Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

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Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 49% IMDB Rating: 6.5
AMR Rating: Worth Watching.

Synopsis: Based on Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, Atlantis tells the story of a young man named Milo who discovers the hidden island with a crew, not knowing that his own people are conspiring against the undersea city.

Review: A fast-paced movie full of action, Atlantis is one of those that could be filmed well with actors. The jokes are hilarious, the lack of songs provides variety to Disney movies, and the film will definitely keep you at the edge of your seat. However, this movie falls to a common flaw among adventure films: it lacks depth. People simply glaze over the entire movie, completely aware of the screen. Perhaps this piece has too much action and the storyline moves too fast. There is no time to contemplate, only time to watch as the characters, which are not well developed, run about. You become excited for them, but you will not be excited for yourself. Despite all the dramatic scenes and many explosions, viewers don’t become part of the film.

As a non-Pixar Disney animated film with no musical numbers, Atlantis is a rare specimen. Besides, there’s no time to sing when your life is at risk every moment, anyway. Yet what I really love is the epic film score by James Newton Howard. It fits the movie. Also, the sharp angles in the art style complement the action, and is unique in animated films. The scenery of Atlantis is dynamic and intriguing.

If you seek only pure action, excitement, and an easy movie to watch that includes some nice jokes, Atlantis is the movie for you. On the other hand, if you want to be transported into Atlantis’ world, advanced in technology, yet primitive in design, awesome with explosions, unfortunately, you’re shut out. Therefore, Atlantis is worth watching, though it could use a lot more meat.

Background: Instead of another musical, the Disney production team decided to do an action-adventure film inspired by the works of Jules Verne. Atlantis was notable for adopting the distinctive visual style of comic book creator Mike Mignola. The production team did much research. (Source)

At the time of its release, the film had made greater use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) than any of Disney’s previous animated features; it remains one of the few to have been shot in anamorphic format. Linguist Marc Okrand created a language specifically for use in Atlantis. Atlantis was nominated for a number of awards, including seven Annie Awards, and won Best Sound Editing at the 2002 Golden Reel Awards. (Source)

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