Suffice to say, it didn’t, with TREASURE PLANET crashing and burning at the holiday box office. Looking at it ten years later, it’s easy to see why audiences didn’t warm to it. For one thing, even ten years ago the trend toward full on Pixar-style CG animated films was in full swing. By sprinkling in some action, and giving this an “edgy” PG rating (which it didn’t deserve- this is G territory), it was thought this would be an animated equivalent to the Pixar cross-over hits, but it didn’t happen. For one thing, it’s far too reminiscent of another animated sci-fi flick, TITAN AE- which sank Fox’s Animated Division in 2000. No matter how hard they tried, the target teenaged-boy demographic was not going to see a cartoon.
Transforming Treasure Island into sci-fi is also kind of a hare-brained idea. Why not just do a faithful animated version? Without the lasers and aliens that probably turned off the fans of classical Disney Animation that would have been attracted to a film like this, it might have worked. As it stands, the voice acting is fine- with Gordon-Levitt, years from stardom, making a good Jim Hawkins, even if they way they animated him, with a constant James Dean-pout, a ponytail, and an earring probably seemed lame and dated back in 2002. Brian Murray makes a great Long John Silver, and it’s always fun hearing Emma Thompson and David Hyde Pierce show up, although Martin Short as the tacked-on comic relief stretched it a bit thin. The score by James Newton Hoard is excellent, although the songs by John Resnick of the Goo-Goo Dolls aren’t the least bit memorable.
production featurettes which will be interesting to animation buffs, a virtual tour of the R.L.S Legacy which is the spaceship where the action takes place. There’s also a Disney-pedia featurette on pirates, which is broken up into tiny, bite-size segments for kiddies. All of the extras are in Standard Def. There’s also a DVD of the film bundled with the set.