Atlantis: The Lost EmpireJune 15, 2001
A young adventurer named Milo Thatch joins an intrepid group of explorers to find the mysterious lost continent of Atlantis.
Release Year: 2001
Rating: 6.5/10 (24,606 voted)
Critic's Score: 52/100
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Jim Varney, Corey Burton
1914: Milo Thatch, grandson of the great Thaddeus Thatch works in the boiler room of a museum. He knows that Atlantis was real, and he can get there if he has the mysterious Shephards journal, which can guide him to Atlantis. But he needs someone to fund a voyage. His employer thinks he's dotty, and refuses to fund any crazy idea. He returns home to his apartment and finds a woman there. She takes him to Preston B. Whitmore, an old friend of his Grandfathers. He gives him the shepherds journal, a submarine and a 5 star crew. They travel through the Atlantic ocean, face a large lobster called the Leviathan, and finally get to Atlantis. But does the Atlantis crew have a lust for discovery, or something else?
Writers: Tab Murphy, Kirk Wise
Michael J. Fox
Milo James Thatch
Gaetan 'The Mole' Moliere
Helga Katrina Sinclair
Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke
Preston B. Whitmore
Dr. Joshua Strongbear Sweet
King Kashekim Nedakh
Vincenzo 'Vinny' Santorini
Audrey Rocio Ramirez
Wilhelmina Bertha Packard
David Ogden Stiers
Fenton Q. Harcourt
Princess 'Kida' Kidagakash
Jebidiah Allardyce 'Cookie' Farnsworth
Atlantis is waiting…
Disney (html) |
Release Date: 15 June 2001
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $329,011
(10 June 2001)
Did You Know?
Originally, the final battle was to be only on land. The creators had decided put the action in the air to create a more dramatic sequence.
When Milo is rehearsing his proposal in the museum basement, he rubs against the chalkboard and wipes the map he drew onto his clothes. He then stands in front of the chalkboard and the chalk map on his clothes matches the missing part of the map, when in fact it should be a mirror image.
By the way, we were never properly introduced. My name's Milo.
My name is Kidagakash.
Ki-ki-kidamaschnaga… Uh, hey, you got a nickname?
Okay, Kida. I can remember that.
A new genre for Disney that actually works
Disney, the film name that once stood for all things innocent and suitable
for all ages, has finally started to realise that to survive it needs to
become more diverse. Such diversity has been very apparent in the last
couple of years. Films like "Tarzan" and "The Emperor's New Groove" have
made an attempt to move away from the traditional song-driven routine of
Disney's past and into new, uncharted territory. "Atlantis" is the boldest
step yet, but we have to remember: This is STILL Disney. The first ever
serious film to come out of Disney's animation studio is a major
for them – in fact it's so serious it makes it into PG territory. Perhaps
why a lot of families were scared off from seeing it this past
But despite the more mature subject matter, this is still a film that
wanted to draw in the families with, not just mature audiences, so the plot
had to be kept simple enough for children to understand, but interesting
enough to take it away from the realms of "The Little Mermaid" et
So what we get is actually a potentially detailed plot, unfortunately
suffering the blow of being condensed into a 96-minute movie. Ultimately,
this is an action film about Atlantis, not about the exposition preceding
it, so we are whisked through the first half hour with as many sequences
bombarding the screen as is possible without losing coherency. Suspend your
disbelief of how the characters get from point A to point B so quickly,
you're unlikely to find an animated film that detailed coming out of
Hollywood! If you want epic levels of detail in the plot, turn to James
Cameron's "Titanic". Both films feature a boat in some
And let's talk about love, shall we? Yes, as with a lot of films, the lead
male (one Milo Thatch, a bumbling archaeologist) and lead female (Kida, the
clichéd Atlantian princess) are set to fall in love with each other. But
what I found was not as clichéd as I was expecting. By film's end, for
the characters touching/feeling/kissing sequence was far more subdued.
There's various points in the film where the attraction grows, but it's
not in the ballpark of, say, "The Little Mermaid" (A good
You may have grasped that this is a rather clichéd film. Correct. You have
your leading hero and heroine, backed up by more than half a dozen crew
members who go on the expedition, all being given their moments during the
film. Numerous other characters appear, take up the few minutes of
screentime, then disappear. It doesn't take a genius to do the maths a
96-minute film with a focus on action and visuals, and with a considerable
cast, has very little time to expand the characters to any major extent. So
what does it rely on? Clichés, and lots of them. Every character emulates
something that has been done a thousand times before. You have the bumbling
scientist, the attractive princess, the square-jawed colonel, the rich
eccentric, the maniacal sleazebag, the Russian femme fatale need I go
I don't know why this got to anyone I found the tongue-in-cheek nature of
this film quite amusing. Alright, this is meant to be a serious flick, but
do you really expect Disney to give up every single trait of their history?
At least the writers have tried to come up with consistently witty
and sometimes it even is a little inspired.
But in the end it's those big stunning visuals that put the icing on this
cake. The CGI animation is truly amazing in places, and doesn't dwarf the
characters, which was a flaw that let the recent "Titan A.E." down.
of characters, Disney hired an outside comics industry artist to create the
designs, bringing an anime style to the film. Infact the visual
of the film as a whole owes a lot to anime, much more so than any previous
Disney outing. This resulted in a conflict with fans of the Japanese anime,
"Nadia", for the film's overall similarities with said cartoon series.
Having not seen this anime, I can't comment.
With picture, there is sound. Gary Rydstrom heads up the sound team, and
what a soundtrack! From the opening shot the sound stage is alive and is a
treat. James Newton Howard treats us to a dynamic musical score, which
compliments the film in every way, never sounding out of place and always
helping to build the tension or subdue it.
Perhaps I missed the point of what the creators intended. To me, the film
conveys that it's an adventure thrill ride, albeit with a more serious tone
than any Disney film before it. If you don't like the clichéd
tongue-in-cheek attitude, then perhaps the effort that has been poured into
the visuals will delight. Heck, at least the mythology is far more correct
than can be said about other Disney efforts (*cough*Hercules*cough*).
This is a positive, 10 out of 10 review, from someone who was blown away by
this film. I always suspend my disbelief with any animated film after
the laws of the real world are more than frequently broken in the cartoon
medium. So sit back, enjoy the ride, and perhaps everyone can find
to enjoy about this film.