Treasure Planet | Chicago Reader

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Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island becomes a rousing SF adventure in this animated Disney feature by John Musker and Ron Clements, whose previous collaborations include Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. Picked up by robocops for joyriding on his jet-powered aerial skateboard, fatherless teen Jim Hawkins seems destined for juvenile hall, but after finding a virtual-reality map to a hidden treasure he boards a space galleon and sets off on a character-building intergalactic journey. The screenplay, by Musker, Clements, and Rob Edwards, takes some other liberties with the novel: the pirate Long John Silver becomes a father figure dispensing positive self-esteem (“You got the makings of greatness in ya”), and instead of a peg leg and parrot he has a robotic limb and a shape-shifting imp called Morph. But it's laced with literate humor (“Let me make this as monosyllabic as possible,” quips one character), and the directors cite N.C. Wyeth's illustrations for the 1911 Scribner's edition of Treasure Island as the inspiration for their marvelously detailed fantasy world. Featuring the voices of Emma Thompson, David Hyde Pierce, Martin Short, Brian Murray, and Roscoe Lee Browne. 95 min.

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