‘Atlantis: The Lost Empire’ Review: We’re All Gonna Die

Posted in Screening Room by - March 26, 2015

We are in the last seven days of this horrid Disaster Movie List, and even though 85% of this list is pure dreck, I do believe we have had a few gems and I never would have guessed Atlantis: The Lost Empire would be one of them. Can we even call this animated masterpiece a true disaster film?

In the traditional sense, Atlantis: The Lost Empire may need us to bend the rules a bit when we define what a disaster film is. But does it really? Honestly ask yourself, “What makes a disaster film?” The answers are surprisingly simple. In my mind, a disaster film presents an eminent event that would cause substantial loss of life, or worse, the eradication of a civilization. The Atlanteans certainly face the loss of their lives and civilization by the end of the film. By that statement alone, Atlantis makes the cut in my book.

It’s not very often that animated films come up on Kulture Shocked and it’s not that animated films are bad. Some of my favorites are 2D animated Disney Classics such as Lion King, Aladdin. Personally, my all time favorite is Aladdin: King of Thieves — don’t judge me — and despite Disney’s renewed interest into animated films, the Disney Classics of 90s that provided the foundation for the childhood of basically anyone born before 1995 remain powerful pieces of film, even today.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire is now my favorite film of the month. That by itself is a bold statement. Sunshine was a top contender, but Atlantis‘ magnificent story, powerful soundtrack by James Newton Howard, and serious staying power have easily shoved it into the top spot for me this month.

It has been a while since I’ve mentioned a soundtrack, however, Howard’s work here deserves some serious attention. Howard is able to use every color the orchestra has to offer to create thematic content that communicates the visual and emotional material of Atlantis. It is an aurally stunning piece of work that, even without the film, is a soundtrack worth owning.

Besides the fantastic soundtrack, the characters in this film are exceptional and voiced by some outstanding talent. Animated films take the concept of an “ensemble cast” to a whole new level. On top of the cast, Tab Murphy provided a screenplay that is incredibly clever in its development and usage of adult content, which allow this film to be enjoyable for adults. There are jokes and gags in this film, as with most Disney Classics, that I’m sure I’ll still enjoy even when I’m 50, that are clever enough to go over the heads of younger viewers.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire is such an under-the-radar disaster film that I was shocked. When I sat down to watch this movie, I was second guessing the choice, thinking to myself, “How could this have possibly made the list.” To my surprise, I found a true animated classic that takes the disaster movie genre in a completely unorthodox direction and delivers something fantastic.

Final Say: Watch It

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