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Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) Movie Review


Disney films like Treasure Planet showcased those wild villain-chasing adventures with treasures. Atlantis: The Lost Empire also has that, but on an aquatic scale.


Released in 2001 and helmed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. Both directors collaborated in the movie Beauty And The Beast.


We follow the journey of a young linguist named Milo Thatch, who dreams of finding the mythical city of Atlantis. Helga Sinclair introduced him to the millionaire Preston Whitmore, who happens to be an old friend of his grandfather. He made a bet to hand over his journal to Milo, which tells the history and everything he learned about Atlantis. Led by Captain Rourke and Helga, Milo, like his grandfather, joined the expedition hoping to find the mythical city. They were joined by an eccentric bunch of men and a few soldiers. As they descend to the ocean, following the journal, they encounter a mechanical Leviathan which destroyed their submarine. The remaining men journeyed until they reached Atlantis, where Princess Kida met them.


The men were treated with hostility because of Atlantis' history of men claiming their treasures. However, Kida enlists Milo to help her regain its culture before it decays. The two discover the crystal, which serves as the power source of Atlantis. Captain Rourke leans about this and decides to steal the crystal. Now, it's up to Milo and Kida to defeat the captain and bring back the crystal before Atlantis is completely destroyed.


This movie features the incredible voices of Michael J. Fox as Milo Thatch, James Garner as Captain Rourke, and Kree Summer as Princess Kida.


I think the story is a little bit bland. I had quite a few problems with it, especially how it was paced. I had difficulty focusing on the story because I always waited for a big reveal, but it never happened. The plot is very predictable, with a hero trying to defeat the villain.


I like the characters. Milo Thatch is like a typical hero who starts as a naive individual trying to chase his dreams but is eventually tasked to save the world. Captain Rourke may not be as imposing as any other villain, but I think he is a solid character. The other side characters are an eccentric bunch. They are weird and funny.


What I liked about the film was the animation. For a movie that premiered more than two decades ago, this is still a substantial step-up compared to other Disney classics. The underwater scenes felt like I was in an underwater world that made it look natural.


The design of Atlantis is marvelous. From the ruins to the alleyways, everything looks majestic. It's no wonder that Milo decided to stay by the film's end. Who wouldn't want to experience life under the sea except for Ariel from The Little Mermaid?


Contrary to its rotten Rotten Tomatoes rating, I like the movie. It's not my favorite Disney film but Atlantis: The Lost Empire sits nicely in the middle.


A solid 3 out of 5 stars.

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