(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)
Why I added it to my queue: Because after actually reading Treasure Island a few years ago and being surprisingly blown away by it, I thought it'd be fun to go through and also watch every major film version that's been made of it too; and this is undoubtedly the most famous of them all, released by Disney in 1950 and kicking off an entire decade of revered live-action historical thrillers. (Or actually, I technically started with the 1934 version starring Jackie Cooper; but it turned out to be barely worth watching, much less writing up here.)
The reality: Eh, not bad! Now, of course, it's important as well to acknowledge that this film is now officially 60 years old, and very much shows its age; for example, while it's clear to see why original audiences went crazy for it, since it contains a kind of naturalism and attention to period detail simply missing from most movies made in those years, that's still just a pittance compared to today's massive budgets and entire teams of dramaturges. But still, it's entertaining enough, helped immensely by a storyline that's truly timeless, and I don't see any reason why this wouldn't give a typical eight-year-old boy even today at least a slightly pleasant viewing experience, even if that's a "doing something with the grandparents" kind of pleasure. An interesting diversion on a Sunday afternoon, but you certainly have to be in the right (i.e. "retro") frame of mind to truly enjoy it.
Strangest piece of trivia: This was Disney's first live-action film, and also one of their first to be shown on television. It came about because of a new law in Britain after World War Two, that stopped Disney from transferring his profits there back to the US; he decided to use the money instead to establish a new live-action production company there, which is why so many of Disney's non-animated films from the '50s and '60s have British settings, and why "The Wonderful World of Disney" was as big a hit on the BBC in those years as it was in America.
Worth your time? Yes, although it helps if you're bored