Treasure Planet



So...they've mastered space travel, but they haven't improved on the mop. They can navigate holographic maps, but dishes are still washed by hand. Am I missing something?

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal predicts that this will be the first Disney animated feature to not break even. It's a shame in a way because it's more likeable than "Atlantis". Even so...I find myself admiring the backgrounds yet again. Not what the producers hoped for their audience reaction, I'm sure.

The characters, yet again, seem as though they're designed for different movies. The most annoying by far being Morph...who looks like renegade plaque from an educational tooth film. If Disney has learned anything, it's that anime has a wide following and therefore, true to some of the best anime, they have stopped drawing noses on the human characters. Jim's nostrils seem to migrate south throughout the entire film.

Martin Short does his best C3PO imitation only more effeminate. Silver is nicely handled, but seems strangely familiar in an Oliver and Co. way. The Doppler character and the Captain character are the most disparate characters making the ending all the more implausible and unsatisfying. They bear out Bill Murray's assertion from Ghostbusters that "dogs and cats" lying together is a sure sign of the apocalypse.

Enjoy it, folks, this is that last big budget animated film you're likely to see for a long time.
I was thinking of starting a Treasure Planet discussion, Bill, but you beat me to it! Funny, I just finished
the Wall Street Journal article(on'm just trying to figure out what's wrong with the
movie! Pirates, a classic sea adventure re-told, hidden treasure, outer space--what could be better ingredients
for a rousing, crowd-pleasing tale--it certainly appeals to me--and yet, it doesn't seem to have grabbed
people! Certainly the songs didn't grab me--the first droning rock song just didn't seem to fit in with the feeling of the
film(as opposed to the two beautiful Hawaiian-themed songs in Lilo and Stitch, which is fresh on my mind now
after seeing it again today). The animation certainly can not get any better--the Disney artists have
nearly perfected the blending of traditional animation with computer-based art. And yet, it seems that
some element for success is still missing. As I just mentioned, I watched Lilo and Stitch today--and I'd forgotten what
a great movie it was--fresh, interesting characters that we feel for, in some complicated, contempoary situations that we can all relate to, sparked with funny,
original dialogue, with even a few great new songs thrown in--is that what Treasure Planet lacked? A hip, contempoary feel, that Pixar, for instance, seems to have the knack for(Finding Nemo does look like it's going to be a biggie!) I did still
enjoy Treasure Planet.....I've got to mull this over a little more.......Mike.


New Member
Perhaps the fault plaguing Treasure Planet is what someone mentioned earlier, the anime comparison. Has anybody watched a syndicated Japanese anime series entitled Star Blazers? It features the referbished World War II battleship (The Yamato) sent on an interstellar mission to save earth.
The point I'm making is that the similarities are very close to what Treasure Planet incorporated. That Japanese animator has also used Steam Engines and Blimps as space ships as well. Hence if you can accept the fusing of old and new technology then there should be no problems, but if the fusion doesn't click with audiences... disaster lies ahead.
Remember The Rescuers Down Under? It did less business than Beauty And The Beast and Aladdin because it was not a musical and not a fairy tale or classic story. So all subsequent movies were musicals because they made big money. Then starting with Pocahontas, and the loss of Howard Ashman, Disney began some concept musicals away from the usual fairy tale scene which finally ended with The Emperor's New Groove. Disney has now cycled back into their non-musical animation mode and they're looking for the next success that 101 Dalmations was.
Or it may be that the combination of anime and Disney was too soon to for America. After all most Japanimation for kids has been annoying Pokemon stuff. Treasure Planet is more sophisticated than that.

I hope that Disney gets their next big hit soon so that they can produce more CD re-issues, etc. Disney is in no financial danger because of the theme park which kept them from going under during the eighties. Black Cauldron hasn't yet been given respectful treatment since its lackluster reception in 1985 because there was no CD ever issued (by Disney anyway) of that wonderful score.

X-S Tech

Active Member
Ok granted there are a few inconsistencies with the juxtaposition of the Nautical/space themes, but who cares? Clearly the directors knew that they were there. The way I looked at it, it's like Jules Verne sci fi, where the film is described as futuristically as possible while using what limited knowledge of space travel , R.L. Stevenson's characters would have had. In other words, if Stevenson had written it as depicted in the film, he would have described the ship leaving port heading into space. He may describe the prow or the sails of the ship, the weapons used, or that Jim had to mop the deck. But within these descriptions there is both limitation and room for interpretation. The director takes the limitations, (the ship is pretty much a sailing ship, masts, sails and all) and extrapolates from there. Thus, when the sails are unfurled, the material that they are made of collects energy and funnels it through the mast and down below decks, into whatever massive mysterious engine powers the ship. Would anyone out there really be interested in seeing this film if they flew in normal space ships and it looked like every other sci fi film?
If Disney had tried to make a serious Sci Fi film and then ignored such obvious things such as the lack of oxygen in the open air ship, then perhaps some of this criticism would be justified. But let's be fair. We all know that this was one of those times where the directors said, "Hey wouldn't it be cool if.....". And it is! I think that the strongest part of this film is it's imagination and originality. In fact I thought some of the animation was a bit weak and that the story lacked a bit of heart. But it was saved by the tremendous fun that the creators clearly had making it and which was very apparent in every frame of film. This is by far the most interesting animated film that anybody has made in a long time. I weep for all of the 2D animators at Disney, the unfortunate group that weren't allowed to stay on and worship the holy computer as their new master, and instead are being let go this month (the last group). More so, I weep for the mindless throngs who overflow the theaters showing the latest PIXAR human pop culture reference film (ie:a toy's world, a bugs world, a monsters world, a fish's world and coincidentally they're all just like ours-only with more in-jokes!), and marvelling at how "it looks SO real!!!" Enjoy it while it lasts. Damn I'm bitter.

X-S Tech

Active Member
Just a thought- what do we suppose the chances are that Disney is misrepresenting the box office results to further underline it's decision to shut down 2-D animation? I wouldn't put it past them considering that they pulled Lilo and Stitch to video so quick instead of doing a second release (a la Lion King) and then reaping the video prophets next year). I don't know who tracks that sort of thing, or if that can be falsified, I was just wondering.


Then starting with Pocahontas, and the loss of Howard Ashman, Disney began some concept musicals away from the usual fairy tale scene which finally ended with The Emperor's New Groove.

Starting with The Lion King, actually.


More so, I weep for the mindless throngs who overflow the theaters showing the latest PIXAR human pop culture reference film (ie:a toy's world, a bugs world, a monsters world, a fish's world and coincidentally they're all just like ours-only with more in-jokes!), and marvelling at how "it looks SO real!!!" Enjoy it while it lasts. Damn I'm bitter.

You're not alone. I have begun to hate Pixar... Ok, Toy Story was kinda cool and A Bug's Life was ok, but the last two films have been just plain annoying. :( not looking forward to any more.

As for Treasure Planet, for some reason I am not very exited about it. I want to see it, but I'm absolutely in no hurry to see it. I think I might wait for the video... Should I?

X-S Tech

Active Member
Yes Sam definately go see it. perhaps this weekend was a fluke and the film will take off if enough people go see it. As for yourself, go see it to reaffirm that people still like films that dare to be different and experimental, instead of films that are calculated and built more around market research and current trends. I know, I know, money makes the world go round. But the thing that Disney has forgotten is that the real money is always made by the trend setters, not the trend chasers.
Fascinating point, X-S--maybe Treasure Planet has just TOO MUCH imagination and originality for today's audiences--galleons floating through outer space? Ludicrous? Don't think too hard, this IS science fiction(and aren't the Disney folks always telling us to exercise our imaginations?), and we're in a fantastic, imaginary place, so why not just set your mind adrift with the ships and stop looking for the oxygen tanks and enjoy!

I don't want to criticize Pixar--the stories have been fresh, the characters interesting(I think THAT'S what really has made the films successful, not simply the so-called computer wizardy)--they should be able to peacefully co-exist with the artists creating the classic-style films we've loved since Walt started making them. I'm just having trouble understanding why a grand story about high adventure in the far reaches of space, with one of the most intriguing villains in all of classic literature(great job with updating Long John Silver!) is flopping, according to "the experts"! The film was even released at a great time for cinematic fantasy/adventure--we're in the midst of Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the Lord of the Rings!

X-S, your other comment is a scary one, but with a company run by grasping corporate accountants instead of a visionary artist, who knows what evil scheme will be unleashed next? And how about this as food for thought--wasn't Treasure Planet going to be next summer's big realease, with Finding Nemo taking the usual "Pixar Fall slot", as has been the pattern in the past? Weren't their slots switched? Was the plan to simply scuttle, sabotage Treasure Planet right from the onset, not give it the big push that this summer's Finding Nemo will most assuredly get? There were no banners flying, trumpets sounding at the local Disney Store announcing Treasure Planet, just a small lonely stand of the usual action figures. Was the film set up for certain failure--to further solidify the argument for scrapping such grand scale productions? These are scary times indeed, but what to expect from a company with the mentality to issue a videotape about its company's founder, only to subsequently release a DVD version to try and squeeze a few more pennies from we legions of ever-increasing skeptics who continue to hang onto a dream. The bitter taste in the mouth does intensify, doesn't it...........Mike.
Just throwing out some theories to try and understand why a movie that I would have guessed would have been a shoe-in success is now being viewed as a "turkey"(per Wall Street Journal)--but wait a second, I thought we finally concluded that the Martians DID land?!!? Mike.

X-S Tech

Active Member
It may sound far fetched, but we all know that Disney has decided to shut down traditional animation. At least I thought we did. I just read an article (I think it was Reuters) that said that because of the recent performance of traditional animated films, and Treasure Planet in particular, and combined with the Schumacher considering leaving, the future of Disney Animation is uncertain. Really?!! You think?!! Is there some massive cover up or conspiracy to make the demise of traditional animation seem lack a sad effect of the economy and rqandom circumstances? Stranger things have happened. I only thank God that some of the greats (Glen Keane, Nik Ranieri, Andreas Deja) are still involved, even if they are working on 3 D fims now. Perhaps if/when things swing back the other way, these guys will be able to pick up a pencil again. Or perhaps one of these guys had enough foresight to sock away some of their formerly generous salary, and will decide to produce thier own film.
Treasure Planet the musical would have been better (more like Hunchback again). Treasure Planet the concept musical would have been good too if they would pony up for a box office draw. How cool would it have been to have the soundtrack done (or at least songs by) by U2, Bruce Springsteen, MCartney????????
Since ENG they have seriuosly cut back on the Music budget and went el cheapo.

Aside from that I enjoyed this movie way better than Lilo & Stitch and Monsters Inc,. At first I thought Jim was going to be another Lilo (troubled misunderstood cipher) but he ended up with some backbone. (I felt like L&S would justify every misbehavior to any deliquent viewer)

Go see TP! Clements and Musker can use the support!

still lurking

X-S Tech

Active Member
So hows it doing now? Can anyone tell me if the film has picked up yet? Is there a website where you can check that sort of thing?
My wife checks out MSNBC daily--their weekend stat's stated that Treasure Planet came in fifth over the weekend. I can only assume that "Eisner"(why don't we just drop the "Disney" logo) will look upon this a dismal showing. Mike.
My wife checks out MSNBC daily--their weekend stat's stated that Treasure Planet came in fifth over the weekend. I can only assume that "Eisner"(why don't we just drop the "Disney" logo) will look upon this a dismal showing. Mike.
My wife checks out MSNBC daily--their weekend stat's stated that Treasure Planet came in fifth over the weekend. I can only assume that "Eisner"(why don't we just drop the "Disney" logo) will look upon this a dismal showing. Mike.

X-S Tech

Active Member
Well that's some good news. 5th is pretty damn good. We've just gotten too damn big. While I know disney will publicly denounce the "poor performance" I can't help but remember their complaints about Pocahontas and Hercules who, while not "Lion King" money makers, still brought in several million $ in box office revenue not to mention countless synergy oppurtunities. Speaking of which, let me bring up some more of the absolutely ludicrous things about Disney shutting down 2D animation:
1) Besides Animation being the single most unique skill that people identify with the company, and that without it they will be just another studio giant (albeit with some valuable theme parks), why is animation being abandoned after a few bad films when the live action division has consistently turned out one loser after another with only the occasional exception. The few live films that are not flops are hardly a comparable commodity to even the poorest performing animated property. My god, the company even released a direct to video sequel to Pocahontas. They obviously weren't that unhappy with the first films performance.

2) What the hell is the rest of the company going to do without the animation department? Let's be real, are we going to start merchandising our live action properties at the Disney Store (I can see it now: Franc from "Father of the Bride" on Baby's clothes)? And at the theme parks? Who wants to Be a Milionaire Play it! was a nice quick fix at DCA and the perfect type of temporary attraction for MGM but I doubt it upped the parks attendances by any decent percentage, at least not enough to justify the money that went into construction and could have easily been spent on a permanent attraction based on a more stable property. I understand that the company is going ahead with their new CGI division but, given the fact that Dreamworks and Pixar have hired away the majority of their experienced story people, I think we can look forward to characters even more contrived than those in Dinosaur. "But man they'll look soooo real!"


A terrific film/tv resource, The Internet Movie Database ( not only updates box office figures weekly, but maintains all-time figures as well. Subscribers to get complete daily updates of box office figures and much more...Here's a link to the figures:

X-S Tech

Active Member
sadly Burbank HAS already ceased 2d Production. This month the last of the traditional animators were due to recieve thier pink slips, and everyone else will be retrained on the marvelous computer. Florida's fate is still undecided from what I understand.
Of course there are always the little films that could "Lilo and Stitch" and so on. But to make the bottom line your policy is a mistake that Disney keeps making and not learning from, despite poor results in every other area of the company.