I love the Disney post-renaissance era; it's an era where Disney experimented with new ideas and released movies that felt very different from their previous catalogue of films. In my experience, these movies seem to be movies that you either love or hate; Atlantis The Lost Empire appears to keep up with that trend, many people adore it, I, on the other hand, don't.
My Thoughts After Watching
If you look at the story as a whole, it does have the potential to be very interesting. The history of Atlantis and the history of Milo's father would have helped to make this story interesting, and yes while the story does mention some of that, it breezes past them which is a massive shame. It's not only the pacing of those aspects that are off though, but it's also off for quite a lot of the rest of the film.
The first part of Atlantis The Lost Empire speeds by without even giving you time to breathe, and then while yes the speed is ok for the next section, not shortly after it goes by at a snail's pace. Pacing is my main issue with this film and drastically takes away from my enjoyment of the film.
Something that made the slower parts even worse was that lots of the jokes fell flat for me. I was bored through a lot of those parts because the jokes are part of what's supposed to make those sections enjoyable.
The ending and climax were ok, but I do have an issue with the climax and once again it's to do with the timing of it, it was over way too quickly. Towards the end of the climax, a transformation happened to a character which was quite exciting and had the potential to make the climax a lot better, but they ended it literally a second later; why do that? Yes, the rest of the climax was exciting but cutting it short felt like a significant missed opportunity which is a shame.
Atlantis The Lost Empire had its issues when it comes to characters too. Gaetan Moliére, the Mole guy, played by Corey Burton was incredibly annoying is the same way as B.E.N from Treasure Planet. Like B.E.N he was loud and just seemed to pop up all over the place making stupid jokes.
Mrs Pacrid was better and was actually very funny at first; I was excited to see how her character played out throughout the story. I soon realised that they wouldn't really do anything with her character though and her character got boring fast.
That's the issue with many of these characters; they hardly have any depth to them. Don't get me wrong, the characters did all have their unique personalities, but they hardly ever showed any other sides to them. Even Milo, the main character, didn't change much throughout the story.
In my opinion, the issue mentioned above was a direct result of how many characters there were in this film; there were way too many characters in it! This film's running time didn't give the characters the time they needed to get the development that they needed. Yes, there was the camp scene where they said a bit, but it wasn't nearly enough. To have made this work they needed to either:
- Cut down on the number of characters shown
- Highlight some of the crew over others.
- Made the runtime longer
As was the case with the story, these characters had potential and could have been a lot better than they were in this film.
Visually this film was gorgeous to watch and had beautiful environments. I liked the more rigid look that the characters had in this film, it was different from the norm for Disney.
Something that I found annoying was fast movement. It looked was too quick and jittery, characters just popped from one place to another without the usual flow that other Disney films have. The general animation looked great though.
The audio, unfortunately, had its issues too. For starters, Michael J. Fox didn't do a good job playing Milo. He sounded very monotonous and didn't have the energy that Milo should have had, I mean the guy was living his lifelong dream that he had worked towards his entire life...
The soundtrack was just average too, the score wasn't fantastic but wasn't bad either, but I didn't really like the song at the end of the film, which was the only song in Atlantis The Lost Empire.
Overall Atlantis The Lost Empire misses the mark on every single category. All of them had potential that was lost mostly due to either pacing or other bad decisions.
There's a good story hidden in here that people who like this film are seeing, but unfortunately for me, all of the issues don't allow me to enjoy it. All that they had to do was change a few things here and there, and it would have been a lot better.