Atlantis: The Lost Empire

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Directed byGary Trousdale
Kirk Wise
Produced byDon Hahn
Screenplay byTab Murphy
David Reynolds (uncredited)
Story byTab Murphy
Gary Trousdale
Kirk Wise
Bryce Zabel
Jackie Zabel
Joss Whedon (Treatment)
StarringSee Cast
Music byJames Newton Howard
Edited byEllen Keneshea
Distributed byBuena Vista International
Release date
  • June 3, 2001 (2001-06-03) (Premiere)
  • June 15, 2001 (2001-06-15) (US)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$90–120 million[1][2][3]
Box office$186,053,725[3]

Atlantis: The Lost Empire is a 2001 American animated movie made by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 40th movie in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and the first science fiction movie for Disney. It follows a group of mercenaries on a quest to find the lost city of Atlantis. Released on June 15, 2001, it did not make much money as the company wanted. Disney stopped making both a spin-off television series and an underwater attraction at its Disneyland theme park.

Plot[change | change source]

In ancient times, a giant tidal wave threatens to submerge the island city of Atlantis. During a mass evacuation of the city, the queen of Atlantis is ingested by the "Heart of Atlantis", a giant crystal protecting the city, leaving behind her daughter Kida (Cree Summer) and her husband Kashekim (Leonard Nimoy).

Thousands of years later, in 1914, Milo J. Thatch (Michael J. Fox), a nerdy linguist and cartographer at the Smithsonian Institution, who is marginalized for his research on Atlantis, believes he has found the "Shepherd's Journal", an ancient book which supposedly contains directions to the lost city, but his proposal to search for it is turned down by the museum board. Milo later encounters the seductive Helga Sinclair (Claudia Christian), who introduces him to Preston Whitmore (John Mahoney), an eccentric millionaire who had previously funded a successful expedition to find the journal to repay a debt to Milo's grandfather, and recruits Milo to lead an expedition to Atlantis as soon as he deciphers it.

The expedition departs for Atlantis, led by Commander Rourke (James Garner), who also led the search for the journal, and a team of specialists including Vinny (Don Novello), an Italian demolition expert, Audrey (Jacqueline Obradors), a Latino mechanic, Mrs. Packard (Florence Stanley), a grouchy radio operator, Dr. Sweet (Phil Morris), a black medical officer, and Cookie (Jim Varney), a mess cook. The crew sets off on the Ulysses, a giant submarine, but are soon attacked by the Leviathan, a robotic lobster-like sea monster, guarding the entrance to Atlantis. The Ulysses is destroyed, but Milo, Rourke and part of the crew escape and make their way to a cavern, which the journal describes as the entrance to the city.

After travelling through a network of caves and a dormant volcano, the team reach Atlantis where they are greeted by Kida, who is actually over eight-thousand years old, but resembles a young woman, and discover that the Atlantean language is the basis for many existing languages. Kida enlists Milo's help in decoding the Atlantean language, which has been long forgotten by the natives. By swimming deep within the city's submerged ruins, and translating underwater murals, he discovers that the Heart of Atlantis provides the city with power and extends their lives through the crystals worn around their necks; he is surprised that this isn't mentioned in the journal, but upon examination realises a page is missing.

Returning to the surface with Kida, Milo discovers Rourke has the missing page. Rourke and the crew betray Milo, revealing they intend to bring the crystal to the surface world to sell off. Rourke fatally wounds the king while trying to extract information about the crystal's whereabouts, but finds its location for himself, hidden under the throne room. The crystal merges with Kida, and Rourke and the mercenaries lock her in a crate and prepare to leave, knowing that the Atlanteans will be killed when the crystal is gone. Milo calls his friends out for betraying their consciences and ultimately they join his side, and remain in Atlantis. As the king succumbs to his wounds, he tells Milo the crystal has developed consciousness, and when Atlantis is threatened, it will find a royal host. As he dies, he gives Milo his crystal and tells him to save Kida and Atlantis. With the encouragement of Sweet, Milo., the crew and the Atlanteans team up to stop Rourke.

During a massive battle inside the volcano, Helga and the mercenaries are defeated, and Rourke is killed when he is turned into a crystal statue, and cut to pieces by his airship's blades. As Milo and the others fly back to the city, the volcano erupts. As lava flows towards the city, Kida-in crystal form-rises into the air, creating a protective shield. The lava breaks away harmlessly, showing a restored Atlantis, and the crystal returns Kida to Milo. The rest of the crew return to the surface, vowing to keep Atlantis's location a secret, while Milo stays behind, falls in love with Kida and helps her rebuild the lost empire.

Cast[change | change source]

Awards[change | change source]

Award Category Name Outcome
29th Annie Awards[4] Individual Achievement in Directing Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise Nominated
Individual Achievement in Storyboarding Chris Ure Nominated
Individual Achievement in Production Design David Goetz Nominated
Individual Achievement in Effects Animation Marlon West Nominated
Individual Achievement in Voice Acting – Female Florence Stanley Nominated
Individual Achievement in Voice Acting – Male Leonard Nimoy Nominated
Individual Achievement for Music Score James Newton Howard Nominated
2002 DVD Exclusive Awards[5] Original Retrospective Documentary Michael Pellerin Nominated
2002 Golden Reel Award[6] Best Sound Editing – Animated Feature Film Gary Rydstrom, Michael Silvers, Mary Helen Leasman, John K. Carr, Shannon Mills, Ken Fischer, David C. Hughes, and Susan Sanford Won
Online Film Critics Society Awards 2001[7] Best Animated Feature Nominated
2002 Political Film Society[8] Democracy Nominated
Human Rights Nominated
Peace Nominated
World Soundtrack Awards[9] Best Original Song for Film Diane Warren and James Newton Howard Nominated
Young Artist Awards[10] Best Feature Family Film – Drama Walt Disney Feature Animation Nominated

References[change | change source]

  1. "Atlantis: The Lost Empire". The-Numbers. Nash Information Services. Retrieved January 6, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. Lyman, Rick; Fabrikant, Geraldine (May 21, 2001). "Suddenly, High Stakes for Disney's Film and TV Businesses". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2011. Besides, Disney executives maintain that they have made it easier for their animated features to break even by a cost-cutting campaign that made Atlantis, which cost $100 million, about 35 percent cheaper to produce than the studio's other recent animated efforts. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. "Legacy: 29th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2001)". International Animated Film Society. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. "2002 DVD Exclusive Winners". Reed Business Information. Archived from the original on August 11, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. Benzuly, Sarah (June 1, 2002). "Black Hawk Down Among MPSE Winners". Mix. Retrieved August 30, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. "OFCS Awards for 2001 Nominees". Online Film Critics Society. Archived from the original on February 19, 2002. Retrieved August 31, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. "Atlantis: The Lost Empire". Political Film Society. Retrieved August 30, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. "Belgian Film Fest to Host World Soundtrack Awards". Billboard. Retrieved August 30, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. "Twenty-Third Annual Young Artist Awards 2002". Young Artist Foundation. Retrieved August 30, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)