Animal Treasure Island

Alt title: Doubutsu Takarajima

Movie (1 ep x 75 min)
3.244 out of 5 from 187 votes
Rank #9,888

When the pirate cat Flint leaves young Jim and his mouse companion Gran a map to Treasure Island, the two find themselves swept up in a glorious adventure. On the high seas the duo encounters sea creatures and destroyed ships galore; but most importantly, they find themselves prisoners aboard the ship of the dreaded Long John Silver. Alongside Kathy, Flint’s granddaughter, Jim and Gran will brave violent storms, try to keep the map safe, and ultimately try their best to find the treasure before their captors do first!

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Way before One Piece or Pirates of the Caribbean, there was this movie, which is essentially an alternative version of the famous Treasure Island book, the oldest and most renowned pirate adventure. The premise and general story are the same but the plot is very loosely based on it, and I don’t just mean the anthropomorphic animals. There is a lot more mystery, action, and humor in it, making it captivating to the most part.There are different pirate crews which compete with each other for who gets to be the first in solving a riddle and finding an enormous treasure on an island. Mysteries, backstabbing, and turn heels offer enough plot twists to keep the excitement up and preventing the movie from being too straightforward. I mean, sure, it’s still a children’s adventure and most of the plot is fairly predictable with fairly simple too good or too bad characters, but I still think they did a fine job with what they had. On the bad side, the graphics are really dated, with simplistic artwork and lighting effects. This is mostly mitigated by fast paced action, which although not well animated, the quick succession of scenes and some crafty camera angles make the fighting characters to burst with life. Toei may be a joke today and this is not one of their best works, but you definitely see the passion thrown into it; especially considering the time it was made. And if for any reason you are reminded of Laputa or Future Boy Conan while watching it, it’s because Hayao Miyazaki was a key animator as well as a storyboarder. Voice acting is, well, loud and simplistic like in any typical fighting shonen but fits the personalities and tone of the film. Sound effects and music themes also do a good job at inspiring adventure, despite being cheery and cheesy. Besides the two main human children, the rest of the characters are anthropomorphic animals. They don’t have any prevailing personalities or much of a backdrop story and are mainly used for comedy purposes. The leads get some drama and attention but they function more as proxies for the child audience than being well defined or standing out from most of their counterparts in other such movies. Body language and facial expressions are still pretty lively during action scenes, so at least they can’t be called dull.Although fairly forgettable once it’s over, since it is stand alone and there is way too much spectacle nowadays by other franchises, it is time well spent if all you seek is a simple but well made 70s action adventure for the family. Just don’t let the dated visuals get in the way. SUGGESTION LIST One PieceLaputa: Castle in the SkyFuture Boy ConanThe Mysterious Cities of GoldDuck TalesPirates of the Caribbean

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