Adventure Movies

Disney’s Underrated Sci-Fi Adventure Deserves A Live-Action Remake

April 14, 20245 Mins Read


  • Treasure Planet deserves a live-action remake to bring its unique sci-fi adventure to a new generation of viewers.
  • The steampunk aesthetic and complex themes of Treasure Planet would translate beautifully to a live-action format.
  • Marketing a live-action Treasure Planet as an adaptation of a classic novel could attract a wider audience by offering a fresh take on a familiar story.

Disney has proven that they are very invested in remaking their animated classic into live-action films, even ones that are still fairly recent. Some of these attempts work better than others, as some of the live-action movies seem to prove why the stories were told in an animated style in the first place. However, there are still multiple iconic Disney films that have yet to be adapted into live-action. Though the format doesn’t work for all of Disney’s stories, there are a few older movies that could work well in a live-action retelling.

Treasure Planet is one such Disney movie, and has a bit of a complex history. Though it is currently beloved by fans, it bombed at the box office upon its 2002 release, despite being the most expensive traditionally animated film to date with its blend of 2D and 3D animation. Even though the Disney fans who love it are vocal, it still tends to be forgotten when discussing that era of Disney’s animated films. Treasure Planet, with its serious themes and grand sci-fi setting, would translate beautifully to a live-action format.


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What Is Treasure Planet About?

Treasure Planet is a science fiction adaptation of Treasure Island, an 1883 novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. This adaptation takes the seafaring setting into space. It employs a steampunk aesthetic to evoke the feeling of a historical setting, despite the futuristic technology. Treasure Planet follows a teenage boy named Jim Hawkins who finds a map that leads to the biggest pirate treasure in the universe. He journeys across space and parallel universes as a cabin boy on a space galleon as he pursues this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Why Treasure Planet Would Make A Great Live-Action Movie

Treasure Planet Disney Pirates

Even though Disney’s attempts at live-action remakes have been pretty hit or miss, Treasure Planet could actually benefit from a live-action version. The film isn’t one of the most popular Disney properties, so a new version could boost its popularity, introducing the story and characters to a new generation who are unfamiliar with the original animated movie. Many of the elements that made Treasure Planet unique could be translated into live-action without coming at the expense of the film.

Sweeping Sci-Fi Adventure


The steampunk, sci-fi setting would be a perfect environment to work with in a live-action format. The original film already experimented with its animation style (merging traditional 2D animation with 3D), so the precedent for the necessary props and settings being CGI would already be there. (Of course, movies always look better when using practical effects wherever possible.) Treasure Planet‘s distinct aesthetic would make for lush production design in a live-action movie. There are endless exciting possibilities for everything from set decoration to costuming.

The nature of the story itself would be desirable for audiences today. It’s a sci-fi adventure movie, which is very accessible to a modern audience, even those who aren’t familiar with the source material. There has been a lot of space-themed media in recent years, and everyone loves the idea of exploring the universe. But when compared to most modern sci-fi Treasure Planet has that unique steampunk aesthetic that would make it stand out from the crowd.

Complex Themes


While Treasure Planet is an exciting adventure story that would appeal to kids and adults alike, there’s also a lot of depth to the narrative. It’s not just an adventure; it’s also a coming-of-age story about a teenage boy who is trying to find his place in the world, a theme that resonates with everyone. The found family trope becomes vital in the story too. Jim begins to see John Silver as a father figure, only to have a bit of an awakening when he discovers the character’s true intentions. It’s a complex story for a film aimed at children, and a live-action remake could do justice to the emotional beats of the movie.

Familiar Story


Treasure Planet is completely accessible to those who aren’t familiar with the original Treasure Island story. But even so, marketing it as not only a remake of a famous Disney movie, but as an adaptation of a classic novel, would help generate interest among audiences. For those who have never seen the original animated movie for whatever reason, another “live action Disney remake” might not be immediately attention-grabbing. More people might be more interested if they learned it was a Treasure Island adaptation.

People love adaptations of classic works, because it’s fun to see familiar characters and story beats transformed into something new and put into a new context. This would help a potential Treasure Planet remake reach its full potential and the widest audience possible. It could be both a piece of nostalgia for those who grew up with the movie, as well as a fresh adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic pirate tale. Viewers wouldn’t need to have seen the animated film to appreciate and enjoy the live-action version.


Starfield Player Builds RLS Legacy From Treasure Planet

A Starfield player joins the wave of ship creations in the game and ingeniously builds an RLS Legacy from the animated Disney movie Treasure Planet.

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