Space Pirates: Treasure Planet

   I was really prepared to dislike Treasure Planet. For one, a movie critic (I know, I know, never listen to movie critics) said they would forgive the directors of Treasure Planet due to some spectacular film they made after that apparently made up for it. Plus, it’s a pirate story set in space. Which means it will either be completely awesome, or absolutely terrible.
      This goes back to expectations. I had high expectations, built up by Netflix taking forever, of Home on the Range. Conversely, Treasure Planet arrived in lieu of HOTR, so it has been sitting on my dining room table for about two weeks. The grass is always greener, and I wanted to watch the next movie in sequence, instead of out of order.
      The cold hasn’t really helped. It has been unusually cold for Alaska in November. I mean cold— minus 13 at night, highs of one or two during the day. I’ve been listening to Christmas music (who wouldn’t? It is too cold to go outside and there’s snow on the ground—it feels much more like Christmas than Thanksgiving. Also, Thanksgiving music is a pretty small genre). In that spirit, while anxiously awaiting Make Mine Music (my whole project has been messed up by the Disney Movie Club, who mailed my movie over two weeks ago. Yet still I haven’t received it. Yet when I call, it should arrive that day. Netflix doesn’t have it, so I had to buy it, and now I can’t get it! It’s a very frustrating process), I’ve been delaying watching TP and have instead been watching Christmas movies.
      Then my dear friend Kelsie invited me over for dinner and a movie, and welcomed me to bring my current Disney movie. Since all I had was Treasure Planet, I took it with me, not expecting her to want to watch it. To say I was surprised to see that not only has she seen it, but she also likes it, would be an understatement.
      Watching a movie with someone who likes it versus someone who has never seen it are two very different experiences. Watching Brother Bear with James allowed me to regress into my first time watching it (in theatres with a childhood friend). Watching TP with someone I knew who liked it made me more inclined to like it.
      I really lucked out with the friends I made when we moved here. I see Kelsie and Alyssa most often, and not only do they not mind my oddities, but they like Disney movies too! Alyssa and I like to practice our Spanish on each other (though she’s much more advanced than I); before the project started, we watched Bolt together in Spanish.
      So I lucked into finding these two amazing women who love to cook and love Disney. Well, Kelsie made a delicious dinner (one of the things I love about her is her ability to just move on—when she didn’t have everything she needed for a side dish, she just picked something else.) We ate while watching Treasure Planet, with Alyssa joining us midway through the movie.
      I was enjoying myself so much—these ladies are a lot of fun to spend time with—that I didn’t pay attention to the movie that much. I was vaguely irritated at the lack of explanation on why there were anthropomorphic alien animals and how they could breathe the same air as humans. Also, in 2002 the braided rat tail was definitely no longer in fashion, and the protagonists’ hair just annoyed me to no end. I just wanted to sneak up behind him and shave that little thing off.
      I did like the combination of old and new—the pirate culture and the space-age culture.  I loved the book that read itself to you and the little kid version of Jim.
      But because I was joking around with friends and we were pausing to make dinner and chat and just have fun, I wasn’t really paying super attention to the plot. Plus Kelsie’s dog is adorably distracting (mostly because she’s so independent and I’m used to having a dog permanently glued to my side—in fact, right at this moment, Charlie is laying on one side of me and Nala is laying on the other) that her absence distracted me. Because something just isn’t right if I’m not cuddling with a puppy while watching my Disney movie.
      I put off exploring the special features because the main thing I remembered about the movie was the rat-tail and utter lack of an explanation for so many creatures sharing the same atmosphere. When I finally did decide to explore them, just getting to the special feature was so annoying I gave up. A special features menu—on a space voyage film, no less—should not be hard to navigate.
      I decided to go ahead and just watch the film again. This time, James joined me. The dialogue is funny and witty, the characters individual and well developed, and there is only a single fart joke in the whole thing (not bad, considering the fall of Disney with the udders joke in HOTR). Once again, my viewing companion enhanced my experience. He enjoyed it so much I forgot how much I hated the rat-tail and atmospheric details and I enjoyed it, again.
      I don’t think it’s one I’ll want to own or watch again and again, but it was enjoyable to watch it a couple of times. I like the Disney addressed a parent who chose to leave—all the other single-parent heroes lose their parent to death or an evil force.
      I have to say, Disney nailed the villain this time. Of course, there’s a death—it is Disney, after all. The spider-crab-lobster villain is the epitome of my fears. It’s like Disney saw into my darkest nightmares…and made them real. I mean, come on. The villain is a giant spider, with crab-lobster claws and the same hair as the skeleton dude from Tales from the Crypt. It’s like they invaded my mind and took my deepest, darkest fears to make the worst, scariest villain ever. Okay, maybe not ever. But pretty dang close.
       I was a bit surprised the love story didn’t involve the main character. I was glad Jim got his act together. He looks much better at the end of the film, sans rat tail and with a military-esque haircut. Much better.

            I’m not usually a fan of futuristic plots, but I did like this one. Of course, I do have a soft spot for space. I love Lost in Space, the live-action one where the kids at space camp accidently go into space. I can’t say sci-fi/fantasy appeals to me, but there are always exceptions. And while I had a little trouble suspending my disbelief at first, in the end Disney won. And that’s how it should be.


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