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It’s time for some more Treasure Planet related content, Disney+

It’s time for some more Treasure Planet related content, Disney+

27 November 2002, Treasure Planet hit theaters and quickly became a cult film that still has many fans despite a disappointing performance at the box office. 20 years later, it’s time for Disney to produce some more adventures for Jim Hawkins.

In the early 2000s, Walt Disney Animation Studios was still looking for a new direction after enjoying great success in the nineties. The Disney renaissance officially ended with the 1999s Tarzan after delivering some all-timers who Aladdin, The Lion King, Herculesand Mulan, among others. These were also the years when 3D computer animation became the game changer in the wake of the new millennium. Treasure Planet was one of the most important tests Disney Animation ran, combining computer animation with traditional. The film wasn’t as successful as expected, but it’s still a heartfelt story that deserves to be re-watched even today.

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Treasure Planet introduced a lot of exciting images that never reached their full potential. And although it failed the theatrical test and topped the production budget, the John Musker and Ron Clements-directed film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature that year. The plot had everything a good story needs, including robots, swashbucklers, spaceships and golden treasures. Jim is a charismatic and relatable protagonist searching for his place in the universe, a journey everyone goes through at some point in their lives. It’s hard not to fall for the lovable villain and his rocket-powered surfboard.

There are different reasons Treasure Planet was not a box office success, although it was based on a very popular coming-of-age story by author Robert Louis Stevenson. The most important is its theatrical release a few months after its premiere Lilo and Stitch, which was one of the major critical and commercial Disney Animation successes of the early 2000s. The story had some issues, mainly due to the absence of a big, bad Disney-esque villain. Much can be said about cyborg John Silver, but he was not a heartless character and fails as a villain even when he led a mutiny against the charming Captain Amelia. In the end, the producers were unable to keep the production budget in check, which hovered until it reached $140 million. Treasure Planet still stands today as one of the most expensive traditionally animated films in history.

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With the launch of its own streaming platform, Disney has every means of relaunching Treasure Planet franchise and value it properly. The House of Mouse is currently focusing on the live-action adaptation of the Disney Renaissance hits, so it may be a long shot to hope that the 2002 film gets the same treatment. However, some follow-up animated series can be relatively affordable and feasible. The film ended right after Jim joined the Royal Interstellar Academy, there are practically endless stories that could follow him across the countless planets in the galaxy.

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Although Treasure Planet wasn’t the perfect movie, it perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the early 2000s, when it seemed a bright and limitless future awaited. The film left the door open for more stories set in the same universe, but Disney did not believe in the potential after the film disappointed. Hopefully things will change in the Disney+ era. Meanwhile, Treasure Planet is available on the streaming service to re-watch from time to time.

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