out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4
Disney dives into summer as an inexperienced young explorer
follows his grandfather's long-lost journal on a mission to find the
legendary island of Atlantis. It's 1914 when a nerdy linguist named Milo
Thatch (voiced by Michael J. Fox) is recruited to "advise" an expedition
on the Ulysses, a state-of-the-art submarine under a gruff military
Commander (James Garner), his cool assistant (Claudia Christian) and a
motley crew that includes an explosives expert (Don Novello), a flippant
mechanic (Jacqueline Abradors), a crusty cook (the late Jim Varney), a
fast-talking doctor (Phil Morris), a zany geologist known as The Mole
(Corey Burton), and a cranky, chain-smoking communications op (Florence
Stanley). Milo thinks it's going to be all "discovery, teamwork and
adventure," but they're a Jules Verne-like "Dirty Dozen." En route,
their most memorable encounter is with the ferocious Leviathan, a
mechanical, lobster-like sea-serpent, who shreds their sub. Then, after
surviving some fiery flies, they meet the Atlanteans who are in the midst
of a "crystal" crisis, losing their mystical source of power and healing.
Romance sparks between Milo and Princess Kida (Cree Summer), much to the
dismay of her father (Leonard Nimoy) and there's a treacherous twist from
the mercenary Commander. Directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise opt for
a non-traditional approach - no songs, no cutsey animal sidekicks. Instead,
they're into the courageous derring-do, solidly punctuated by James
Newton Howard's music.
The flat characters pale in comparison with the flashy, eye-catching
action and it's best to just ignore some of the obvious plot loop-holes.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Atlantis" surfaces with an
imaginative, spectacular 7. Another triumph for Disney animation.
Copyright © 2001 Susan Granger
Buy movie posters!