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Animation / Treasure Island (1988)

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Treasure Island (Остров сокровищ) is a classic Soviet two-part comedic Animated Adaptation of an eponymous book by Robert Louis Stevenson, directed by David Cherkasskiy and starring Valery Chiglyayev as Captain Flint/The Narrator, Valery Bessarab as Jim Hawkins, Armen Dzhigarkhanyan as John Silver, Viktor Andriyenko as Captain Smollett and Billy Bones, Evgeny Paperny as Dr. Livesey, Boris Vozniak as Squire Trelawney and Yuri Yakovlev as Ben Gunn.

The first part, titled "The Map of Captain Flint", was aired in 1986, followed by more refined "The Treasure of Captain Flint" two years later.

Notably, the adaptation remains fairly faithful to the book plot-wise, though most characters suffer from Flanderisation.

The full version with English subtitles can be found here.


Treasure Island provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Badass: Played for Laughs.
    • In the book, Jim Hawkins is a classic Kid Hero who got through the whole ordeal only with brains and bravery. Here, simply doing gymnastics every morning made him into a martial arts master with Super Strength, capable of beating pirates four times his own size to a pulp within seconds. He's also a fan of More Dakka when he has an opportunity.
    • Dr. Livesey, already a Combat Medic in the book, was given Implausible Fencing Powers. During the stockade assault, he's able to defeat three burly pirates Dual Wielding cutlasses at once with a single flimsy rapier used in left hand, while using his right one to casually sniff a flower.
    • Captain Smollett is a complete joke, but he's also Made of Iron and shrugs off (literally) being repeatedly crushed by a log wall.
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  • Adaptational Karma: Silver is captured by the protagonists by the end of the movie, compared to the original story where he escapes (albeit with only a very small fraction of the treasure).
  • Adaptational Wimp: Squire Trelawny, an experienced adventurer and a crack shot in the book, is reduced to "dumb, greedy, gluttonous, arrogant, cowardly and lazy" Upper-Class Twit who is basically The Load (and would be The Millstone, due to blurting out that they're going on a treasure hunt, if Silver hadn't known it from the start). He does, though, score the most kills during the fort assault, but via trickery.
  • Adapted Out: Trelawny's manservants, as well as Abraham Grey, are never mentioned, leading to a small Series Continuity Error: in the first part, Smollett proclaims they're outnumbered seven to nineteen (as it were in the book), when in the second part it turns into "four against nineteen", as it actually is.
    • Jim's mom is mentioned twice but never seen, and he seems to run Admiral Benbow all by himself.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: The movie clearly attributes the majority of pirates' failures to this. In particular, Trelawny disposes of a dozen or more pirates using a plywood cutout of a bar selling fresh "rom" on the edge of a cliff. One of them even lags behind, sees the others all fall off the cliff, but still runs through it anyway.
  • BFG: During the Captain's men escape in a boat, a pirate gunner wields a cannon as a machinegun. See More Dakka entry for more.
  • BFS: Captain Smollett's cutlass is bigger than himself.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Dr. Livesey, Jim and Trelawny, respectively, in the first part, Smollett, Livesey and Trelawny in the second (Smollett is shorter than Livesey, but even bulkier).
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Zig-zagged. When Hands throws a knife at Jim, he grabs it by the blade so it would spin and hit point first. Jim ducks and the knife bites into the mast; Jim pulls it out and throws back by the handle, it spins again and bonks Hands between eyes with the handle, but then it falls straight point down and cuts the rope Hands is balancing on, forcing him to grab both loose ends and hold for his dear life while Jim escapes.
  • Bottomless Magazines: With flintlock pistols (you know, the ones that have to be reloaded after each shot by hammering powder charge and bullet down the barrel). One pirate manages to shoot such gun 7 times in a row. And the aforementioned cannon, which is belt-fed from an ammo box that is truly bottomless despite appearing to contain 6 cannonballs at most.
  • Brutal Honesty: Smollett's dossier says that he "likes to tell the truth in the eye, and suffers for it".
  • Captain Obvious: "Obvious" might just be Smollett's middle name. During the boat escape, he turns back, notices the cannon on the deck and muses: "The cannon... They're loading the cannon!.. Why?.. AH! THEY'RE GOING TO SHOOT!!! GO FASTER!!"
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Jim's superhuman karate skills are attributed to doing his morning exercises every day.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Silver occasionally sports a rather creepy one that is so unnaturally wide, it contorts his entire face.
  • Chromosome Casting: Every single character is male. The only time a woman is even mentioned is two offhand mentions of Jim's mother.
  • Clint Squint: A variation. For some reason, Silver keeps one eye closed for most of the time. It's different eyes in different scenes, and sometimes he's seen switching them. Apparently, the animators tried to emulate an Eyepatch of Power for him without actually giving him another crippling injury.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • After being abandoned by his peers, instead of panicking and getting himself trampled to death, Pew trips and falls headfirst into a barrel, and, after a failed attempt to get up, tumbles over and rolls off a cliff.
    • Bones, again, dies because of rum, but instead of a stroke, it's a heart attack after chugging from a bottle. However, his cat later drinks from the same bottle and drops dead too, indicating that Pew had poisoned the bottle offscreen.
    • Flint himself in the live-action prologue gets gunned down by (animated) Bones, although he gets better.
  • Disney Villain Death: Most pirates, including Pew, go off a cliff into a raging sea.
  • Everybody Smokes: Pretty much every pirate (except Blind Pew) is shown smoking a pipe at some point, most notably Long John Silver and Billy Bones.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Thanks to Armen Dzhigarkhanyan's gravelly voice, Silver's Badass Boast of how Flint himself was afraid of him sounds very credible.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Billy Bones was given one (and a cat who wears one too).
  • Forgot About His Powers: For the sake of keeping the plot the same as in the book, by the end of the movie, when Jim encounters Israel Hands and when he is captured by pirates, he conveniently forgets that with his karate training he just could have beaten all the pirates into the ground in seconds.
  • Hey, Catch!: During the stockade assault, Jim's Foe-Tossing Charge is stopped dead by an enormous pirate (easily twice the size of the one he beat in the tavern), who simply shrugs off Jim's karate gimmicks. Jim runs away into the stockade and, while the pirate does his Ominous Walk towards the building, slaps together a rocket out of wood, rum and powder, which he then presents to the pirate. The giant man grabs the "gift" and is promptly carried away into the sea.
  • Intimidation Demonstration: In Spy-Glass, a huge pirate tries to bully Jim, gets slapped for it and goes into fit of rage, knocking down furniture and support beams; when a wooden beam falls on the floor as a result, he picks it, breaks it over his own head and eats one half before ripping his shirt, revealing gigantic muscles. Jim then beats him down in roughly two seconds.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Smollett. He's not as much dumbed down in the adaptation as it would seem, and retains most of his dialogue from the book, only with his temper greatly exaggerated. It's just a lot of unfortunate stuff tends to happen to him, especially in action scenes. However, he's cartoonishly tough and just brushes all of it off, suffering a messed wig at most.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Silver's true colors as the leader of the pirates are spoiled here by his Seventeen Moments of Spring-style dossier in the first 15 seconds of his screentime. The twist of Ben Gunn moving the treasure is also revealed far earlier than in the book.
  • Left Stuck After Attack: The drunken fight between Israel Hands and O'Brian starts with them angrily bashing on a table. Hands bashes through the table, and O'Brian uses it to bitch-slap him, only to run away in terror when Hands lifts the table and chases him waving it over his head. He quickly gets stuck in a door and O'Brian again scores some free kicks, until Hands finally breaks the table.
  • The Load: Smollett during the fort battle. He spends the scene stuck in a window frame and doesn't accomplish much other than briefly intimidating one of the pirates.
  • Morality Ballad: The animated movie is peppered with live-action musical numbers where the cast delivers an Aesop in song form, admonishing greed or promoting healthy lifestyle. Despite being abrupt and not subtle at all in their morals, these songs are fun and incredibly catchy, and quickly gained a memetic status on post-Soviet space.
  • More Dakka:
    • A particularly hilarious and over-the-top example involving Toon Physics happens when Livesey, Smollett and Trelawney escape Hispanola by boat. The pirate gunner (who's neither Israel Hands nor O'Brian, since they're assisting him) fires at them from the cannon, but they dodge the ball. The gunner then somehow stuffs several cannonballs into the cannon and fires a barrage, but that misses too. Now really angry, the gunner demands a box of cannonballs chained into an ammo belt, loads that into the cannon and starts firing it as a machinegun, trailing the boat, all to no avail - the heroes, barely, reach the shore, hide in the old fort and raise the British flag. This is where the gunner goes completely berserk, picks up the cannon and sprays wildly all over the island, moving trees like grass and nearly accidentally killing Silver and his team. Eventually both his weapon and himself overheat and become red-hot; afraid that he will set the ship on fire, O'Brian cools him with a bucketful of water, only for the gunner to crumble to dust from rapid temperature decrease.
    • During the stockade assault, Jim fills an entire windowsill with muskets and fires this improvised battery by literally playing it like a piano. Deconstructed, surprisingly, as he runs out of ammo after two or three such volleys and resorts to spitting cherry seeds at the attackers from a blowgun.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Skinny boy Jim Hawkings nonchalantly blocks two wild swings from a pirate whose forearms and fists only are about the same size as Jim's torso, and subsequently pummels him into a broken mess, before punching him through a wall.
    • Subverted later during the island fort assault, where Jim runs into a much, much bigger pirate who just casually shrugs anything Jim throws at him.
  • Mutual Kill: In both live-action sequences the majority of pirates attacking Flint for his map end up killing each other: by fighting over the map dropped by Flint in the prologue, and courtesy of Deadly Dodging by Flint in Ben Gunn's flashback.
  • No Indoor Voice: Save for one moment near the end where speaking above whisper would ruin an ambush, Captain Smollett always speaks (or rather, roars) like a stereotypical Drill Sergeant Nasty.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Captain Flint is portrayed as a real-life human, due to only appearing in live-action segments.
  • Partially Civilized Animal: Both Billy Bones' and John Silver's pets, a grey one-eyed cat and a classic parrot (not named in the movie) look and act primarily like animals but on occasion display human-like behavior. The cat, at a point, helps Jim on the kitchen, trades looks with him and drinks his owner's rum which proves fatal, as the bottle was likely poisoned. The parrot, at one point, secretly loads two pistols for Silver when the mutiny is apparently imminent, and stands guard by the door with two more (only to get slammed).
  • Perpetual Smiler: Dr. Livesey is a kind and very optimistic man who always has a huge smile on his face and speaks with a heartful laugh.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: When a pirate brawler tries to bully Jim at "Spyglass", the boy retaliates with a blistering barrage of punches and kicks to the torso. After roughly two seconds of such pummeling, the pirate silently collapses into broken mess onto the floor, and Jim has to prop him up for a finishing Megaton Punch.
  • Razor-Sharp Hand: Jim discovers that his kung fu doesn't work on a gigantic, hulking pirate. He runs to a tree about a meter in diameter and karate-chops it down, so it falls on the pirate and breaks over his head. The pirate hardly notices this.
  • Recycled Animation: Some of the scenes in the second part, most notably Jim escaping the pirates or the assault on the fort, reuses the animation of characters from the first part (released two years earlier), only with backgrounds changed and Pew replaced with Silver. Sometimes it's played as a Running Gag.
  • Sneeze of Doom: When Billy Bones sneezes, expect some property damage.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the last shots of the movie, Israel Hands is seen still clinging to the rope holding the masts of Hispanola together.
  • Specs of Awesome: Jim wears glasses in this adaptation and doesn't bother to take them off to give someone a good beating.
  • Speech Impediment: Billy Bones's got a very nasal voice, as he has a permanent cold. Captain Smollett speaks with a spitty lisp. Notably, both of them are voiced by same actor.
  • There Was a Door: The fights between Bones and Black Dog, or between O'Brian and Hands, mostly consist of the latter chasing the former around busting down the doors.
  • Too Fast to Stop:
    • When Black Dog smashes the door of Admiral Benbow, inertia carries him over he horizon.
    • Captain Smollett manages to knock himself out by climbing a ladder so fast he flies headfirst into the ceiling.
    • The pirates who fell for Trelawny's cardboard tavern trick and, as a result, literally fell of a cliff.
  • Toon Physics: Used liberally by the characters in some scenes. For instance, it's common for people to pull many different and often bulky objects from their pants or coats.
    • When Black Dog charges at Bones, the latter runs through a door, slams it shut, then grabs the doorway and moves it to the side, so Black Dog runs head first into the wall.
    • Silver picks a padlock by bending his crutch into the shape of a key.
    • Hands actually murders O'Brian through toon physics. O'Brian hides behind a screen door, but his silhouette is visible. Hands laughs, grabs a rag and wipes the silhouette off the screen as if it were drawn in chalk. He then opens the door, revealing that this act literally erased O'Brian from existence, leaving only his feet. Hands stomps to scare the feet, and they run away blindly and jump overboard.
  • Unsound Effect: Appear rather often, mostly during the fight scenes.
  • Visual Pun: In the book, Billy Bones has a stroke after his fight with Black Dog. In the movie, they've demolished the place so much that a wooden beam literally strikes Bones over the head after he sneezes.

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