Do you know that feeling, when you are required to do something you usually enjoy? And because it has become something you’re forced to do, you find you enjoy it less than before? That’s what happened to me over the last two weeks. I had to monitor the release of trailers on various platforms and write about it. It put me off film-related writing for a bit. But I’m back! Again. And to fully get the flow going, I thought I’d write about something I really enjoy. Honestly, it’s a miracle this hasn’t come up earlier: let’s talk about Disney.
In order to have a successful conversation with me on this topic, you need to be aware of the three golden rules. Rule no. 1: you are NEVER too old for Disney! Don’t allow anyone to ever make you feel otherwise. Rule no. 2: the best Disney-film is The Lion King. By far. This doesn’t mean I am a “twenty-something guy”. Second place is a tie between Aladdin and Hercules. Rule no. 3: it is okay to find an animated character attractive. My first TV crush was Rutger Hauer as Floris in Floris, an old Dutch TV series. My first animated crush was probably Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid, though being older now (and thus wiser. Ahem.) I have become familiar with most of the other Disney hotties. Right now, it’s a draw between Flynn Rider from Tangled and Jim Hawkins from Treasure Planet.
Which brings me to my next point. I feel that Treasure Planet is wildly underappreciated. It’s an amazing animated coming-of-age pirate story based on a classic book, set in space. The protagonist is a bad boy guys can identify with and girls could fall for. The soundtrack is composed by James Newton Howard (one of the better composers out there these days). And did I mention that Jim is voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt? I mean COME ON. How could anyone resist that? So why does almost no one I talk to even recognize the title? Some people must have liked it, because only a year later something remarkably similar was released.
Here’s a description: it’s an amazing animated romantic pirate story based on a classic book. The protagonist is a bad boy guys can identify with and girls could fall for. The soundtrack is composed by James Newton Howard. And did I mention that the protagonist is voiced by Brad Pitt? Yes, I am talking about the Dreamworks-produced Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas.
So why is that one better known (within certain circles)? Well, for starters, Sinbad has three famous actors for the voices of its characters, while Treasure Planet has one (and he wasn’t even that famous yet at the time). On top of that, there is one scene in the movie (partially) showing off Sinbad’s amazingly tight ass. Yes, I went there. Because fairy tales usually attract a large female audience, the producers will do anything to lure in guys. Take Esmeralda, Ariel, or Jessica Rabbit (sure, she is an extreme, but you get my point). It’s nice to see that the ladies are given a treat as well here.
Another important aspect is the fact that Sinbad actually has a romantic story going on in the foreground of the movie. Marina is one of the stronger animated women out there. She is very pro-active and fights for what/who she wants. And this is not just any romantic interest, it is actually a love triangle, which of course always makes everything more exciting (or so recent movies seem to believe). She is also one of the few animated ladies with short hair (the only others I can come up with are Anastasia and Rapunzel after her haircut), which is just cool. This lack of a romantic interest for Jim means that fanfiction for Treasure Planet is running rampant. The craziest combinations are created, because anything works. And when I say anything, I mean ANYTHING. My personal favorite is Ariel (usually in her human form) and Jim.
So which film do I prefer? Let’s see: they both have very attractive male leads, brought to life by awesome actors (JGL obviously wins here, but it’s still pretty cool that they managed to get Brad Pitt for Sinbad. Incidentally, I think he was even better as Metroman in Megamind), they both have amazing music, a strong storyline, and the animation looks great. I lack superlatives to do these movies full justice. Just, just watch them okay? The one thing is that Sinbad has the romantic story, if that’s your thing. So that would pull it slightly ahead. Still: Joseph Gordon-Levitt! He’s just… Right? Yes? HIM. Is it okay if I call it a tie? Let’s.