Jim is a very adventurous, rebellious, and caring young lad. During the beginning of the film, he was a stereotypical, alienated teenager, constantly in trouble and "like a stranger" to his mother Sarah. In the DVD's Visual Commentary, the directors said that to emphasize Jim's "Bad Boy" reputation, they added the black jacket, and the shadow or "eye-mask" over his eyes. By the end of the movie, however, he no longer wears the jacket, and the eye-mask is gone. At first, Jim is stoic and guarded, but as time goes on, he begins to open up.
Jim is also very brave, strong-willed, and loyal to his allies. He is also very intelligent for a lad of his age; he is so intelligent that he is very skilled in technicians and was able to build his own solar surfer all by himself when he was 8 years old, and he was able to fix up the late Captain Flint's spaceship in a few minutes.
Despite his great intelligence, he can do some very stupid and selfish things, such as him breaking the law countless times, which caused him to get into trouble with the robot police; when he flew Silver's space longboat into a passing comet regardless of the possible dangers the comet could have caused to the longboat or Silver or Jim himself; and when he recklessly insulted Scroop without taking any regard for his own safety or what it would do to his mother if he were to be killed by Scroop because of Jim's reckless behaviour. Regardless of his reckless side, Jim can be very cautious and serious if the situation presented itself.
He is also fun-loving, jokey, sarcastic, mischievous, and very dreamy. He loves playing around with Morph, but he can get annoyed by the little floating pink blob sometimes, and the same can be said for B.E.N., who gets on Jim's nerves fairly often, but Jim considers him a good friend and a useful sidekick. He also can be very sweet and polite, and cares greatly for his allies and will protect and defend them from anything and anyone.
As a little boy, he admired stories of the legendary space pirate, Captain Nathaniel Flint. But then his father, Leland, abandoned Jim and his mother when he felt he couldn't handle the responsibility of being a husband and father. As Jim grew older, he became a rebellious teenager, soaring a solar surfer and getting in trouble with the police.
Jim felt guilty after hearing his mother discuss her troubles with Dr. Doppler. Then, Jim found a crashing spacer named Billy Bones who had a special chest that contained something a mysterious cyborg was after.
Jim discovered that inside Bones' chest was a map. This map led to Treasure Planet, encouraging him to embark on a life-changing adventure, accompanied by Dr. Doppler.
Jim was assigned as a cabin boy for John Silver, the ship's cook and a cyborg. At first, Jim did not trust him because of the mysterious cyborg that was after Billy Bones, and Silver drove him crazy with chores. But as the voyage's time passed, Jim and Silver had a father-son relationship, which Jim never had.
However, Jim and Silver had some friendship flip-flops. When Jim's confidence was low about failing to keep Mr. Arrow, the captain's first mate, alive from a space storm, Silver did not tell Jim that his monstrous nemesis, Scroop murdered him.
Jim later found that out when eavesdropping on his conversation with the rest of the crew about mutiny. Jim also learned that Silver cared more about the treasure than Jim, which left Jim heartbroken and hurt. After the pirates attacked and mutiny began, Silver tried to apologize to Jim about what he said. He explained that if Scroop and the other spacers knew he was kind, they both would've been killed.
Even when Silver made a bargain that would make up for this whole mess, Jim refused.
Both Jim and Silver vowed to make sure they get to the treasure before each other. Eventually, they did get to the treasure together, but only because of Silver's force.
When the planet's self-destruct mode was activated, Jim almost fell to his death. Silver had to choose between the treasure he's searched for years, and the young man he had to come to love, deep down. Silver chose Jim and they both had a part in saving the whole crew from destruction. Before Silver escaped, he and Jim had a heart-warming goodbye, and Silver asked his pet shift-shaper, Morph to remind Jim of him.
Silver also gave Jim a handful of Flint's treasure to help him rebuild the inn. Jim went home, used the treasure to rebuild the inn, and went to a heroic academy, where Captain Amelia recommended. Before the film ended, Jim saw a cloud-shaped version of Silver, whose cyborg eye twinkled at him.
- Jim is the first and so far only Disney Hero (and Disney human character) to be from another planet and explore outer space. Also, he is the first and only one shown able to breathe and sustain in space without the aid of a spacesuit or a conventional spacecraft. This could indicate that Jim is an advanced human, as well as presumably his parents, or perhaps that in the Treasure Planet universe, all air is breathable for all species across the universe.
- Because he is from the planet Montressor, Jim could very well be called a "Montression". The same would go for his parents.
- Though not a Disney Prince, Jim is one of the few Disney Heroes with a parent who is still living--specifically, his mother. Most Disney Heroes (male and female) are orphans, with a few exceptions (notably Jim, Prince Phillip, Aurora, and Mulan).
- According to his mother, he had built his first solar surfer at the age of 8.
- Although he and several other characters from the film did not appear in the actual show (as Treasure Planet was released after the show's entire run), Jim had made several cameo appearances in various House of Mouse-themed online games.
- Jim is very similar to Aladdin:
- Both their films are directed and produced by Ron Clements and John Musker.
- Both are the main protagonists of their respective movies and video games.
- Both were not born as princes and used to get into a lot of trouble with the authorities.
- Their fathers had abandoned them and their mothers.
- Both used to feel lonely and trapped in their everyday lifestyles in their respective homes.
- Both are spirited, brave, selfless, adventurous, curious, rebellious, independent, strong-willed, confident, cool, reckless, carefree, joyful, naughty, funny, awkward, anxious, short-tempered, sometimes selfish, sweet, caring, protective, loyal, intelligent, creative, resourceful, serious, idealistic, dreamy, athletic, and lovable.
- Both have discovered lots of treasure, but hardly took any of it. In addition, both like finding treasures of any kind.
- Both discovered a precious treasure that changed their lives forever (Jim’s treasure map and Aladdin’s magic lamp) and they activated their precious treasures accidentally for the first time.
- Both have a small non-human loyal and helpful sidekick (Morph and Abu) and both sidekicks can be mischievous, cowardly, and annoying towards Jim and Aladdin.
- Both have a loud-mouthed and annoying, yet helpful, secondary sidekick (B.E.N. and Iago).
- Both have many non-human friends and enemies (male and female).
- Both have an extremely useful flying transport (Jim has his solar surfer and Aladdin has his magic carpet) and both have escaped from massive grave danger with the help of their flying transports.
- Both have tricked their arch-enemies (Scroop and Jafar) towards their unexpected dooms.
- Both were poor, but they became richer by the end of their films (Jim getting a small amount of treasure from Treasure Planet that was enough for him to rebuild his mother’s inn, and Aladdin marrying Princess Jasmine and becoming prince of her wealthy kingdom).
- Jim is one of the very few Disney Heroes who does not have a love interest in his movie.
Treasure Planet | Battle at Procyon | House of Mouse
Characters: Jim Hawkins | John Silver | Morph | Sarah Hawkins | Dr. Delbert Doppler | Captain Amelia | Mr. Arrow | B.E.N. | Billy Bones | Scroop | Captain Nathaniel Flint | Turnbuckle | Torrance | Verne | Blinko | Zoff | Leland Hawkins | Onus | Longbourne | Grewnge | Hedley | Fayvoon | Hands | Crex | Mertock | Krailoni | Aurora Mayflower
Creatures: Orcus Galacticus