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national treasure edge of history trio of female heroines and villains
Credit: Disney+

Disney Throws Viewers For A Loop With ‘National Treasure’ Reboot

Fans of Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, or the German actress Diane Kruger will probably already be familiar with the National Treasure series that made action-adventure history as a popular Disney franchise.

National Treasure (2004) and National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007) were classic Disney staples for many millennials, as the stories followed Benjamin Gates the treasure hunter (and his plucky sidekick Riley Poole, not to mention the beautiful historian Dr. Abigail Chase).

The National Treasure films were known for their combination of lighthearted adventure, American history, and poignant drama. As with many Disney films, the films combined danger with family-friendly risk in a way that managed to avoid any discernible bloodshed, so children found the films to be just as engaging and enjoyable as adults did.

National Treasure action scene

Justin Bartha as Riley Poole, Nicolas Cage as Benjamin Franklin Gates, and Diane Kruger as Dr. Abigail Chase in ‚ÄėNational Treasure‚Äô. Credit: Disney

It has been many years since the¬†National Treasure¬†sequel (which did bring back Nicholas Cage, Justin Bartha, and Diane Kruger as Benjamin Gates, Riley Poole, and Dr. Abigail Chase), but Disney apparently did not forget about the franchise’s bankable popularity. A spin-off series called National Treasure: Edge of History¬†was recently released on Disney+, and met a with a decent level of fanfare!

Some of the biggest draws to National Treasure: Edge of History are the involvement of Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (an actress who is considered to be Hollywood royalty after roles in hits like The Mask of Zorro from 1998 and Chicago from 2002) and the reintroduction of sidekick Riley Poole.

The show is set in Baton Rouge Louisiana, which is a refreshing change from the New England and Pennsylvania focus of the first films.

national treasure edge of history

The new National Treasure: Edge of History poster from Disney+. Credit: Disney+

Because this new show involves a Pan-American treasure hunt and a plucky heroine (Jess, played by Lisette Olivera) — not to mention a diverse group of friends who keep the plot moving when it is at risk of stagnation — there is plenty of hope for the show since a series that continued with the original movies’ focus on Northeastern America would most likely have fallen flat with audiences.

Disney has already shared plans for a second season, but as we know all too well, the Walt Disney Company is not above changing its mind about everything from Disney Park ride refurbishments to Disney+ series cancellations or renewals!

The first season of the show (spoiler alert) ends with suitably happy finales all around — and a perfectly family-friendly villain demise that, as in the style of the first two movies, does not involve obviously-visible bloodshed. A few more violent scenes in the show were more upsetting than the original¬†National Treasure movies’ scenes had been, but overall, the show continued to be appropriate for a wide variety of audiences.

New additions like musical performances from the love interest Liam (and eye-opening discussions about undocumented workers’ obstacles) add a bit more substance to the show as well, especially since the actual treasure hunt does feature some fairly obvious plot holes.

At the end of the show, a cliffhanger in the form of an open-ended clue from Peter Sadusky leaves Jess, Ethan, Liam, Tasha, and Oren on the hunt for a new treasure — or, at least, the treasure hunt is implied.

National Treasure: Edge of History is a show with promise, but time will tell regarding whether or not Disney actually sticks with its plans and lets the hunt go on!

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!