Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Nice family friendly fantasy

Rather generic action adventure not up to par with other Disney films

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Atlantis:  The Lost Empire

Studio:  Walt Disney Feature Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  June 3, 2001 (Premiere)/June 15, 2003 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG


Hey, I found Nemo!!!

It is 1914, and Milo Thatch still believes that Atlantis exists despite not having the proof he needs.  When he receives a grant from a millionaire named Preston B. Whitmore, Milo finds himself setting out on the Ulysses to prove his grandfather’s beliefs right with a team led by Commander Rourke.  The team finds Atlantis is not only alive but still inhabited, but Milo discovers that the source of Atlantis power is keeping its people alive…and betrayal could follow!

Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, Atlantis:  The Lost Empire is the forty-first film in the Walt Disney Animated Classic line and follows the 2000 release of The Emperor’s New Groove.  The film was rated PG (which was the first Disney animated film to be rated that since The Black Cauldron in 1985) and received mixed reviews from critics leading to a so-so box office return.


Atlantis, blue glowing crystals, and I got a girlfriend?!?! Best Day Ever!!!

Atlantis:  The Lost Empire just looked like the Disney (and underwater) version of Titan A.E. with a Disney style cast of characters.  I finally decided to see the movie and I wasn’t wrong…it did play as a rather typical adventure for kids.

The movie’s story is quite derivative.  People noticed similarities to the anime program Nadia:  The Secret of Blue Water and also Stargate which featured a character played by James Spader who was very similar to Milo.  The adventure has a lot of pulp references partially due to the time period in which the film is set.  With the PG rating, the movie is a bit darker than the standard Disney film, but still feels very kid friendly.


My girlfriend is hotter than yours and has magical powers, old man!

The cast of the film is led by Michael J. Fox who plays the role of Milo, but James Garner also provides his signature voice as the villainous Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke.  Leonard Nimoy plays the King of Atlantis and Jim Varney gives his last performance as Jebidiah Allerdyce “Cookie” Farnsworth (he died from lung cancer during production).  David Ogden Stiers, John Mahoney, and Cree Summers also provide voices for the film.


I’m Iceman…awesome!

The movie has gained a bit of a cult following due to its animation.  A ton of people worked on the movie during its creation, but one of the primary character designers was Hellboy illustrator Mike Mingola.  Mingola’s popularity has led to the movie getting more attention.  The film also has a bit of a steampunk look but the movie didn’t take it far enough.  The classic animation is very clean, but I find it very standard in the world of video games and fantasy movies.

Atlantis:  The Lost Empire is one of those rather generic Disney movies.  It is loaded with marketable characters and the action of the film is more targeted at boys than girls.  Disney planned to make a TV series named Team Atlantis, but eventually turned the episodes into a sequel called Atlantis:  Milo’s Return which was released in 2003.  Disney followed Atlantis:  The Lost Empire with Lilo & Stitch in 2002.

Related Links:

Atlantis:  Milo’s Return

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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