VIDEO: Treasure Planet (2002) vs. Titan A.E. (2000)

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What do Robert Louis Stevenson and aliens destroying the Earth have in common? A lot more than you might think. The Animated Heroine looks at two animated space adventure films that were box office disappointments, Disney’s Treasure Planet and Don Bluth’s Titan A.E.

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  • Richard Eriksson Hjelm

    I really liked the whole space ships that are old sailing ships as it gave the movie a rather sureal feel

    • Thomas Stockel

      I sometimes wonder if the producers were inspired by the Swords of The Swashbucklers graphic novel and comic published under Marvel Comic’s Epic line during the mid-eighties.

      In it you had aliens flying around space in sailing ships and a human girl and her cat getting sucked into the adventure. The girl gets super powers, the cat essentially becomes Puss ‘n Boots. I think it would have made for a good mini series, but not an ongoing.

  • The_Stig

    I watch this series for only one reason: The pimp coffee mugs :). But seriously of the two, I actually prefer Titan A.E but I do love Long John Silver’s fish and shrimp variety platter.

    I also love Treasure Planet’s pseudo-steampunk design.

  • CaptainCalvinCat

    Excuse me, you’ll find me surprised.
    You can’t get, why Korso, Kosmo, Kimono or whatever his name is, is putting on this great act (looking as the great hero, that can inject hope in Cale again), but you can see, why someone “good” would ally with someone, who is clearly the villain because he did bad things in the beginning?

    Sorry, with me it is the other way around – I can get why someone would put on a great act, trying to look like he would need the help of the hero to accomplish great, important things and I can see the hero inevitably falling for that.

    What I can’t see is the hero go to the bad guy and being lulled into false security, although he had seen do the bad guy bad things before…

  • Michael Hutchison

    I’m really surprised by this review. I’ve watched Titan A.E. many times, but I can’t stand Treasure Planet. (That robot really is the worst!)

    Titan A.E. was written by the guys who went on to do Firefly, and you can see some of those elements in this film. The best scene, by far, is the “clever guard” exchange. It’s so well done, that I wish there were a few more moments as clever as that one. Your criticisms of specific weak points, particularly the cookie-cutter characters that have their personalities shoved at us in little nuggets, are accurate. Still, I think it’s one of Bluth’s best films by far, and it certainly deserved more attention than it got.

  • freddy

    I loved Titan AE when I saw it in theaters, but yeah. It hasn’t aged well. I’m not sure that Korso’s characterization is really all that inconsistent though. He approaches Cale like a mentor trying to recruit a standard underdog hero. Almost like he’s imitating a movie. But Cale is too jaded, rebellious, and cynical to bite. And of course once he sees that approach won’t work, he can’t exactly change gears and appeal to greed, or he’d blow any chance of fooling him. All in all, Titan AE feels like a movie that needed at least one more draft befor eit was ready.

    As for Treasure Planet, has any movie ever come so close to being ruined by one character? Ugh, Bob is the worst. That said, I absolutely love the… sailpunk, I guess, look of the movie. It’s easily my favorite thing in the movie.

  • Capt. Harlock

    Hmmm. Pretty, petite, brunette, smart, sarcastic, snarky and unattainable = perfection! Sorry, don’t hate me for pointing that out; I’m merely a jaded Space Pirate…

    The problems with “Titan: AE” can partially be explained by the deleted/unfinished scenes; they ran over time and over budget, thus failing to make the story what it should have been. I blame that on the Drej-specific CGI.

    As to the motivations of the Drej; it was a SciFi classic, at least from a book standpoint. They were hive-mind creatures of pure energy whose Queen had the clairvoyance to foresee that Humans would destroy her race, so she tried to preempt that by destroying Earth. Which, of course, caused said destruction by setting-up the conditions which eventually force Cale to activate the Titan, which used the Drej’s energy to create Planet Bob. Everything the Drej Queen did to prevent the Drej genocide led directly to it, including recruiting Corso and the Hyena-man.

    Now, as to B.E.N. in Treasure Planet… did you really hate the character, or was it the fault of the voice actor? Martin Short can be a bit much… at least it wasn’t Bobcat Goldthwaite or Gilbert Godfried!