Self Isolation Watchlist: Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

Certificate: U

Director: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

Writer: Tab Murphy, Kirk Wise

Starring: Michael J. Fox, Jim Varney, Corey Burton 

Genre: Animation, Adventure

Runtime: 95 Minutes


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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? – From IMDB

I thought I was going to get a double dose of awesome Disney films that I hadn’t seen before. Atlantis was my follow up to watching The Emperors New Groove yesterday, and I had high hopes I was really going to enjoy it. Not so much. It is still pretty enjoyable as Disney films go, but if you have seen even one treasure hunting movie then you are goingt o know exactly how this one plays out. No surprises here whatsoever.

The animated ensemble cast is pretty damn great through, all really memorable and distinct in their own ways. Sure they are all a little over the top and very heavily stereotyped versions of their characters, but that doesn’t make them less fun to watch. It is clear very early on who the good guys and bad guys are, so you end up watching the film not to see what happens, you know that after the first thirty minutes, but to watch all these characters interact, ant to watch Milo grow as a person.

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The actual explanation about the Atlantean power source, glowing light, thingy, does seem a little convoluted and metaphysical for a kids movie. I am a grown adult, and I am not sure I could accurately explain it to you. But kids are a lot less likely to get bogged down by details like that, then we adults are. The biggest issue I had with it was the animation. It seemed a lot different then other Disney animations I have seen. While the backgrounds appear to be the standard Disney style, the characters all seem to have these very thick black lines, evident most clearly in the first picture above. This makes it appear more like a 90s PC adventure game than a Disney Animated film.

I wanted to love it, but it sadly wasn’t meant to be. What is your least favourite Disney film? Let me know below.

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