Preem ends 17-year-long journey for Clements

HOLLYWOOD — The preem for Disney’s “Treasure Planet,” like the movie itself, was an unlikely but entertaining mix of sci-fi future and buccaneering past, marrying Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson under a big tent behind the El Capitan Theater.

For co-director/screenwriter/producer Ron Clements, the film’s imminent arrival ends a 17-year-long process.

“We first pitched this at the same meeting we pitched ‘The Little Mermaid,’ ” Clements said. But the film’s long gestation allowed technology to mature so supervising animator Glen Keane could seamlessly merge classic cel animation of the Long John Silver character with computer-generated animation of his mechanical leg, arm and eye.

Ongoing biz for “Santa Clause 2″ at the El Cap caused logistical challenges, as most attendees parked across from the El Capitan and were bused in heavy Hollywood traffic to the Cinerama Dome a mile away to watch the film and then back afterwards to the party.

Other attendees included Disney execs Michael Eisner, Robert Iger and wife Willow Bay, Richard Cook, Pam Coats, Chris Montan, Fred Tio and Oren Aviv, pic’s producer Roy Conli, co-director/writer/producer John Musker, supervising animator John Ripa, art director Andy Gaskill, theme singer John Rzeznik, composer James Newton Howard and voice stars David Hyde Pierce, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Martin Short.

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