Anthony's Film Review
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
A somewhat surprising departure from the usual Disney animation flavor, but it's still a fun adventure...
Before I get to the part about why Atlantis: The Lost Empire is different from the usual Disney animated film, let me focus on a few familiar elements. The colorful two-dimensional animation is used once again to bring to life a magical story, often based on an old legend. Here, Disney presents its take on the mythical underwater world of Atlantis. The movie provides a sense of wonder as if you are an adventurer setting foot into this unknown world.
The main character is an ambitious adventurer named Milo Thatch, voiced by Michael J. Fox. He gathers a crew to discover the lost world of Atlantis. They navigate a submarine to the site where Milo believes Atlantis may be hidden. From there, they face danger and mystery before arriving at Atlantis. The story proceeds further and reveals the magic of Atlantis that the world knows nothing about.
Of course, you can't expect the story to be just about discovering how beautiful Atlantis is. You do have some kind of threat to this precious place. I won't say what it is exactly, but the conflict does show up. Then again, if you have two different worlds side by side, you can probably guess what might happen. Many stories have presented something like this before.
So here are the things you won't see in this particular Disney movie: cute nonhuman sidekicks, memorable songs, and funny lines. Atlantis: The Lost Empire actually aims to be a science-fiction action adventure rather than a true family film for all ages. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because after a while, you get used to this movie fitting into such a genre. Even you tried to throw in the missing Disney film elements, they would mar the film, not improve it. My advice: just enjoy the film for what it is.
And that's what I did. I enjoyed Atlantis: The Lost Empire for the magical adventure and the exciting action. I was engaged from the start of the adventure and on the edge of my seat by the film's climax. In the end, I liked how this movie works on the levels of the traditional Disney animated film and the slight departure from it. Maybe it's a good thing. As this film was released in 2001, animation was entering a new century and millennium. It's definitely the time to explore new ground.
For more information about Atlantis: The Lost Empire, visit the Internet Movie Database.