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Treasure Planet

No memorable characters. No memorable plot. Not much that resembles the book. Character designs were weak or even bad, except for one. The person who I can clearly see did that one left his name off the credits, and I understand why.

The talent is dispersing, the creativity, at least from Burbank, is now gone. Six and a half decades of feature animation is now over. No more classics will come from this studio. It's over.

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dustmeat December 8th, 2002
Disney just doesn't learn!

ruggels December 8th, 2002
I hate it when people don't name names.

The disaster and disolution of the Burbank studio was in the cardsmore than two years ago, now with >nothing< inthe pipe, we cansee that the rumorsfrom then are true now. Bummer days. But then if the medium is still viable someindependants wil keep it moving, though without the glory and production values that the great name invokes. Lots of animation, but most of it will probably be ugly, stylized and short. and Bambi willbecome the greatest work of moving art, never tobe duplicated again. well time to buy up DVD"s and LDs f Disney fetures, just so thy don't fade with studio revisionism, and marketing ineptitude. It will take years to get people trained uptothat kind of standards again.


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ruggels December 8th, 2002
Thanks for the info, though I have from another source that Dr. Doppler was animated by an animator named Sergio Pablos. kayjkay was the source ofthat information.


titanic December 8th, 2002
Sergio Pablos was the animator. It was Shawn Keller's character design.

Both of them are out of work now as far as I know.

unciaa December 8th, 2002
On the other hand, Disney has the distribution rights to Miyazaki's Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away), which has won numerous awards and became the highest-income movie of all times in Japan [toppling Titanic],... And they spend less money on its promotion than I do on ADSL each month. Are they trying to commit financial suicide in the most spectacular way possible or are they just jealous they can't produce anything above the "mediocre" like [and usually below]? Oy.

cl0pin December 8th, 2002
I don't want to see Treasure Planet. Disney's animated films don't excite me anymore. After seeing the previews for their Jungle Book sequel, I nearly lost my lunch, not to mention my interest in any new films produced by Disney. And I don't know who got the grand idea to make a sequel to every Disney film ever made, but I'm pretty sure Walt is rolling over in his grave by now.

ruggels December 8th, 2002
The reason for the "sequel-itis", or the "Cheapquels" is simply so that they can keep the character designs of their characters out of the public domain by renewing their copyrights for another 79 years, and generating a revenue stream off of parents simply buying the videos for 90 minutes of peace.


mistahbojangles December 8th, 2002
Scott, that's a gross oversimplification. The endless sequels have been done simply because they can be done for a fraction of the cost of the original and because the films have a guaranteed built in audience as soon as they reach the shelves.

As for Disney's treatment of Spirited Away, the plan was to increase the exposure of the film if it passed a stepped series of box office milestones. It didn't do strong enough business in the opening theater locations and consequently it never made it to the next series of wider releases. The general US audience doesn't know enough about Miyazaki to see it for anything more than an art-house, or foreign film. Disney needs to do more exposure on ABC and the Disney channel to acquaint their audiences with these films.

Sergio Pablos is gainfully employed in his home country of Spain. He left Disney voluntarily after Treasure Planet wrapped as he wanted to continue doing 2D animation rather than move to CGI.

And Treasure Planet is FAR more enjoyable than Dwight lets on; it's a quality film made by people who enjoyed both the original story and animation as an art form. It's a good film despite being made at Disney.

titanic December 8th, 2002
You are correct about the sequels.

I think you are correct on "Spirited Away" as well.

I had no doubt Sergio Pablos would continue to do 2D animation somewhere other than Disney.

I'm glad you liked "Treasure Planet".

I didn't.

mecampbellesq December 9th, 2002
I'm sorry, but that whole "box-office milestone" thing just reeks of manipulation: "Okay, we'll put this film into wideband distribution if it makes, oh, 45 million over it's opening weekend. Heh heh" Then when it doesn't "Sorry, we really would have liked to promote this film more, but it didn't hit the milestones, and given this lackluster performance, we'll have to consider scaling back our budget for future projects of this type...." If Disney hyped 'Spirited Away' as hard as they pimped some of their lesser films, it would have been a disaster for them as the conventional film viewing audience realized that animation could be used for something other than a way to sell Happy Meals. Disney is creating their own little quasi-legal version of the 'studio system': "We can't own the screens, so we'll do the next best thing: Own the method that gets things on those screens which we can't own."

unciaa December 9th, 2002
Bingo. What exactly is it that makes Spirited Away more of a risk, than say, Alice in Wonderland? What, people won't go see it, because it was made in Japan, even if it's fully dubbed? Bollocks. I didn't see any milestones done with Treasure Planet, and it's an obviously inferior production.

mistahbojangles December 9th, 2002
#1: It's a foreign film (in the truest sense of the word; it wasn't MADE to be fully understood by anyone other than the Japanese society)

#2: It's anime

#3: It doesn't have a recognizable star that will bring in American audiences

#4: It's not a story that is easily sellable (it's not an action, or comedy, etc)

#5: It's not a Disney product, meaning the public isn't going to automatically assume that it's a good film just because it has Disney's name on it.

You may as well argue why it's so hard to get people to eat their vegetables and brush after every meal. The answers are the same.

mecampbellesq December 9th, 2002
Why do you think that they snarfed up the distribution rights to Studio Ghibli's films? By keeping them on the Art-house circuit, they're able to pump out second-string sludge like 'Treasure Planet' without fear of competition. Disney is killing the animation field in this country, the same way that comics have essentially killed themselves: By stifling competiton (and the resulting increases in quality) by controlling what the consumers actually are allowed to see, and therefore demand.

mistahbojangles December 9th, 2002
Disney has no financial reason to harm their own property or acquisitions, and to state that what they're doing with Ghibli's films is with the universal accord of the company is again not appreciating the depth of what occurs there. There are perfectly valid reasons why Disney would want to acquire Ghibli's films and why Ghibli would want Disney to release them. The disappointing business reality that's happened so far has been more borne of the short-sighted bottom-dollar 'vision' that's been guiding Disney into the ground rather than any attempt to sabotage the competition.

And regardless of how good Miyazaki's films are, they, and Anime as a whole, remain a niche market in the US. Disney's failure lies in not cultivating a broader sense of awareness and appreciation for the value of Miyazaki's films. The anime fans out there just don't comprise a large enough audience to command more of Disney's current business attention than has already been given.

unciaa December 9th, 2002
And if Disney made any effort at all at pitching this movie to non-anime fans also, thing just might change... Alas, they don't; you don't need to be an anime fan to watch it, but if you do like they do and don't advertise then yes, only anime fans will see it. I really fail to see what Disney is gaining with this, except keeping Ghibli movies away from people. What, Mononoke cost 1.5mil to remake and made 2mil in return, that hardly sounds like a worthwhile venture. What are these valid reasons exactly?

mistahbojangles December 9th, 2002
Disney gets a strong association with one of the true modern day Walt Disneys, that's what. Instantly Disney becomes associated with a library of films that are among the most popular ever released in Japan. They didn't have to spend any money on developing the films, and the films have built in word of mouth and support. Not only that but they get to be seen as being supportive of the growing niche market of Japanese animation. Say what you will about their final advertising support, the American releases are miles better than most US anime releases. Disney also currys favor with luminaries such as John Lasseter who was one of the instrumental people behind this American release of Spirited Away.

But to look at it another way, if all they intended to do was hide the films away from the US market, surely there are cheaper ways to do it.

doronjosama December 9th, 2002
Part of the reason they are holding back on the other Ghibli films is because of Miyazaki himself, actually. They recently released the Ghibli boxed set library in Japan on DVD- which reputedly costs an arm and a leg over there. (All DVDs and CDs are disgustingly expensive in Japan- a typical CD is still $30-50 over there, because they have such strong price-fixing.) Many Japanese consumers have region-free DVD players (or use their computers), and are perfectly willing to buy the cheaper American import versions of DVD releases. (And, in the case of Disney releases, they often do.) If what I hear from Japan is correct, Ghibli wanted to make sure Japanese consumers bought *their* releases of the Ghibli catalog, for sizably larger chunks of change. So, the Disney releases were delayed so that the Japanese releases would get the biggest chunk of change for Ghibli. What it all really comes down to is money, on both sides of the ocean.

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