Treasure Planet

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Treasure Planet Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Outer-space pirate treasure hunt lots of fun; fab animation.
  • PG
  • 2002
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Jim Hawkins learns a great deal about coming to terms with an early tragedy and overcoming grief with constructive behavior. He comes to understand the value of "charting his own course" and sticking with it. A seemingly heartless villain is redeemed, proving that change for the better is always a possibility.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Consistently In trouble and nearly breaking his single mother’s heart, Jim matures into a courageous, honest, and loyal young man who makes heroic choices. The female captain of the pirate ship is a leader of the first order: wise, strong, and in control. Villains and heroes come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and species.


Cartoon action throughout: chases, battles, falls, all manner of weaponry from the swords of centuries ago to lasers, explosions and portals leading to the unknown. Two characters die; many others are nearly killed by firestorms, falls through space, explosives, gun and cannon fire, sabotage, and toothy, clawed aliens. The creatures are more bizarre and funny than truly scary, but some have sharp claws, fangs, fiery eyes, and weapons instead of arms and legs.


A few funny scenes occur in which interplanetary characters speak "flatula" -- a barrage of farts and other bodily sounds (and smells).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Treasure Planet is a swashbuckling pirate adventure in outer space that is a delight for kids who understand the difference between reality and fantasy. Time and again, the film puts young Jim Hawkins and his treasure-hunting partners in danger. Soaring cartoon mayhem and suspense come from mighty explosions, firestorms, black holes, mutinous interspecies creatures, air battles, and multiple narrow escapes. A few featured characters die; one falls into a black hole. Lots of comedy along with the derring-do, including a creature who speaks "flatula" loud, clear, and odiferous.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byryansmom April 9, 2008

Great adventure story with important moral lessons!

Not only is this movie wonderfully animated, it is based on a classic story that teaches that not everyone is what they appear and that even "bad guys... Continue reading
Adult Written byT J March 6, 2020
Teen, 14 years old Written byEspumaMarina October 15, 2010

Wow..... words can not discribe how utterly wicked that was!

Oh my gosh, I just got done watching it, it was PURE awesome! Jim starts out as rebelous (but CARING) Teen, who cares about his mother and other people (which i... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMavrah333 May 27, 2015

Refreshingly different take on classic novel is imaginative, humourous and touching.

Arguably as good as (if not better than) the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Planet is a family adventure combining science fiction, pirates,... Continue reading

What's the story?

In TREASURE PLANET, Jim Hawkins (voice of Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a spirited kid who worries his single mother by getting into trouble with a contraption that is like a flying skateboard. A dying man gives him a map that can lead him to the planet where the greatest pirate in history hid his treasure. Dr. Doppler (voice of David Hyde Pierce), a family friend, finances an expedition to go in search of the treasure.

Doppler and Jim set off on a huge ship led by Captain Amelia (voice of Emma Thompson). Jim is assigned to work with the ship's gruff cook, John Silver, a cyborg who is part human, part machine. Jim thinks John is his friend until he overhears him talking to the crew about plans to take over and steal the treasure for themselves. Once on the planet where the treasure is hidden, Jim meets BEN, an oddball robot with half his memory missing (voice of Martin Short). Jim, John, and the others race each other and the pirate's booby-traps to get the treasure.

Is it any good?

This animated sci-fi adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic story is a dazzling vision, with masted schooners sailing past stars and planets. If Treasure Planet is not Disney at its best, it's Disney at its still-pretty-much-better-than-anyone else. Computer and hand animation are brilliantly combined, using the best of both worlds so that the characters have a full range of expressions while the vistas are magnificently three-dimensional. This is exactly what animation should be about, presenting us with a thrillingly imaginative adventure that's utterly liberated from trivialities like the laws of physics and possibility.

Treasure Planet is wonderfully visually inventive, with dozens of witty details. John Silver is a marvel of animation integration and form tied to content, his mechanical parts created by computer and his human parts created by hand. The voice talent is marvelous, especially Thompson, playing the captain as a sort of starchy governess who happens to be extremely brave and have a wicked sense of humor, and Short, who was born to be animated.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why it was hard for Jim to behave well before the trip and what will be different for him afterward. 

  • How doesTreasure Planet compare with pirate stories you've seen or read? What aspects are different? The same? 

  • If you had all that treasure, what would you do with it?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love pirates and adventure

Themes & Topics

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