Customer Reviews: Atlantis - The Lost Empire
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on July 8, 2001
Disney's finally caught on and not had any cute singing animals in their movies. I mean, I know the Emperor's New Groove didn't either (except for the "theme song guy"!), but Atlantis went beyond that. It showed Disney doesn't always do "cute and funny." Do you think the final battle was cute and funny? Certainly not! Atlantis showed Disney doesn't always do " one gorgeous girl and one hot guy." Was Milo hot? Not much. Was Kida gorgeous? Yes, but Helga was, too. Atlantis went beyond normal Disney movies and accomplished more than we thought it could.
Even though I am a HUGE fan of action/adventure, I gave this movie a rating of 4. Why? Well, the whole living crystal thing was very confusing. I've seen the movie three times now and I still don't quite get the whole thing of how it works and why Kida's mother was lost to it. Another reason is that I would've liked to see more on Atlantis' culture, even though it was dying. And why can Atlanteans speak Atlantean, but they can't read it? How was that knowledge lost, but not the knowledge to speak it? Plus, just like every other Disney movie, there's a ridiculously short romance tied in with it. The guy and girl meet one day and are "in love" the following!!! Then, at the end of the movie, probably only a week or month later, Kida and Milo look like they're married. If you ask me, they needed more dating than that.
Over all, Atlantis is certainly worth seeing. Young kids will laugh at parts, and older kids will be staring in awe at others. Adults will appreciate the clean movie with no language. The score is uplifting and makes your heart soar, and it fits the movie perfectly. Atlantis: a real treasure for action/adventure fans!!!
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I have mixed feelings about this movie. First, the good stuff. There's some great action scenes and the backgrounds are pretty spectacular. However, the characters themselves are often not drawn as well and there isn't much development to the character's, either. However, the movie isn't bad, and overall I did enjoy it, but it's not the best thing Disney's done.
I understand a lot of thinking went into developing the Atlantis culture, and that part certainly was intriguing. The mysterious Atlanteans, who are practically immortal and able to build technological marvels far beyond us, are a nice touch, but some questions are left unanswered, such as how they became so advanced so early, and why they've been living for so long buried deep in the earth. With their advanced technology, you'd think they'd have made their way back to the surface after hundreds or thousands of years. But then there wouldn't be a plot either!
Anyway, although not Disney's greatest animated flick, it's not a bad way to spend a Sat. or Sun. afternoon.
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on September 7, 2002
It seems as though Disney always takes hits whenever it tries to do something daring and different. In 1985, they attempted their first PG-rated animated film, THE BLACK CAULDRON, a flawed but enjoyable fantasy tale, and it received mixed reviews and dismal box office receipts. Sixteen years later, they produced their second PG-rated animated film, ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE, and, even though it has its fans, also received mixed reviews and disappointing results at the box office. This is unfortunate, because, in spite of its occasional shortcomings, ATLANTIS is an enjoyable action-adventure flick from Disney.
True, there is at least one obnoxious-and useless-character in the movie (Moliere), the pace sometimes slows down, and the storyline is a little unclear at times, but look at what the film has that is good! The animation is amazing as always, with a lot of imaginatively designed backgrounds and mechanical marvels, fast-paced, hang-on-to-the-edge-of-your-seat action sequences (mainly the climax), decent vocal work, and a score by James Newton Howard which, although not as magnificent as that in DINOSAUR, is adventurous and suits the tone of the story well. In many ways, this is also another groundbreaking achievement for Disney, perhaps not artistically but genre-wise. It charts a new direction for its films, with no animal sidekicks (unless you count the cat), and no songs (except for the lame, useless pop number over the credits), and concentrates more on action and storytelling. I applaud the experiment, even if I wish the spotty parts could have been cleaned up a bit, and I hope to see Disney attempt another film like this again. (They do, in fact, with the upcoming release of TREASURE PLANET.)
The biggest controversy surrounding this film is that it is a rip-off of the Anime series, NADIA: THE SECRET OF BLUE WATER. I say, such arguments are ridiculous. Despite showing some similarities (scantily clad heroine with a pendant, underwater city, submarine battles), both NADIA and ATLANTIS are quite different altogether. ... In addition, the creators of ATLANTIS were inspired by the SOURCE MATERIAL - Jules Verne's classic novels, such as 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA - in the same way that NADIA was inspired by such literary classics. I doubt that this argument will ever subside, as we all know how anti-Disney some Anime fans as well as Disney haters can be.
Whether ATLANTIS will escape from the scathing criticisms surrounding it is a mystery, but, stripped of its flaws and ridiculous comparisons, the film is a rather underrated Disney achievement that deserved better, in my opinion.
As far as the Collector's Edition DVD is concerned, it is quite amazing. The quality of the video is presented superbly in its 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio, and an awesome sounding Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround soundtrack. I don't have a 5.1 system, and my DVD player hasn't the option to play the DTS 5.1 track, but I'm sure it is great nevertheless. I haven't checked out all the extras as of yet, but the case does list plenty, from deleted scenes to making-of documentaries (a high-selling point for DVDs, in my opinion), and the motion menus are spectacular. If only they would get rid of the trailers at the beginning of the first disc, it would have been perfect, but otherwise, this is yet another wonderful DVD from Disney. (Far better than its earlier "efforts", no doubt.)
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on December 10, 2013
It was disappointing. I didn't like the characters for the most part - or the script - and it's not Disney's best animation. I liked the IDEA of what this MIGHT be and this let me down. It's OKAY, but not one I'd buy or want to watch again or tell my nieces/nephews to see.
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on August 1, 2013
Atlantis has been my favorite movie since I was seven years old. Basically, since it first came out in 2001. I've always loved the story of Atlantis and this movie delivers! The soundtrack is also gorgeous with an exotic touch. As for the packaging, it was shipped in a well-protected envelope and arrived in pristine condition.
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on March 10, 2002
Midway through watching Atlantis: The Lost Empire, I began to wonder about Disney, The Lost Empire. What on earth is going on in the corporate suites of this icon of children's entertainment? Are its leaders merely victims of an unstoppable downturn in the cycle of [business] life, or have they simply run out of visions? Either way, they have given us a movie that is fundamentally, though not quite fatally, flawed...
The movie begins in Washington, DC, circa 1914. Milo [voice of Michael J. Fox] works in a museum and is forever touting his deceased grandfather's theories about the lost continent of Atlantis. One day a mysterious woman brings him to a fabulously wealthy man who invites Milo to go on an expedition to find it. He accepts and soon is aboard a gigantic submarine that is peopled with some very eccentric characters. They find Atlantis, which is alive but not so well. Since it sank all those centuries ago, it has existed undersea in a giant air bubble, kept going by some strange energy force. Who knew? Milo meets the locals, including the prerequisite Disney princess. Meanwhile, the crew has some rather evil plans for the place, and its up to Milo and his new friends to stop them.
The basic story line is fine, but its execution is a mess. The Atlantis scenes themselves are okay, full of silly, colorful fantasy. The advantage of having a tale unfold in a mythical time and place is that you can do anything you want there. With but one or two exceptions, all the great animated Disney movies have been set in such places.
Atlantis, though, has portions that take place in a real place at a specific date. It's this part that's so bad, not to mention a bit irresponsible. The characters use equipment that did not exist back then. This includes fearsome automatic rifles and other weapons. One character is shown with her hair full of plastic curlers, which were not invented until the 1950s. These are but a few examples, and no explanation is offered as to why so many things are in the wrong time period. The characters often use phrases that came into use much later. Even their goals in life are anachronistic. One girl's dream is to be a middleweight boxing champion. In 1914? I don't think so. Either no one thought research was necessary, or those who adhere to the policy of `dumbing down' the audience felt that kids today can only relate to their time and space.
My point is this: I think it is perfectly okay to create fantasy entertainment for children, but, in doing so, the makers should stay within that realm. If they chose to venture into real times and place, they should not treat those areas as total fantasy also. How are children to know the difference between what is real and what isn't if adults don't show them? My advice? Let the kids watch Shrek or Beauty and the Beast or A Bug's Life again. They delight and educate kids without ever once straying out of their magical kingdoms.
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on December 13, 2014
This movie is about the lost city of Atlantis. It doesn't really depict the TRUE version of the skeptical Theory of Atlantis studied by and spoken in the scientific world, but instead depicts yet another city under water and on land with cute crystal driven air cars and a giant crystal under water. It's a safe and fun movie which is interesting and exciting. Kids and Adults alike will enjoy this film.
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on March 28, 2013
I am a Disney fan and if you are too (and even if not), this is a good movie. The first time I ordered it, it was another movie in the box, as yet unknown. It was lost for several months. When I discovered the error, I contacted Amazon right away and they replaced it without question immediately for free.
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on December 22, 2011
Now, We all know how Disney entered another "dark age" after the Renaissance. Many good movies were released in this dark age (Lilo and Stitch, The Emperor's New Groove, and very few others), many bad ones, and so-so ones. It's a shame 'Atlantis' couldn't have been one of the good ones; instead, it's so-so.

The plot of Atlantis is something you should come to know from other reviews, and the synopsis. My job is to help you decide whether you wish too see it or not based on whether it is any good. Well, let's start with the pros.

One of the greatest things about 'Atlantis' is the animation. Based around the work of Mike Mignola, the film looks like a moving comic book! Most of the time it is beautiful, from the way an explosion looks, to the beautiful design of the Atlanteans. However, there are downsides to the animation. Take for instance the character Audrey. Look at her and tell me Disney couldn't have spent a little longer on her animation; I personally thought more of an effort could've been put. Another major thing about the animation that is both nice but off-putting is the use of CGI. Although at some times it looked good, depending on its use, it started becoming overdone. The animators started relying on the computer too much.

Now to the cons.

Let us start with the inane plot point that the Atlantean language is so conveniently the basis to many languages, so they can understand English. Did Disney really believe we'd buy that? Why couldn't they have made a more intelligent reason? Kids aren't so gullible. A second fault of the film was the short time spent in Atlantis, and in building the character of Kida. When things starting going wrong, I didn't feel too bad. I didn't connect with her well at all, same with most of the other characters. Another inane plot point was the fact that these people are extremely old, yet don't age. You can only blame so much on the "magic crystal" Disney. The film also drags a little, but the other faults outshine that considerably.

Check 'Atlantis' out if you're bored, or on a rainy day. Don't be too surprised, however. Or maybe you might like it.
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on June 25, 2001
For the most part, Atlantis is a fun, popcorn-munching movie that's a real treat, and takes some refreshing steps away from Disney's usual formula of dancing teacups and ambitious orphans. However, it is not without problems.
First off, the good: This movie is beautiful. There seems to be an attitude with some moviegoing audiences that movies with a lot of visual effects are "just a bunch of CGI" or concentrated too deeply on special effects. True, Atlantis has plenty of computer-generated images, but they blend seamlessly with the animation and make for a visually stunning movie. I know the words "visually stunning" get bandied about a lot, but this movie had some serious eye-candy -- enough to make me want to see it again.
The story, while not revolutionary (the mythical and mostly nonexistent "original plot" is highly overrated in my book anyway), is refreshing and not painfully post-modern, as too many movies of this type seem to be. No one says "don't go there," or "talk to the hand," which I fully expected to happen. There were no cute animal sidekicks, which I found almost impossible to believe, especially in a Disney film. For the most part, this is a movie that can appeal to adults as well as kids -- that is, seldom insulting the intelligence of either.
There are some great, exciting action scenes, with hot air balloons, flying mechanical shark-ships (not as stupid as it sounds), high-speed chases, and huge underwater monsters.
Now for the not-so-good. The movie rushes through its material so fast it can barely get out of its own way. Characters almost trip over one another in their mad dash to blurt out expository dialogue. Moments of characterization go by so hastily, you'll miss them if you blink. Presumably, this is some sort of pandering to the Pokemon generation who can't keep their attention focused on anything for more than three or four seconds, but I feel this movie would have been much improved by extending it, if only by about fifteen minutes.
This mad-dash school of filmmaking applies to the middle act of the film as well. In one scene, the main character gushes over a beautiful and ancient stone pillar -- seconds before the demolitions expert blows it to bits. A funny moment, but Atlantis almost slides into self-parody in this regard; the whole movie spends a few short seconds establishing the beautiful setting of Atlantis, and then promptly sets off a chain of explosions or another chase scene. The biggest annoyance for me was the incredible, Nautilus-like submarine that get smashed to pieces before we even get to really see how cool it is. Disappointing. I just wish they could have slowed down for a couple of scenes.
I went into this movie expecting a lot less than what I got. It starts out a little clumsily, and (as previously mentioned) whips through the exposition entirely too fast. But the story is engaging, and the finale satisfying.
The movie does contain some material that might be a little strong for kids -- there is a rather high body count, though all the death takes place "off-screen" -- you don't really see anyone getting killed, at least not directly. As violent content goes, kids have probably seen much worse on network TV.
Overall, I really recommend you see this movie on the big screen, with the full sound and picture -- this is one movie that pays off well in Dolby Digital.
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