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BMZ Review: Treasure Planet (IMAX/Giant Screen/Large Format Edition)
By Ross Anthony


A Few Character-Building Months in Space
Written by: Ross Anthony
Source: Ross Anthony's Hollywood Report Card
Date: November 2002


Category: Reviews

Take "Treasure Island" into space and you get "Treasure Planet." Take that good story, beef it up with some large breathtaking visuals and release it on IMAX at the same time as 35mm and now you've got a historic cinematic move. Well, the word 'historic' may be a bit over the top; but an important precedent nonetheless. Large format filmmakers and producers will no doubt be watching to see how this Disney 'experiment' pans out. But, filmgoers, what will they do? Will they be confused? Will the average person notice the difference? Is there a difference worth noticing? If they understand the choice, will they choose to see this film in large format or the standard 35 screen?

Well, I don't know the answers to those questions (though I'm curious too); I have seen the film on the large screen and here are my comments. While, big is definitely good, the minutes of really big screen action don't add up enough to make this a must see at an IMAX/large format theater. That's not to say that the film's a disappointment when projected in giant form. No, No. I quite enjoyed "Treasure Planet!" Nor is it to say that between the few powerful action/scenic sequences lay boring heaps of talking heads. No. This is a good script, good dialogue, funny even for adults. The characters are interesting and often very creatively constructed from figure to backstory. My point is, the film will play equally well on both screen sizes (mind you, I haven't seen it on the standard screen).

That said, the earlier air surf/sailing scene bursts with energy -- it'll fill your sails as well. It's truly sensational in the original 'sense' of the word. The launch sequence breathtaking, and several other "more Imaxy moments" do make it worthy of the blow up in the first place. But, like "Tarzan" and other Disney favorites, this is just a good film. The rebel teen with unresolved issues revolving around his father who left the family, the grizzly pirate that takes him under his wing (or does he?) and of course a treasure at the end of the rainbow. At its heart, this is a rite of passage film, a sort of tricky psuedo-step father/son tale of trust and goals. Disney takes this dynamic just as far as possible without dropping the overall fun of the picture.

Aside from some transient digital pixalization (easily overlooked), the image looks pretty darned good and the audio is strong. Adults and kids will like this film.  I particularly enjoyed David Hyde Pierce's Doctor Doppler and Emma Thompson's Captain Amelia, both are spoiled with some charming dialogue. Bumbly Dr. Doppler hugs young Jim Hawkins, "We'll finally get to share some quality time together and you know what they say ... 'Familiarity breeds (pause) well, contempt,' but never mind that."

Unfortunately, Martin Short's C-3PO-esque golden robot toggles between somewhat amusing and somewhat annoying (for me, more of the latter than the former). And there is a brief after-launch lull which is sweetly broken by a John Rzeznik (of Goo Goo Dolls fame) tune which sings over a nicely composed music/video sequence of Hawkins and Silver bonding.
"You give up a few things to follow a dream."


Starring the voices of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brian Murray, David Hyde Pierce, Emma Thompson.
Directed by John Musker and Ron Clements
Screenplay by Ron Clements & John Musker and Rob Edwards. Adapted from the novel "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Produced by Roy Conli, John and Ron at Disney (c) 2002. PG.

Copyright (C) 2002. 
Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.  For more reviews visit:

Movie Reviews by Ross Anthony

National Parks Adventure
Journey to Space
Wild Africa
Space Next
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Flight of the Butterflies
To The Arctic 3D
Tornado Alley
Born to Be Wild
Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World
Hubble 3D
Resident Evil: Afterlife: An IMAX 3D Experience
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The IMAX Experience
Shrek Forever After: An IMAX 3D Experience
Iron Man 2: The IMAX Experience
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Arabia 3D
Molecules to the MAX!
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Kung Fu Panda: The IMAX Experience
Shine a Light: The IMAX Experience
Beowulf: An IMAX 3D Experience
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs
Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Roving Mars
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Wild Safari 3D: A South African Adventure
Mystery of the Nile
Mystic India
Aliens of the Deep (3D)
Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets
Rolling Stones at the Max
Sharks 3D
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag
The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience
Roar: Lions of the Kalahari
Forces of Nature
Adventures in Animation (3D)
NASCAR: The IMAX Experience (3D/2D)
The Young Black Stallion
To Fly!
Silent Sky
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea
Texas: The Big Picture
Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey
Ocean Wonderland (3D)
India: Kingdom of the Tiger
Straight Up!: Helicopters in Action
Coral Reef Adventure
Bugs! (3D/2D)
Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk
Ghosts of the Abyss (3D)
The Lion King (IMAX/Giant Screen/Large Format Edition)
Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees
Treasure Planet (IMAX/Giant Screen/Large Format Edition)
Star Wars Ep. II, Attack of the Clones: The IMAX Experience
Santa vs. the Snowman (3D/2D)
Alaska: Spirit of the Wild
Africa: The Serengeti
Horses: The Story of Equus
Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa
Australia: Land Beyond Time
Ultimate X
Space Station 3D
Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West
Beauty and the Beast: Special Edition
The Human Body
Blue Planet
China: The Panda Adventure
Ocean Oasis
Lost Worlds: Life in the Balance
Ocean Men: Extreme Dive
Majestic White Horses
Amazing Journeys
Ski to the Max
Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure
NSync: Bigger Than Live
Super Speedway
Journey into Amazing Caves
ALL ACCESS: Front row, Backstage, LIVE!
Haunted Castle 3D
T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous (3D)
Wildfire: Feel the Heat
Encounter in the Third Dimension 3D
Mysteries of Egypt
Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box (3D)
Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man (3D)
Michael Jordan to the Max
Cyberworld (3D)
Adventures in Wild California

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