The First Time I Watched Treasure Planet
The first time I saw Treasure Planet was when I was much, much younger. And I can't remember my initial reaction completely, other than it was like any other Disney movie: I wanted more for the adventure. The only vivid memories I do recall of seeing it for the first time were of me and my sister in front of the TV down in our basement, literally rolling around laughing so hard we were crying when several of the more minor characters came on and provided priceless Disney comical relief. Treasure Planet is a takeoff of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island in which the main character Jim Hawkins boards a ship and takes off in search of Captain Flint's pirate treasure.
When I was younger, Treasure Planet was merely a funny Disney movie with some intense action sequences and so it was easy for me to forget about it. I grew up, years passed, and Treasure Planet was forgotten. I no longer had time for childish movies until I entered fifth grade where we read the book Treasure Island for the first time and watched the movie after we had finished the book. I had completely forgotten about Treasure Planet until one of my best friends asked the teacher if we could watch Treasure Planet instead. There are several differences between Disney's Treasure Planet and Treasure Island, the most prominent being that the ships can fly and travel through space instead of over water. Along the way the crew meets several dangers that are unique to the universe such as a supernova instead of a sea storm.
My teacher, unfortunately, said no much to the complaint of me and my friend. The most I remember was sitting in the back of the classroom when my friend blurted it out and I perked up getting really excited because this was my favorite movie as a kid.
"Yeah! Let's watch Treasure Planet!" I had agreed. As a kid I didn't find the romantic parts of Disney movies exciting, rather I bonded with the more action packed sequences such as the dragon in Sleeping Beauty, or the war in Mulan. Being that Treasure Planet had no romance and was filled with a pirate adventure I enjoyed it much more than other children's movies I had seen. I was disappointed when we couldn't watch it in class, when the rest of my classmates couldn't experience the same inspiring magic and power of the stars the story of Treasure Planet had.
That night I actually rented it from the movie store and that was the first time the lyrics to "I'm Still Here (Jim's Theme)", a musical montage in the middle of the video, actually hit me. The lyrics were all about finding oneself and how growing up is hard. The teenaged Jim Hawkins in the movie struggled with the absence of his father and found a mentor in the deceiving pirate Long John Silver. Because of Jim's confusion and struggle, it wasn't long before I was bonding with his character. Of course I bought the song a few days later on my iTunes account (back when I had the second generation iPod shuffle
Years passed and Treasure Planet faded once more from my mind as did the encouraging song on my iPod until the start of my freshman year of high school. I had re-discovered Treasure Planet on YouTube, watched the whole thing and within moments felt something deep down inside of me click into place. To this day I do not understand what snapped into place for me. It could've been my longing for adventure, or my obsession with star gazing, but I don't think those reasons are at the core of what happened.
I was entering a dangerous period of my life. I was a sassy, obnoxious 14 year old who thought her life sucked, cried about everything, and basically was in the beginning stages of growing up and understanding the world.
I got so excited when I re-watched Treasure Planet after all of those years. I hastily told my sister about it and watched it with my little brother who hadn't really grown up with the goodness of knowing the story of Jim Hawkins' adventure to the stars and back. And for some reason, after I had watched it twice in one night, I didn't want to stop. I watched it every day after school, and Treasure Planet became more to me than a children's story it became almost a light in the dark which does sound silly considering it's a cartoon Disney movie.
I connected so much with Jim's character (despite the fact that Jim's father abandoned him at an early age) and he instantly became my favorite, Morph and B.E.N (the comical characters) still in tow. But not only did Treasure Planet spark in me some happy feeling that maybe I wasn't as alone and as angsty as I thought, but it was also the tinder for the fire that kindled a flame brighter than what I could have ever imagined
It gave me the desire to write.
The adventure was slick and sweet, pouring over me like velvety stars. One line in particular stood out to me, "You've got the makings of greatness". In the movie Long John Silver gives Jim a speech letting the fifteen year old boy know that he has greatness in him and he needs to take the helm of his own life's ship. This line stuck out to me like black lettering on pure white paper.
I've always had to deal with low confidence and shy-ness. When I entered my freshman year of high school I tried so hard to fit in with all of the more outgoing girls thinking I could be just like them, but the whole time I tried to be like them I felt uncomfortable and different. I was a triangle trying to fit into a circle. I just didn't fit.
And Treasure Planet helped me realize that I didn't have to be like "everyone else". I had my own talents, and it was finally the turning point in my life. I began to realize that I did matter, that I did have things to be proud of, that I could be original, that I was brave, smart, caring.
And all these things happened because of one single line: "You've got the makings of greatness in you."
I sure did.
My ambitions spiked off the charts. I've always been a writer. I guess I was born with an in-bred tendency to find any sort of paper and write something: any word or letter. Heck I used to check out the biggest books from the library just to say, "I read this looooonnnngggg chapter book." And when I re-watched Treasure Planet, not only did I realize I could be myself, but I realized something crucial to the core of my being that I still carry with me to this day: I needed to write.
I had to write something, anything really. My fingers itched to scribble down words of adventure, my mind constantly flitting across new ideas, my lips aching to tell a story of the ages. Now, granted, I wasn't JK Rowling at age fourteen. My writing was quite horrendous, actually (and yet I still keep the old drafts). This is not to say that I'm JK Rowling now. I have a much different writing style than hers, and she's got a lot more years of experience under her belt.
But the key factor here is that, no matter how terrible my writing was, no matter how many stories I started and never finished, no matter how many times I wrote and re-wrote and edited and scrapped and wrote again my Treasure Planet fan-fiction (or my other fiction books) about Jim Hawkins' next adventure back to the universe
I never gave up no matter how many times I felt like it, no matter how many times I was embarrassed by my writing, no matter how many times I heard my parents murmuring, questioning, if there was something wrong with the way I'd lock myself up in a room and write, write, write, write
I didn't stop. Not for one second.
It's been 3-4 years now. I'm happy to say that my writing has greatly improved, and I'm still writing Treasure Planet fan-fiction, re-writing my four year old story ideas so that I can soon print them off as little keep sakes. To be fair, for 2.5 years all I did was write about Treasure Planet. Thankfully, I've started my own book ideas now. I have a book I'm working on that I'm going to publish one day, I know it. I've got a successful following on writing websites for all of my fiction stories, not just Treasure Planet.
And to this day I still watch Treasure Planet.
When I first started watching Treasure Planet, I was embarrassed by the fact that I liked a kids' movie, and was even more embarrassed by the fact that I wrote fan fiction stories about it. I didn't even let my family members know. I was pretty paranoid. I thought everyone would make fun of me, but I cracked at last. Now I'm much more open about it. I don't mind if people know.
However, I don't prance around school announcing it. I don't talk about it much in public if there's no need to. It's become sort of a guilty pleasure. I wouldn't die of embarrassment if more people knew, but it's still something I keep closer to my heart than what I tell people I had for breakfast.
I guess Treasure Planet has helped me grow. It helped me realize that courage is the greatest treasure of all, life is just a voyage of discovery, and, oh yeah, I've got the makings of greatness, and I am no longer afraid to take the helm
And rattle the stars.