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Set in the distant future, Jim Hawkins, as a small boy, loves the bedtime stories that his mother reads to him about the space pirate, Captain Flint. The tales say that he has looted 1000 worlds, and his treasure was never found. The mystery deeply intrigued him, to the amusement of his mother. However, after his father leaves them one day, never to return, Jim enters his teenage years with little to intrigue him except causing trouble. His mother knows that he is a highly intelligent boy, but never got over the pain of his father’s abandonment. Now his mother desperately tries to run the Benbow Inn that she owns, single-handedly, while trying to raise a headstrong boy. She confides in Delbert Doppler, a family friend, of her frustrations and exhaustions. She is barely able to hold herself together when a space ship crashes in front of the inn. The sole traveler on the ship, Billy Bones, is terrified of the pirates who are after his treasure chest. Just before Bones dies, he hands the contents of the chest to Jim: a strange golden orb. Everyone in the inn runs when the pirates come after Bones, burning the inn to the ground in their search for the orb. Jim and his mother manage to escape with Delbert to his home. Jim quickly deciphers the puzzle of the orb to discover that it is actually a treasure map to Captain Flint’s mysterious loot of 1000 worlds. Delbert, with a little boy’s excitement, decides to use his life’s savings to fund an expedition to bring it back. It is a trip that will change all of their lives forever.
This amazing movie helps to address the issues kids face in dealing with parental abandonment, and becoming the best person you can be no matter how humble your beginnings are. It is important for children to see that they are still the same amazing person they always were, even if a parent has gone. They are still just as smart, loving, and capable of great things. The story also points out the overwhelming struggle of the parent who is left behind. They often feel as though nothing they do is good enough, even though they work themselves to exhaustion. But when you see your child succeed, all is worth it in the end.
(If you have additional ideas on how this film can be used for educational purposes, please let us know in the comments below.)
Doctor Doppler: I don’t know how you manage it, Sarah. Trying to run a business while raising a felon – felon? – fellow – fellow like Jim.
Sarah Hawkins: Manage it? I’m at the end of my rope. Ever since his father left, well, Jim has never recovered. You know how smart he is. He built his first solar surfer when he was eight. But lately, he’s been failing school, he’s constantly getting into trouble, and whenever I talk to him he’s like a stranger to me.
[after discovering the map to Treasure Planet] Jim Hawkins: Mom, this is it! This is the answer to all our problems!
Sarah Hawkins: Jim, there is absolutely no way…
Jim Hawkins: Don’t you remember? All those stories?
Sarah Hawkins: That’s all they were! Stories!
Jim Hawkins: [frustrated] With that treasure, we could rebuild the Benbow a hundred times over!
Sarah Hawkins: Well this- it’s just- oh, my. Delbert, would you please explain how ridiculous this is?
Doctor Doppler: [sternly] It’s totally preposterous! Traversing the entire galaxy alone!
Sarah Hawkins: Now at last we hear some sense!
Doctor Doppler: That’s why I’m going with you!
Captain Amelia: [to a protesting Doppler] Let me make this as… monosyllabic as possible. I… don’t much care for this crew you hired. They’re…
Captain Amelia: how did I describe them, Arrow? I said something rather good this morning before coffee.
Mr. Arrow: ‘A ludicrous parcel of driveling galoots,’ ma’am.
Captain Amelia: [to Doppler] There you go, poetry.
John Silver: Didn’t your pap ever teach you to pick your fights a bit more carefully? [Jim looks away]
John Silver: Your father not the teachin’ sort?
Jim Hawkins: No. He was more the “taking off and never coming back” sort.
John Silver: Now you listen to me, James Hawkins. You got the makings of greatness in you, but you got to take the helm and chart your own course. Stick to it, no matter the squalls! And when the time comes you get the chance to really test the cut of your sails, and show what you’re made of… well, I hope I’m there, catching some of the light coming off you that day.
John Silver: Look at you! Glowing like a solar fire. You’re something special, Jim. You’re gonna rattle the stars, you are!
Jim Hawkins: Silver, you gave up…?
John Silver: Just a lifelong obsession, Jimbo. I’ll get over it.