Treasure Planet (2002)

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Released 20-May-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-RLS Legacy-Technical Tour; RLS-Legacy-Nautical Tour
Game-RLS Legacy-Treasure Hunt
Featurette-DisneyPedia: The Life Of A Pirate Revealed
Featurette-Disney's Animation Magic
Music Video-I'm Still Here (Jim's Theme)-John Rzeznik
Deleted Scenes-2
Alternate Ending
Audio-Visual Commentary-Roy Conli (Prod), Ron Clements (Dir) & John Musker (Dir)
Trailer-Treasure Island
Gallery-Story Art; Visual Development; Paintings; Moments
Featurette-The "Hook" Test; Animation: Delbert Doppler
Featurette-Silver Progression Animation; Pencil Animation
Featurette-The Brandywine School; The 70/30 Rule
Featurette-Colour Keys; Layout Demos; Treasure Planet Found; Lighting
Gallery-The Characters (16)
Featurette-Pose Camera; Effects Animation
Easter Egg-DVD Credits
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 91:31 (Case: 95)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (68:46) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By John Musker
Ron Clements
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Tony Jay
Laurie Metcalf
Brian Murray
David Hyde Pierce
Martin Short
Emma Thompson
Michael Wincott
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music James Newton Howard


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Arabic Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Czech
Hungarian
Arabic
Bulgarian
Croatian
Slovenian
Czech Titling
Hungarian Titling
Arabic Titling
Czech Audio Commentary
Hungarian Audio Commentary
Arabic Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Based on Robert Louis Stevenson's famous adventure story, Treasure Island, Treasure Planet is Walt Disney's latest animated feature to arrive on DVD.

    "I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he came plodding to the inn door, his sea-chest following behind him in a hand-barrow—a tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man, his tarry pigtail falling over the shoulder of his soiled blue coat, his hands ragged and scarred, with black, broken nails, and the sabre cut across one cheek, a dirty, livid white. I remember him looking round the cover and whistling to himself as he did so, and then breaking out in that old sea-song that he sang so often afterwards: 'Fifteen men on the dead man's chest-- Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!'"

    Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), wrote Treasure Island for his stepson in 1881. As the passage above from Chapter One illustrates, it's a beautifully written book, that paints very strong visual images. Stevenson said of his book "If this don't fetch the kids, why, they have gone rotten since my day". It's an exciting tale of pirates, treasure maps, a mutiny, and adventure on the high seas. Treasure Island remains one of literature's best loved, and most read, adventure stories. Not surprisingly, a number of films have been made of Treasure Island, including a live-action movie by Disney.

    Treasure Planet cleverly blends new and old in both substance and form. The script blends an old story with a new tale set in a sci-fi arena; the animation blends traditional hand-drawings with the latest CG techniques. For example, the character of John Silver is a hand-drawn cyborg, pirate, but with one CG arm. Adopting a 70/30 rule, in every scene, about 70% of what you see and hear is 19th century, and about 30% is sci-fi future. This very effectively relocates this swashbuckling pirate story into the future, while maintaining a consistent approach to both technology and language.

    Treasure Planet reminded me a little of Fox Animation Studio's Titan AE in both its art direction and story. However the resemblance is only skin-deep. Treasure Planet is a family movie with great characters, and a very strong story. Set on the planet Montressor, Jim (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a talented youth, but constantly in trouble. He just can't seem to fit in, and dreams of adventure and other worlds. His single mother (Laurie Metcalf) struggles to run an Inn by herself, and worries about her son. Through a twist of fate, Jim is given a map to the legendary Treasure Planet, a planet where "the loot to a thousand worlds" has been hidden by space pirates. Along with family friend, Dr. Doppler (David Hyde Pierce), Jim sets off on an adventure to locate the treasure and win his mother's pride.

    In regards to the animation, the clean-up work is excellent, and the results are rich and detailed, even when blown up by a projector. The animators adopted the look of the Brandywine School of illustrators, especially that of N.C. Wyeth, who illustrated the most famous edition of Treasure Island. As a result, the movie has a lush and warm story-book appearance, similar to a 19th century oil painting (plenty of warm palettes and a single light source). The vocal casting is excellent, and the stand-out voices include the talented Emma Thompson, Martin Short, and Michael Wincott.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is close to perfect.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1. I understand that this is its original aspect ratio, although it was matted to 1.85:1 in its theatrical release. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    Except for the occasional soft background, the image is razor sharp throughout.

    The colour is excellent and accurate, and an important part of the story-telling.

    There are no problems with MPEG, film-to-video, or film artefacts. Very rarely, there appeared to be some macro-blocking or edge enhancement, but it was very slight, and hardly noticeable.

    14 sets of subtitles are present on the DVD, and the English subtitles are accurate.

    This is a RSDL disc, with the layer change placed at 68:46. It is noticeable, but not disruptive.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio is excellent, and of reference quality.

    Originally released theatrically in Dolby Digital, dts, and SDDS, the DVD offers Dolby Digital 5.1 audio for the feature in English, Czech, Hungarian, and Arabic. While the English track is encoded at 448kb/s, the others are encoded at only 384kb/s.

    There is also an English Audio Commentary, presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192kb/s).

    The dialogue quality is excellent on the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track.

    The musical score is credited to James Newton Howard, who also scored Disney's Dinosaur and Atlantis. The score display's Howard's usual dramatic flair. There are also a couple of songs by John Rzeznik, whose voice and musical style you might recognize from the Goo Goo Dolls.

    The surround presence and activity is very immersive. While never drawing too much attention to themselves, the rear speakers are used effectively throughout to help carry the score and provide ambience. This maintains a nice sound field while keeping the viewer firmly focussed on the screen. There is also a fair amount of directional dialogue and sound effects.

    The subwoofer is also utilized very effectively throughout, with the movie's many explosions and space ship engines.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras are plentiful and inventive, although at times they are badly organized, and repetitive.

Menu

    An animated menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

Intergalactic Space Adventures

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio, there are three featurettes:

Featurette—DisneyPedia: The Life Of A Pirate Revealed (12:10)

    Again for kids, this is a quick look at:

Featurette—Disney's Animation Magic (14:30)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio, this featurette is hosted by Roy Disney, and includes short interviews and a behind-the-scenes peek at producing the movie.

Music Video—I'm Still Here (Jim's Theme)-John Rzeznik (4:14)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo.

Audio-Visual Commentary

    Roy Conli (Prod), Ron Clements (Dir), John Musker (Dir), and a few of the other principal crew members provide an audio commentary with a difference. At certain moments, the movie will pause, and Conli, Clements and Musker will appear in an on-screen discussion of the movie. Also, some behind-the-scenes material, alternative scenes, or abandoned concepts might also pop-up where appropriate. I found this technique quite clever and more informative than the regular style of audio commentary. These extra segments are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo.

Behind The Scenes

Art Design

The Characters

    With no less than 16 galleries, there are many design sketches for the characters included. Also, for John Silver and B.E.N, there are a few extra featurettes: Hook Test, Silver Arm Test, and 3D characters in a 2D world. I found the Hook test interesting, to test if a 2D pirate could have a 3D CG animated arm, a section of Peter Pan was reworked with the CG arm on Capt. Hook. These features also highlight the difficulty of blending 2D and 3D animation.

Animation

    These short featurettes cover the design from the conceptual art, to the storyboards, to the final film. Of note is the comparison of the original rough animation to the final film.

Dimensional Staging

    Short featurettes, divided into Colour Keys; Layout Demos; Treasure Planet Found; and Lighting. These explain how the film achieves its sense of depth and realism.

Music

    This is the music video, I'm Still Here (Jim's Theme) by John Rzeznik (again!), presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo.

Deleted Scenes

Featurette—Merging 2D and 3D Worlds

Deleted Scenes

    These are the same deleted scenes that appear under another heading called Deleted Scenes.

Easter Egg

    The DVD credits.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Treasure Planet was released on DVD in Region 1 in April 2003.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    It's pretty even, but I would prefer the R4 for the PAL transfer, over the R1's additional extras. Also note, while there are some great deals out there, the R1 RRP is $29.99US, compared with a R4 RRP of $34.95AUD.

Summary

    While Treasure Planet is not destined to become one of Disney's classics, such as Snow White, Peter Pan, Aladdin, or the Lion King, it is still a very good family movie and an excellent animated adventure.

    The video quality is close to perfect.

    The audio quality is of reference quality.

    The extras are plentiful and genuine.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Sunday, May 18, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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