Treasure Planet

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

There were nights when the winds of the Etherium, so inviting in their promise of flight and freedom, made one's spirit soar.

Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island - IN SPAAAAACE!!!!!

With great gusto at that, containing: Space-sailing ships, aliens, robots, cyborgs and Space Pirates. Telling: one boy's search for the treasure of the evil pirate Flint, the Loot of a Thousand Worlds. Starring: The human Jim Hawkins, the spry cat-lady Captain Amelia, a bookish dog-like alien named Dr. Delbert Doppler, the fiendish cyborg Silver, and a metamorphosing pink blob named Morph in a Steampunk alternate pirate universe.

This Disney film was released in an overcrowded market--right on the heels of the second Harry Potter Film. For that matter, it opened less than a week after Die Another Day arrived in theaters. It may also have suffered due to the Disney Marketing Department's decision to advertise it primarily during time slots occupied by kids' shows, when its premise and content are more suitable for older audiences. Also notable for an extreme case of Dueling Movies, in its race with the similar film Titan A.E. to be released.

Whatever the reason, many fans blame this film for rudely ending Disney's confidence in hand-drawn animation for features, and which is what started the decline in their production of such films, closing their studios until 2009. Today, it's become a Cult Film thanks to its intricate blend of CGI and traditional animation.

An important point of the design of absolutely everything, was that the universe had a 70/30 ratio of the blend between Victorian-era style, and its technological capacities. In places where the two might have clashed, Cyberpunk and Steampunk technology were used to merge them together. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the designs of the ships themselves, and the design of John Silver.

It portrays a father-son bond between the two main characters and some amazingly choreographed action sequences. According to Word of God, this film was made to be Disney's big film for "single parent, Generation X" kids, as reflected in the darker family subtext. While it performed well with critics, the film flopped and flopped hard financially. As said previously, though, the film has gained a new lease on life thanks to DVD and television. Who knows? Maybe this film could someday replicate the eventual success The Nightmare Before Christmas enjoys now.

Tropes used in Treasure Planet include:

  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Mr. Turnbuckle.
  • Accidental Aiming Skills: Subverted, see Improbable Aiming Skills below.
  • Action Girl: Captain Amelia, combining it with Lady of War and Hot Amazon.
  • Adorkable: Dr. Doppler, even The Captain thinks so.
  • All for Nothing: After Scroop is delivered his karmic Disney Villain Death, there isn't much point to disabling the laser cannons.
  • All There in the Manual: A good chunk of exposition is provided by the art book, "A Voyage of Discovery"; who built Treasure Planet, how Flint got B.E.N, Silver's early life, why Leland Hawkins left his family; very useful information and leaves just enough to the imagination to write a prequel fanfic. (Then again, that last part may not be a good thing.)
  • Ambiguously Human: Silver looks human at first glance but his nails are pointed like claws, his ear is pointy and his face and chest are a continuous light tone rather than his actual hair colour (brown). He looks more like a literal shaven bear, which may actually be true.
  • Anti-Hero: Jim, as far as Disney Animated Canon will allow it. Post-Time Skip, he's constantly running afoul of the law. His mother tells Doppler outright that the solar sailor sequence was a violation of his parole, he is failing all of his classes, and he is starting to become more withdrawn.
  • Anti-Villain: John Silver. He's supposed to be the main antagonist, and he remains so for any part of the film where Scroop doesn't show up, but it turns out he's even better at being a father figure to Jim.
  • Artificial Gravity: Oddly played straight in a world where, among other things, people can breathe in space. Perhaps too straight, as it needs to be engaged even when the ship is close enough to the surface of Treasure Planet to be seen from it. And people start getting actively sucked into space if it's off, even if the ship is rising.
  • Artistic License Astronomy: "Does an active galactic nucleus have superluminal jets?" No, Dr. Doppler. While they are relativistic, the particles do not exceed the speed of light. Being such a self-styled genius, he really ought to know better. Though, considering Doppler is also something of a Know-Nothing Know-It-All, this may have been intentional.
    • One can not quite underline enough how inaccurately the film portrayed Supernovas.
  • Ax Crazy: Scroop. To a ridiculous extreme.
  • Babies Ever After: Dr. Doppler and Captain Amelia, and their children. In both trope and number, the babies are a Shout-Out to the Lady and the Tramp pups.
  • Badass Adorable: Both Morph and B.E.N. have their moments.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: But, really, how do characters in space suits convey a father-and-son relationship so perfectly?
  • Belly Mouth: A feature of one crew member. What appeared to be his head was actually another chap sitting on his shoulders, with dreadlocks-like legs.
  • Beneath the Earth: The centroid of the mechanism.
  • Big Dumb Object: Treasure Planet.
  • Book Ends: Jim riding his homemade solar surfer and being brought to the Benbow Inn by the police.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Jim Hawkins, according to his mother in an overheard conversation.

"... And you know how smart he is. He built his first solar surfer when he was eight! And yet he's failing in school..."

  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Justified, since BEN's eyes are light-up displays.
  • Catgirl: Captain Amelia, though she's much more stoic than the average cat girl and doesn't have a tail either.
  • Chance Activation: After the Benbow Inn has been burnt down and the Hawkinses are staying with Dr. Doppler, the good doctor is explaining that he has no clue of function of the "odd little sphere" which Jim now possesses. Cue Jim fiddling around with the sphere and unlocking it, thereby discovering its function: a map containing the location of the legendary Treasure Planet.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The artificial gravity.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Morph. He's a shapeshifter. The moment he and the map-ball are in the same close-up practically SCREAMS "Before the movie's over, I'm gonna morph into this ball".
  • Chekhov's Skill: Solar surfing, and this quote:

And you know how smart he is. He built his first solar surfer when he was eight!

  • Click. "Hello.": Dr. Doppler does this to a pirate after being captured.
  • Combat Stilettos: Captain Amelia dons a thigh-high pair of these as part of her outfit.
  • Composite Character: Doctor Delbert Doppler fulfills the roles of both Doctor Livesey and Squire Trelawney.
  • Conspicuous CG: The ships, the zoom-in on the spaceport, and the gratuitously CG'd space whales. Averted with Silver's cyborg parts and BEN, which were both CG'd, but the only clue is that nobody would want to draw all that by hand.
  • Cool Starship: The RLS Legacy.
  • Creator Cameo: John Musker and Ron Clements appear giving Jim and Doppler directions during the scene at the spaceport.
  • Cryptic Conversation: B.E.N.'s patchwork memory about the planet.
  • Cyberpunk/Steampunk: A nice blend, with designs for the costumes, machinery, and ships that look distinctly Steampunk in origin mixed with power, concepts, and designs from Cyberpunk.
  • Death Glare: A very nicely done one from Jim to B.E.N.

Jim Hawkins: If I'm not back in five minutes, leave without me.
Ben: I am not leaving my buddy Jimmy!
(Death Glare)
Ben: ... Unless he looks at me like that. Bye Jim!

Amelia: Actually, Doctor, your astronomical advice was most helpful.
Doppler: Well, u-uh, thank you. Thank you very much. Well, I have a lot of help to offer, anatomically--amanamonically--as...astronomically. *Face Palm*

Jim: I've got your "Mr. Mop."

    • Delbert's Freudian Slip (see above).
    • Also, when Amelia first looked at Doppler, look at his eyes. They're looking at her breasts!
  • Gravity Sucks: Most of the deaths.
  • Green Eyed Red Head: Captain Amelia.
  • Happily Married: Doppler and Amelia in the end.
  • Hive Mind: The cyborg cops in the beginning show this trait from time to time.
  • Hidden Badass: The bumbling, easily-flustered Dr. Doppler shows off his badassery, impressing more than a few people, most notably Captain Amelia, his future wife.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs
  • Hot Mom: Well, Jim had to get his good looks from someone, and as far as the film's concerned, Sarah Hawkins is the more likely candidate.
    • Captain Amelia.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: In his cybernetic arm, Silver has about a dozen cooking tools, a pistol, a sword, a crutch, and a vice, as well as all the necessary gears and other cyborg guts. He also has an Arm Cannon, but half of that appears to be strapped to his leg.
  • I Can Still Fight: Captain Amelia. "Nonsense. Cup of tea and I'll be right as rain", anyone?
  • Idiot Ball: Yeah, Jim, go ahead and piss off the spider/scorpion/lobster thing with the obvious big evil yellow eyes. I'm sure all he'll do is go cry in a corner. It's the weakness of a Deadpan Snarker. They use humor as a defense mechanism.
  • Ignored Confession: "You have...wonderful eyes." "...She's lost her mind!"
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: The Star Map.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: The good captain's got what look like an 18-inch waist and 40-inch hips.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Awesomely played straight, and even more awesomely lampshaded. During their escape from the ship, Dr. Doppler screws up his eyes and fires a pistol for the first time in his life (well... for the first time on purpose, anyway)--and the shot hits a hatch, ends up tossing several pirates out into space. Amelia stares, wild-eyed in surprise. Dr. Doppler stares at his gun, every bit as surprised as she is.

Amelia: Did you actually aim for that?
Dr. Doppler: You know, actually, I did.

    • Doubles as a Chekhov's Skill, early in the movie we see his status as a physicist give him spatial/vector awareness required for making those sorts of calculations mentally.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Explained for the most part.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Jim and Long John Silver.
  • Interspecies Romance: Maybe. Given the Gender Equals Breed facet mentioned above, it could be that Dr. Doppler and Captain Amelia are actually members of the same sexually dimorphic species.
    • The PC game Battle at Procyon offers more evidence for this, as you can have a number of dog and cat people join your crew. All the males are canine, while the females are all feline.
  • Ironic Echo: "All my life I've dreamed of an adventure like this."
  • Jumped At the Call: Delbert has been waiting for an adventure like this to happen all his life.

Delbert: I really really really REALLY want to go.

  • Just in Time: The escape from Treasure Planet.
  • Karma Houdini: Silver may be a much better person by the end, but he still gets away with theft, mutiny and a lot of child endangerment.
  • Kubrick Stare: Both Jim and Silver have their fair share of this throughout the film.
  • Leitmotif: Several. Jim has a very prominent one, as well as Silver - or, particularly, Silver's good side.
  • Lethal Chef: B.E.N. tries to serve Amelia and Delbert "drinks" that appear to consist of machine fluids, although that's more the old "robots drink motor oil" gag coupled with a robot who hasn't had any contact with carbon-based lifeforms in over a century. Apparently, he gets better once he starts working at the new Benbow Inn in the finale.
  • Like a Son to Me: John Silver's relationship with Jim, especially at the end, definitely invokes this trope along some Parental Substitute.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Apparently no one aboard the Legacy bothered to take an extra change of clothing for the voyage. Except for Silver, who changed his pants halfway through (because the stripes were too time consuming to draw)
  • Living MacGuffin: Only Jim can read the star-map.
  • Logo Joke: The second trailer has the Disney star streak morph into the spaceport.
  • Lost Technology: Any mother's son calling himself a troper can recognize this one, even if it's only hinted at remotely: The Treasure Planet, the map and the portal are on a whole different level from anything is the film, and promotional material makes reference to some really smart aliens having built them. Supposedly Flint stumbled upon them and had a really profitable idea.
  • Loveable Rogue: Silver.
  • Lzherusskie: One of the gunners.

We are wanting to move!

  • Mad Oracle: The hermit robot, B.E.N., is a bit scatterbrained from being marooned on a desert island... Er, planet. Literally having lost his "mind" helps too. Although is not so much as lost, as Flint "holding onto it" for him.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Flint's trove explodes, taking Treasure Planet with it.
  • Match Cut: The "I'm Still here" sequence has many of these.
  • Meaningful Echo:

Silver: Morph, I have a job for you. Keep an eye on this here pup.
Jim: Yeah, but I'm gonna change all that.

Ben: Disable a few laser cannons, what is the big deal? All we gotta do is find that one little wire...
[Ben opens some electrical doors, revealing a mess of wires]
Ben: Oh mama!

    • Meltdown (the fat pirate) also fits this trope:

Doppler: Excuse me, brutish pirate.
Meltdown: [Belches]
Doppler: Yes, you. I have a question. Is it that your body is too massive for your teeny-tiny head... or is it that your head is too teeny-tiny for your big, fat body?!
Meltdown: [Grabs Doppler] I PUMMEL YOU GOOD!
Doppler: Yes, I'm sure you will, but before you do, I have one more question! [pulls out a gun and points it at pirate] Is this yours?
Meltdown: [Stares at the gun in shock] Uhhhhhh....