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Western Animation / The Legends of Treasure Island

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A cult British cartoon and a very loose Animated Adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.

Jim Hawkins' father, having been issued a death threat by pirates over the ownership of a treasure map, hands it to his son so he may search for the treasure and thus keep it out of the hands of the ruthless Long John Silver. With the assistance of old sea dog (literally) Captain Smollett, Jim gathers a crew and finds his way to mysterious island, albeit with Long John's crew at his tail and the island's numerous supernatural forces hindering their search.

Alongside its Funny Animal premise, the show deviates greatly from the novel due to the heavy use of magical elements and a few extra cast additions (most notably Jane, a young hostage-turned-Mook of Silver's that joins Jim on his quest). Noted for its high quality animation, and a rather notable voice cast (including Dawn French and Hugh Laurie).

Two seasons were made within 1993-1995.

Not to be confused with the anime Animal Treasure Island, a similar loosely based Funny Animal adaptation.

Tropes employed include:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: During the episode where the Squire is mistaken for a god, he gets this in the form of a chubby monkey woman from the natives.
  • Action Girl: Jane, though she does pick up the Distress Ball a lot, was obviously created with this in mind, so much that it is her who defeats Pew in the finale.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The show converts Long John Silver, one of the most morally ambiguous antagonists in fiction, into a straight played For the Evulz villain that antagonizes Jim from the very start.
    • In the book, Pew is a henchman who dies before they even get to the island; in Legends, he becomes the Big Bad, and is portrayed as a black magician on top of his blindness.
  • Adaptational Wimp: As with several adaptations, Squire Trelawney goes from a fairly competent swashbuckler to an Upper-Class Twit and often The Load in this rendition.
  • Animation Bump: The show switched studios from Moving Images International in most of the first (with Jade Animation taking episodes 2 and 6 of the series) to Fil-Cartoons in the second, the latter having a slightly cruder style, with stiffer animation and more cartoony backgrounds.
  • Anthropomorphic Animal Adaptation: Of Treasure Island.
  • Appease the Volcano God: In one episode, Squire Trelawney is mistaken for a god called "The Great Kaloomba" and he with Jim, Jane, and Ben are nearly sacrificed to the volcano to stop the lava from burning their village.
  • Ascended Extra: In the original book, Pew was simply a blind former pirate who hands Billy Bones the Black Spot and ends up trampled to death by horses before the journey even begins. Here he's turned into a sinister Hidden Agenda Villain with magical powers who in the final episode gets his hands on a magical Amplifier Artifact lying among the treasure (his plan all along) and even manages to kill Captain Smollett.
  • Back for the Dead: Captain Smollett, who reappears in the finale after being absent through the majority of Season Two, only to be killed off by Pew.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The series portrays merpeople and demons with visible nipples, except for mermaids who all have Godiva Hair, but then, chapter 12 has this (in)famous example: Jane, of all people, decides to take a swim in a lake, but first she takes off her coat and her shirt, keeping on her breeches, stockings and for some reason, her shoes. Thankfully, being an anthropomorphic cat/vixen/squirrel/whatever, helps her being covered in fur, but viewers still were taken by surprise.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Long John, his henchmen and Pew are barefoot, unlike the fully-clothed heroes.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: In "The Oracle", when Silver and Jim with his friends get transported to an undersea kingdom, they're able to breathe in the waters due to the magic that brought and kidnapped them to Galathea's kingdom where they are to be fed to a kracken.
  • Big Red Devil: The devil and Silver's demon henchmen in series 2.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jim and friends have finally found the treasure and can now finally go home without worry. Plus both Pew and Long John Silver are finally gone for good. However, they have sadly lost Captain Smollett at the hands of Pew.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: Pew's weapons of choice seem to mostly be his staff in Season 1 while at the end of Season 2, he uses his sword for fighting.
  • Bound and Gagged: The show seemed to have an almost unhealthy obsession with this. Almost every main character is tied up on a frequent basis, and sometimes for a lengthy portion of the episode. Even some of it's promotional artwork uses it prominently.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Apparently Jane was such an insufferable example in her early life that when Silver kidnapped her for ransom, he ended up stuck with her. Comes off more as an Informed Flaw on screen, since while her bad attitude perks up at times, she's far more benevolent to the team most of the time.
  • Butt-Monkey: Squire Trelawney, with Jim and Jane having the occasional moments. Rat and most of the other underling pirates are this to Silver.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Played with. Jim usually acts very casual towards Jane, however at one point she seems to get somewhat affectionate and he makes a hasty exit.
  • Circling Vultures: In Season 2, Pew has his own demonic-looking vultures that sometimes attack Jim and his friends.
  • Composite Character: Here, Jim's father plays both his own role and that of Billy Bones, former member of Captain Flint's crew and keeper of the map of Treasure Island. Sure enough, his later appearance as a spirit strongly implies that he met the same tragic fate as both characters.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: Long John Silver is depicted as a fox and is also very snide.
  • Darkest Hour: In the final episode of the series, Pew enters the Hispaniola, knocks out most of the crew, kills Smollett, holds Jim at sword point, and becomes invulnerable with the Amplifier Artifact he has searched for all along. Were it not for Jane arriving and assisting Jim, Pew would have won.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In Season 1's episode, "The Cave of Babel", there is a bit more focus on the pirate crew member, Rat alongside Silver. In Season 2, Jane has a near entire episode to herself in "Reunion" while the Squire gets two for both "Forest of Darkness" and "City in the Sky" where he gets his Temporary Love Interest.
  • Deal with the Devil: Silver coerces the devil to let him escape the Underworld, but on the condition that he bring Jim to him as a replacement. In the end, Satan decides to take him back.
  • Death by Adaptation: Captain Smollett, who is killed by Pew in the final episode. Also, Long John Silver as well.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: When Silver is sent to the Underworld following his death in the first season finale, he manages to rather handily outgambit the Laughably Evil Devil and his Minion with an F in Evil into giving him the means to escape. He gets sent back by the finale however.
  • Died Happily Ever After: The ending to the episode "Emily", with her and her father ascending into the sky waving.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In the original book, Pew dies by being trampled to death by horses. Here, he is killed by Jane tossing the strange artifact that gives him power at his head, killing his body and turning him into smoke before light flashes and his remains disappear.
  • Disney Death: Done in excess, albeit not always through the audience's perspective. It's ultimately averted in the final episode with Captain Smollett.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Long John Silver, into a volcano, he gets better though.
    • In the final episode, as Pew gains the artifact once more, Pew is pushed from the crow's nest by Jane, heading down. Although it's averted in that he doesn't die right away, it takes Jane tossing the artifact at Pew's head that kills him.
  • Distress Ball: Done frequently with most of the main crew. Jane in particular switches erratically between being the most capable member of the team or being Jim's personal Damsel in Distress.
  • Dragons Are Demonic: Late in series 2, Pew summons a small dragon which later grows gigantic and swallows Jim whole. The way it's summoned is implied to be through some sort of satanic ritual.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: What remains of Pew after he is struck dead and disintegrates. This is before it and the artifact both are destroyed in a flash.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Long John to the highest degree. He has zero scruples and is a merciless sadist, but has a palpable charm and wit. He's able to brown nose the devil himself to achieve his own means.
  • Flanderization: Reversed for some characters. Ben Gunn goes from a kooky rambling old hermit to more lucid and self preservational in later episodes. Similarly Jane starts off more moody and sarcastic, but becomes more soft spoken and friendly.
  • Forgot About His Powers: When aligned with Silver in Season One, Pew very easily keeps the former's treacherous streak at bay with his deadly sorcery. By the time they reacquaint in Season Two, Pew actually has to sweet talk Silver into sparing his life and rejoining forces, and when old habits return between them, he instead engages in a slapstick fistfight with Silver and loses. This doesn't seem to be excused through Villain Decay since the very next episode Pew is as deadly as ever.
  • Funny Animal: The whole cast.
  • Furry Female Mane: Jane, who is a Greeneyed Redhead (the green eyes appear in Season 2), though all the male characters tend to wear either hats or powdered wigs. Well, aside from Ben's castaway beard. Emily, the ghost girl, also has this.
  • Handicapped Badass: Both Silver, who uses a peg leg as a replacement and he can still fight, and Pew who, despite being blind, can conjure up spells and kill one of the main protagonists.
  • Hero Killer: Pew killing Smollett in the final episode of the series.
  • Industrialized Evil: Silver convinces the devil that the torments in Hell are pathetic and to allow him to institute better ones. He turns the place into a big factory where the inmates work moving lava to produce "absolutely nothing" and builds a self-destruct switch to blackmail Satan into letting him leave.
  • Informed Species: Is Jane a vixen or a cat? It's even harder to tell in the second series where her bushy tail is missing. While a few claim to her being a cat, vixen, or even a mixture of both species, at one point in episode 2, Trelawney calls Jane a "puppy" as they temporarily get their memories erased.
  • Inexplicably Tailless: In Series 2 most of the cast except for Silver and Pew have no tails for some reason.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jane at her worst. Also Squire Trelawney, who is even Lampshaded as such in the first episode.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Pew is this due to posing as an actual threat to the main cast. He even almost wins near the end if not for Jane's interference.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: One episode, "The Oracle" involves Jim and friends nearly being eaten alive by a witch's monstrous kraken.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: The second season throws any remaining links to novel completely out of the window, with the focus now entirely on supernatural or cartoony scenarios and half the cast being put Out of Focus. The episodes are noticeably lower quality cosmetically, with changes in animation studios, voice actors and music to accommodate the lower budget, as well as an unusually upbeat new title theme.
  • Laughably Evil: Arguably the one remaining redeeming aspect of Silver's is that he still retains a high degree of whimsy within all his bloodlust. He and his pirate mooks often act as Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains.
  • Lovable Coward: Squire Trelawney.
  • MacGuffin Melee: The opening titles showcase one over the map to the treasure.
  • Mole Men: Featured in the episode "Antidote", where they (even though they look like anthro moles rather than mole people) mine coal under a mountain and grow a medicinal herb that Jim and Ben need for Jane (hence the title).
  • Mood Whiplash: The show has surprisingly dark elements and a creepy amount of supernatural twists on the original story, though it's merged within a lot of cartoon slapstick.
  • No Body Left Behind: When Pew is killed by Jane hitting him with his powered artifact, Pew is evaporated into smoke, leaving the artifact and his robe behind. However, when a flash happens, both have disappeared as well.
  • Noodle Incident: Dr. Livesey starts to mention a little bit of what his and Smollett's island was about after Smollett ends up being Killed Off for Real before everyone else looks stunned with horror and the Squire, putting it best, never wants to see another island as long as he lives before they finally sail for home.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite being a villain, Silver does save Jim once or twice in the series (if only for his own selfish reasons).
  • Plot Detour: A surprising number of episodes don't involve searching for Flint's treasure at all, and focus more on the characters getting into some sort of misadventure.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: In the first season, Silver is Pew's Dragon and completely dominated and intimidated by his magical strength. In the second season, Silver works for another cohort, with Pew having to sweet talk him into a deal. He even loses to Silver in comedic fisticuffs in episode 25. In the second half of the final episode, however, Pew kills Smollett and gains the artifact that powers him, showing that despite the effects of the previous episode, he's still dangerous!
  • Put on the Bus: Captain Smollett and Dr Livesey are left tending to the ship while the others search the island in season two. Silver's mooks are also Out of Focus and have disappeared after "Silver's Bond". However, The Bus Came Back for the former two in the final episode.
  • Recycled In Space: It's Treasure Island with Funny Animals, meets Lost.
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: Both the orchestrated opening and closing themes are replaced with a vocal song in season two, due to a change in music composers.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The mysteries of what Treasure Island really is are not truly revealed within the series and there is no clear case on why there are things like magic or Mole Men or mer creatures. Let alone Pew's powers or what the artifact he obtains does besides protect him from being killed.
  • Rock Monster: One episode has several of these. Like many things on the island, it's not clear why they're there.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Despite being a rat, Pew is larger and the same size as most of the other adult characters due to being a villainous sorcerer. It's even more ironic when his size contrasts with the smaller, normal-sized character Rat.
  • Rollercoaster Mine: The episode with the Mole Men has a mine cart sequence and as Jim and Ben chase after Silver who steals their life crystal, the trio in mine carts give chase while riding the rails in a rollercoaster-type fashion.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: In the final episode, Silver is defeated, but it isn't over yet. At night, Pew knocks out most of the crew, including the Squire, who is a large part of the humor of the show. Things get more serious after Smollett is killed before the final battle between Pew, Jim, and Jane commences.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: What happens to Jim's father isn't shown but Dr. Livesey tells Jim that "he's fine". He's also a Composite Character with Billy Bones (both of whom died in the original). It may be subverted when Jim sees the spirit of his father in episode 13, implying that Jim's father may have passed away while Jim has been on the island.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Jim and Jane get many episodes near completely to themselves (both together and individually). Doubles as Smurfette Breakout for Jane.
  • The Starscream: Long John will usually double cross anyone he strikes a bargain with. He tries to get rid of Pew on a couple of occasions (this becomes complicated in the penultimate episode, since Pew intends to do just the same to him).
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Pew's pupil-less eyes tend to glow brightly sometimes, despite him blind.
  • Swallowed Whole: Late in series 2, Jim gets swallowed by a dragon Pew summons, and Silver gets teleported into the bowels of the beast by his "boss" to retrieve him.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: When it comes to Silver and Pew working together, they obviously despise one another, trying to secretly backstab one another.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: The series takes place on the titular tropical island.
  • Twinkle in the Eye: Pew's eyes twinkle when he's hit by the stave Jane throws at him, just before he slumps over and dies.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Squire Trelawney remains true to his novel rendition for the large part. His actor Hugh Laurie basically reuses his George persona suitingly enough.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?:
    • For some odd reason, in the penultimate episode, one before Captain Smollett and Dr. Livesey return to help save Jim from Pew's grasp, the devil sidekicks Silver has accompanying him disappear and aren't referenced again once Silver, Pew, Jim, and Ben enter the cave.
    • Also, Pew's baby dragon after the events of "Dragon".
    • In "Silver's Bond", the three surviving pirates, Morgan the Warthog, Nebbich the Hyena, and Rat are last seen burying the Squire up to his neck before they leave him for dead. We never see either of the three in the series again.
    • In the episode "Return to Sender", we meet a friend of Ben's named Black Jack, who lives on an adjacent island and plays long-distance chess with him. This is the only episode we see him in, and presumably he's still on the island by the end of the series (if he isn't killed by one of the various natural disasters).
  • Wicked Weasel: At least two of the pirates are weasels, who, being pirates, aren't very nice.
  • World of Funny Animals: Mostly. While almost all the cast are anthropomorphic animals, the merpeople, bird people, possibly the ghost in "Reunion" and even a pirate in "Silver in the Island's Underworld" are more human/humanoid than animal-based.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Pew is the main rat in the series, and there is also a smaller rat named Rat.