Cinema for Steampunks: Treasure Planet (2002) Reimagines a Classic Tale with a Space-Age Twist

Pirates, Aliens, and the sailing through the wide-open vastness of space. Oh my...

Have you ever been watching a pirate movie and said to yourself, “Gee, what this really needs is some aliens!” Then Treasure Planet is the movie for you.

But seriously, it is a really cool re-imagining of the tale of young Jim’s adventure, which originally ran as a serial in a boys magazine in the 1880’s. There have been tons renditions of this story; plays, movies, comics, you name it. But this is the first one I have seen that really does anything to ‘punk’ it. Well, besides the Muppets of course, but even that was a pretty straight (if more kid-friendly) version of events.

Jim Hawkins

Jim Hawkins

Here is what is the same

Jim, the son a tavern-keeper, has big dreams for his future, but feels doomed to sweep up after sailors his whole life. A treasure map falls into his lap, and with the help of financial backer he sets off on a journey to find buried treasure. Jim (voiced by the adorable and talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt) befriends the cook, who turns out to be the leader of the mutinous band of pirates who make up the hastily conceived venture.

Here’s what’s different

They are freaking space pirates! They travel in ships that resemble the beautiful wooden pirate ships of old , but the sails glitter with electricity and ports perch precariously on a crescent moon.

 

Captain Amelia concept art

Captain Amelia concept art

There are aliens galore, including the catlike Captain Amelia  (Emma Thompson) who is a woman in this version of the story. I love places like the Star Trek universe where no one seems to balk at how anyone else appears or acts pretty much ever, they are totally open-minded.

The whole movie is an interesting intersection of the old and new.  John Silver (Brian Murray) is in fact both an alien AND a cyborg and it is his metal leg that gives him John’s iconic limp. The “map” that Jim encounters gets a nice spacey make over as a metal sphere that only he figures out how to open.

Map in action

Jim and robot

Once they reach the Treasure Planet, Jim meets a robot who has literally lost his mind (Martin Short). There is a vital part of his memory bank that is missing, but that doesn’t keep him from helping out however he can and adding fun along the way.

I thought this was a really fun movie and definitely worth watching on a big television. Too bad I missed this one in the theaters! The animation is absolutely gorgeous and is a combination of hand drawn 2D laid over 3D computer graphics.

Kids and adults will really enjoy this movie. There are clever jokes that kids won’t get but parents will appreciate. Moreso than in the book, this film really puts Silver into the role of surrogate father for Jim and explores that relationship more.

Who are your favorite spaceship and airship pirates? Leave us a comment!

 

Want to learn more about Phoebe Darqueling and her Steampunk shenanigans? Check out her author website!

9
  • 9
Categories
Reviews - Film

Gears, goggles and glamour; Corsets, crafts and creativity; Sci-fi, silliness and steampunk; Dirigibles, dancing and DIY; Physics, phonics and phoenixes; Bustles, balloons and beads; Lace, leather and life; Fantasy, feathers and flaws; Paper, piercings and pirates!
No Comment
Steampunk Journal is a Pay As You Feel site.

We really hope you like Steampunk Journal. It's run by two main Editors who work free of charge to bring you the best steampunk information they can find.
You're welcome to take a leisurely stroll around the site completely free of charge.
However, Steampunk Journal exists to promote steampunks around the world. With financial help in the form of donations, we will be able to invest in the site more and expand it to bring you even more steampunk news, reviews, interviews and articles.

Subscribe to the Journal
Never miss a post and also get our newsletter
advertisement
advertisement

RELATED BY

I say old chap, I use cookies on this site and I do hope you consider this as acceptable. It\'s all to ensure you have the best experience while you\'re here and all that. Clarify | Splendid!
Page generated in 3.067 seconds. Stats plugin by www.blog.ca