Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Atlantis: The Lost Empire


Atlantis: The Lost Empire is the first mainstream Disney Animation to be a sci-fi, and what a sci-fi it is.

Set in 1914 the film follows Milo Thatch (Michael J. Fox), an aspiring young linguist fascinated by the legend of the lost city of Atlantis, who feels it's possible to reach Atlantis, but is denied funding by all, until he meets millionaire Preston Whitmore (John Mahoney), an old friend of Milo's late grandfather, who is willing to fund the expedition. Led by Commander Rourke (James Garner) Milo joins a submarine crew on the quest to find the lost underwater city. After a hell of an adventure they reach Atlantis, only for Rourke to show his true colours and reveal his plan to take the Heart of Atlantis up to the surface and auction it for riches beyond everyone's wildest dreams, which would cause Atlantis's civilization to all die out.

The animation is truly spectacular. The animation team truly went all out to create the underwater lost city of Atlantis and bring it to beautiful, glorious life, making it colourful, vibrant and so beautifully detailed you will be unable to take your eyes off it. The characters are also excellent. Michael J. Fox, with help from the film's excellent screenplay, creates the perfect geek in Milo. Just as wonderful are the crew that go to Atlantis with Milo. Corey Burton is hilarious as French geologist 'Mole', who is over-excitable and even eats the dirt. Jacqueline Obradors is excellent as the tomboyish teenage engineer, Audrey, making her tough, cocky, and just so darn enjoyable to watch. Other memorable characters include the expedition's doctor, African-American/Native American Joshua Sweet (Phil Morris), sarcastic and moody Italian demolitions expert Vinny (Don Novello), Rourke's seductive second-in-command Helga (Claudia Christian), and disgusting old redneck cook 'Cookie' (voiced by Jim Varney in his last ever role, the film being released 16 months after Varney's death from lung cancer). All of these characters are really brought to life by the cast and the top-notch screenplay, and the film would be nowhere near as good without them. The film also features constant adrenaline-fuelled action, from the sinking of the submarine early on in the expedition, to the explosive climactic battle with Rourke at the end, so there will never be a dull moment in which your attention will go.

All in all this is an excellent quality Disney film thanks to its outstanding animation, quality characters and top-notch screenplay. Buy or rent a copy - I promise you won't regret it.

Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Cree Summer, Jacqueline Obradors, Phil Morris, Claudia Christian, Corey Burton, Don Novello, Leonard Nimoy, Florence Stanley, Jim Varney, John Mahoney.

Annie Award nominations: Individual Achievement in Directing (Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise), Individual Achievement in Voice Acting - Male (Leonard Nimoy), Individual Achievement in Voice Acting - Female (Florence Stanley), Individual Achievement in Storyboarding (Chris Ure), Individual Achievement in Production Design (David Goetz), Individual Achievement in Effects Animation (Marlon West).

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