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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
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Good 3 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
U
Cast
Michael J Fox
James Garner
Cree Summer
Don Novello
John Mahoney
Michael J Fox
Don Novello.
Directors
Kirk Wise
Gary Trousdale.
Screenwriters
Tab Murphy.
Running Time
96 minutes

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Disney's animated feature about the mythical lost continent.


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Plot
A wealthy philanthropist funds an expedition to Atlantis, on which enthusiast Milo, and a ragtag band of mercenaries, find out why the lost city remained undiscovered.


Review
Blame Buzz Lightyear. If he hadnt burst onto the scene in Toy Story, all brand-spanking new and CG-shiny, then movies like Atlantis would still be perfectly acceptable animation fare.

Directors Trousdale and Wise were responsible for Beauty And The Beast, so they obviously know their way around the animation block. Yet in attempting ambitious action sequences, Atlantis smacks of a medium playing catch-up with its pixellated cousin. Also sadly lacking is the sense of wonder one would expect from a movie about the Atlantean legend, while the characters are dragged from the Big Book Of Disney Stereotypes, from the comedy double act to the determined, charming hero. Collect them all! Stir in a daffy New Age plot, and - bizarrely - elements of Stargate, and it's clear that Trousdale and Wise have considerably overcooked the broth.

It's not a total washout, though. The design ethic - if not quite as innovative as, say, Hercules - is strong throughout, the Jules Verne-inspired technology nicely juxtaposed with the Inca-esque visual splendour of Atlantis itself. There's a commendable lack of musical numbers, thus sparing us the warblings of Phil Collins (or worse); the voice cast is excellent, Fox in particular; and at times, proceedings are altogether darker than the usual Mouse House fare - one early set-piece wipes out half of the explorers in seconds. Sadly, it says much about the jack-of-all-trades tone that, soon after, we're back to comic buffoonery, lest any watching kiddiewinkles require counselling.

A lost opportunity, then. Disney might be reluctant to abandon traditional animation completely - they're damned if they do, damned if they don't ù but it's hard not to think that, with the emphasis now firmly on CG animation, Atlantis might be a harbinger of doom for the 2D format.


Verdict
A solid addition to the Disney canon. But from the directors of Beauty And The Beast, solid ain't good enough. Classic Disney this is not.


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Average user rating for Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Empire Star Rating

RE: Atlantis: The Lost Empire

I thought this was fairly poor. Tarzan and The Emperor's New Groove were the last good cartoons Disney made. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mrdoom14 at 16:57, 26 June 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Atlantis: The Lost Empire

I've never seen this but I've heard mixed things about it. Shame really as it looks like it could be great Boy's Own escapism. ... More

Posted by Timon at 16:20, 26 June 2007 | Report This Post


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