"Atlantis: The Lost Empire" (2001)

Rating: PG
Genre: Action & Adventure, Animation, Family, Fantasy
Directed By: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Written By: Gary Trousdale, Joss Whedon, Kirk Wise, Tab Murphy, Bruce Zabel, Jackie Zabel
In Theatres: Oct 19th, 2001
Runtime: 95 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

An inexperienced young adventurer becomes the key to unravelling an ancient mystery when he joins up with a group of daredevil explorers to find the legendary lost empire of Atlantis. A naive-but-determined museum cartographer Milo Thatch (Michael J. Fox), dreams of completing the quest begun by his late grandfather, a famous explorer. When a journal surfaces, an eccentric billionaire funds an expedition and the action shifts to high gear.

This seems to be a seriously underrated Disney film. I don’t understand why. It seems to hold its own against all the other more popular ones.

The plot might not be the most eye opening one in the world, but it’s the collection of interesting and amusing characters that carry the film through. The villains and heroes are dynamic and not as straight forward, typical-Disney-villain/hero as many others. Each has their quirks good or bad. 

Why isn’t Kida included amongst all the other princesses? She’s cool and she joins in with the action and battering a few bad guys. She’s by no means passive, she’s not afraid to get into the thick of the fight. I don’t understand it because she is of royal descent, just like the others. Princess is in her title! She’s self-assured and self-aware as well. As character role-models go, I don’t know why she’s overlooked. They make such a thing about Frozen’s Elsa not needing or wanting a man and all this malarchy. But not once did the suggestion that Kida was looking or wanting anyone come about during the film. She wasn’t pining or waiting around, it didn’t seem to be something that crossed her mind any more than the average person. Yes, there is a love story suggested between her and Milo but it comes about by accident and is an extremely minor character-arc.

As for our strapping bespectacled young hero…Well, he’s pretty by the book. A scrawny na├»ve and morally grounded fellow with big dreams and a one-track mind to find Atlantis and make his late grandfather proud of him. He’s a bit hapless but he’s got a dynamic and feisty bunch of people around him an is a lot smarter than he thinks. 

An underrated and enjoyable film.