Atlantis: The Lost Empire is a film about a young man in pursuit of the discovery of one of the world’s greatest myth – Atlantis. It begins with how the lost city came to be. There was a huge explosion triggering a deadly tidal wave that threatened the island of Atlantis. Just as everyone is evacuated to safety, a mysterious, hypnotic blue light caught the Queen of Atlantis and brought her towards the ‘Heart of Atlantis’, a powerful crystal that protects the city’s central district. She leaves behind a young daughter, Princess Kida, as the island vanishes beneath the ocean.
In 1914 – several thousand years later – Milo Thatch, a cartographer and linguist at the Smithsonian Institution who is marginalized for his research on Atlantis, believes that he has learned the location of The Shepherd’s Journal, an ancient manuscript that allegedly reveals the way to the lost island. After his proposal to seek out the Journal is rejected by the museum board, a mysterious woman named Helga Sinclair takes Milo to meet eccentric millionaire Preston B. Whitmore. Whitmore has already funded a successful effort to retrieve the Journal as repayment of a debt owed to Milo’s grandfather, and he recruits Milo to decipher it and lead an expedition to find Atlantis.
After traveling their way through underground caverns, a network of caves, and dormant volcanoes, the expedition team reached Atlantis. And similar enough to other ventures of the human race, greed for money entered in through the character of Commander Rourke. He and the crew betray Milo with the intent of taking the crystal back to the surface to sell for a profit. Rourke mortally wounds the King in an effort to extract information about the crystal’s location, but discovers it for himself hidden beneath the throne room. Once found, the crystal detects a threat, and merges itself with Kida, just as it did with her mother. Rourke and the mercenaries lock the transformed Kida into a crate and prepare to leave the city, knowing full well that with the life-giving crystal gone, the people of Atlantis will die. Milo berates his friends for abandoning their morals so easily for money, which convinces them to leave Rourke and stay behind in the city. In the palace, the King explains to Milo that the crystal has developed a consciousness of its own, and will seek out a royal host whenever the city is in danger in order to protect itself, and create a powerful energy shield around the city. As he dies, he gives his crystal to Milo and tells him to save Atlantis and Kida. With encouragement from Sweet, Milo rallies the crew and the Atlanteans to pursue and stop Rourke.
In the ensuing battle within the dormant volcano, Helga and the other mercenaries are all killed, and Rourke is destroyed when Milo slashes his arm with a crystallized shard of glass, crystallizing his body. As Milo and the others fly the crystal back to the city, the volcano suddenly becomes active and erupts. With lava flowing towards the city, Kida, in her crystal form, rises into the air and creates a protective shield. As the lava breaks away to show a newly restored Atlantis, the crystal returns Kida into Milo’s arms. The surviving crew returns to the surface and promises Whitmore that they will keep the discovery of Atlantis a secret. Milo, having fallen in love with Kida, stays behind to help her rebuild the lost empire.
* Synopsis Courtesy of Wikipedia
Okay. So this movie has been sitting on my “to-watch” list for some time now so I decided to give it a shot… finally, last night. I don’t know why, but I didn’t really find it so amusing. Maybe my copy isn’t high definition. Maybe because this was made in 2001 and film animations have greatly evolved since then (hello, it’s been more than 10 years!). Maybe the story is a bit stereotypical that knowing what will happen eventually made me lost interest. Maybe I was just so dead-tired to appreciate it. Maybe I was just getting old for cartoons. I really don’t know. Sorry.