Sunday, March 31, 2013
Animation Week - Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
The fourth and final animated film of this week is not based on a comic or any pre-existing material. Atlantis: The Lost Empire doesn't feel like your typical Disney film as it's not based on a children's story, has no musical numbers, and is rated PG. While this is certainly is not a bad thing, I think the change in tone was why Atlantis got a cool reception from critics and audiences during its original release. Atlantis is about linguist Milo Thatch, who tries to finish what his grandfather started and find the lost civilization of Atlantis. An eccentric millionaire who was a friend of Milo's grandfather funds the expedition and puts together an intrepid crew for the voyage.
Atlantis mixes traditional animation with CGI. The animation still looks quite good after more than ten years. I liked the steam punk style as its not something you see everyday and works as a contrast to the more magical world of Atlantis. Michael J. Fox does a good job as usual headlining the cast as our protagonist, Milo. The expedition crew is full of interesting, diverse, and fun characters. My favorite was Vinny (played by comedian Don Novello, best known for his Father Guido Sarducci character), the Italian demolition expert who loves to blow stuff up. The rest of the voice cast includes everyone from James Garner to Leonard Nimoy to Jim Varney!
The story of Atlantis is simple and predictable as its not that far off from Fern Gully, Pocahontas, or even Avatar. But overall the movie is still enjoyable thanks to its art and characters. Atlantis: The Lost Empire is worth a watch though probably not something I'll feel the need to revisit.