Treasure Planet (2002)

Genres - Children's/Family, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Family-Oriented Adventure, Space Adventure  |   Release Date - Nov 27, 2002 (USA)  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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On the heels of the Lilo & Stitch, and for the second time in a year, Disney tries to revitalize its hand-drawn animation department through science fiction. Here, the results feel foreign -- not only in subject matter, but stylistically, especially for a studio at the forefront of animation. Disney might as well have spent its final old-school gasps on a dinosaur movie, because that's how ancient this form feels in Treasure Planet, whose soggy story line lacks the same luster as the visuals. A few inventive space-age upgrades of Treasure Island notwithstanding, Treasure Planet is a dreary, desolate affair chock full of stock Disney character types: the boy without a father, the reprehensible villain, and as many as three characters who function as the goofy sidekick -- the most annoying of which, a yammering robot voiced by Martin Short, gets pointlessly added to the motley cast a mere 20 minutes from the finish. While that certainly qualifies as a blessing, it adds fat just when the movie should finally be scaling back toward the conclusion. As previously hinted, Disney does earn some points for imagination, via the shape-shifting blob called Morph, plus the innovative mechanics of Silver's cyborg body and the interstellar pirate ship. Silver is also one of Disney's most ambiguous characters yet, a welcome thing. Too bad that a few strong gestures ultimately succumb to a mutiny of weaker ones.