Classics Review: Treasure Island

“Treasure Island” was officially released in 1950. (same year Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon came out) It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. There are two reasons why I wanna share my thoughts on Disney’s first live-action film. First, Disney officially turns 100. Walt founded the company back in 1923. Second, Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” will be released on May 26, 2023. I think it’s gonna be a critical and box office flop. As you already know, Treasure Island has already been remade. Most notably, “Muppet Treasure Island” and the criminally underrated “Treasure Planet.” I’ll be covering various movies from Disney’s filmography from past to present to celebrate the company’s milestone. Which Disney movies should I review next? Please leave a comment and I’ll respond back.

I don’t care if SPOILERS are listed. We’re already familiar with the story told in different interpretations. Keep in mind, this a mini-review.

Rich & Poor Aspects

Rich: The Cast (minus Bobby Driscoll) all did a solid job for their respective performances.

Walt Disney himself produced the film. He made sure plot elements from the book were intact.

Chemistry between Jim, Long John and other characters serves as the main highlight. Their conflicting interaction over buried treasure shapes the story forward.

Gun Battles were alright. Not on the same high-octane level as “Equilibrium.” Just, standard.

Pacing didn’t feel slow or fast for an hour and a half movie.

Set Pieces and Costume Designs were manually built reflecting the 1760s.

Although a double-crossing pirate, Long John has redeeming qualities saving Jim from a knife wound and sparing him at the end.

Primary Themes are Coming-of-Age and Self-Discovery. Both were handled carefully.

Poor: Bobby Driscoll’s performance as Jim Hawkins felt odd. He has an American accent rather than a British accent. He also opens his mouth showing his teeth as if he’s a young “Napoleon Dynamite.” The late actor’s also the voice of Disney’s “Peter Pan.”

Jim didn’t scream or felt any pain when a knife hits him in the arm.

When Jim encounters Long John, he passes out. I couldn’t take it seriously.

The Final Verdict: B-

I can’t believe I’m saying this, Disney’s first live-action film is average. At least it’s not a stinker like the original “Cinderella.” Sorry Disney fans, I didn’t like it one little bit. If you wanna see a better version of Treasure Island, I suggest Muppets Treasure Island and Treasure Planet.

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