce in the movie. Amelia brings the kick-ass female presence into the story and the contrast between her and Doppler produced very funny moments. I don’t want to spoil it for people who have not seen the film but the clash between the two and the development of their relationship with each other in the film was a lot of fun. Yes, for once, the supporting characters get a chance at romance! There is a cute scene at the very end of the movie too. Thompson definitely stole the show as far as her voice performance as Captain Amelia– sharp and witty!

I haven’t seen anyone else make this comparison but here goes. In J.J. Abram’s Star Trek movie, there is a chase sequence with a young Jim Kirk in car which I thought was very reminiscent of Jim Hawkins’ chase scene in some sort of air surfing vehicle. In fact, when I first saw the preview for Star Trek it immediately reminded me of Treasure Planet. Young Kirk and Hawkins’ personalities are a lot alike– they both had daddy issues and rebellious and adventurous character streaks. Only in space did they learn the meaning of growing up and taking on adult responsibilities. How’s that for a crazy connection between two very different movies? ;)

All the lyrical music in this movie was written and performed by Johnny Rzeznik from The Goo Goo Dolls along with BBMak. Although having Disney characters burst into random songs to move the story plot line along it was a nice change of pace to not have that happen. Just like most movies, the music only helped to set the mood of the story. Although I remembered people complaining about the lack of musical numbers in this movie, I don’t think it would have fit in. Besides, The Goo Goo Dolls were hot back in the days, you guys. Way, way back in the days…

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Try not to be a hater and give the film a chance. It’s a good way to introduce some children into the more sci-fi genre after all while still giving them a very Disney message about love and friendship! Without all that Princessy-Gotta-Find-A-Man-To-Be-Fulfilled sentiments.

Photos taken from Cynic Journal and Captain’s Orders: An Amelia Fansite.

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day to all of you landlubbers out there. Yarr!


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