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ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE [2001 / 2015] [Blu-ray]
on 8 March 2016
ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE [2001 / 2015] [Blu-ray] Disney’s 40th Animated Classic! Funny and Exciting! A Monumental Treat!
The creators of ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ take you under the sea into an amazing world of excitement and exploration. Discover ‘ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE’ for the first time on Blu-ray, complete with digitally restored high definition picture and sound.
Set your course for the adventure of a lifetime as Walt Disney unlocks the mystery to the legendary lost empire of Atlantis in this thrilling, imaginative animated epic! Driven to find the sunken mythical kingdom, a young adventurer named Milo discovers an ancient journal with clues to its hidden location. Along with a skilled yet quirky group of explorers led by the confident Commander Rourke, Milo boards the Ulysses, an amazing state-off-the art submarine, for a risky expedition to the bottom of the sea. There, they discover a lot continent of supreme technology, mystical power and priceless riches. But when a surprise takeover plot surfaces, Milo’s mission switches from finding Atlantis . . . to saving it.
FILM FACT: ‘ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE’ was nominated for a number of awards, including seven Annie Awards, and won Best Sound Editing at the 2002 Golden Reel Awards. The animated film ‘ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE’ is considered to be a cult favourite, due in part to the brilliant art of Mike Mignola's unique artistic influence. At the peak of its production, 350 animators, artists and technicians were working on ‘ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE’ at all three Walt Disney animation studios in Burbank, California, Orlando, Florida and Paris in France. The film was one of the few Walt Disney animated features produced and shot in 70mm anamorphic format. The directors felt that a wide-screen image was crucial, as a nostalgic reference to old action-adventure films presented in the CinemaScope format [2.35:1].
Voice Cast: Michael J. Fox, Corey Burton, James Garner, Claudia Christian, John Mahoney, Phil Morris, Leonard Nimoy, Don Novello, Jacqueline Obradors, Florence Stanley, David Ogden Stiers, Natalie Strom, Cree Summer, Jim Varney, Jim Cummings, Patrick Pinney and Steven Barr
Directors: Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
Producers: Don Hahn and Kendra Haaland
Screenplay: Bryce Zabel (story), David Reynolds (additional screenplay material), Gary Trousdale (story), Jackie Zabel (story), Joss Whedon (story), Kirk Wise (story), Tab Murphy (screenplay) and Plato (book) (uncredited)
Composer: James Newton Howard
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 [CinemaScope]
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English: Descriptive 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, French: 5.1 DTS-HD High Resolution, German: 5.1 DTS-HD High Resolution, Spanish [Castilian]: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Dutch: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Flemish: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish [Catalan]: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French, German, Spanish [Castilian] and Dutch
Running Time: 92 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE’ is a 2001 American animated film created by Walt Disney Feature Animation and the 40th Animated Classic first science fiction film overall. Written by Tab Murphy, directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, and produced by Don Hahn, the film features an ensemble cast with the voices of Michael J. Fox, Cree Summer, James Garner, Leonard Nimoy, Don Novello, and Jim Varney in his final role before his death.
Many centuries ago, an accidental weapons discharge would cause a titanic tsunami that threatens to destroy the capital city of Atlantis. The giant crystal that powers the city, known as the “Heart of Atlantis,” calls upon the Queen and pulls her up so that they would be bonded in order to save the city. Her young daughter, Princess 'Kida' Kidagakash [Cree Summer], watches in tears before her father, King Kashekim Nedakh [Leonard Nimoy], covers her eyes. The power of the crystal creates a protective barrier around the centre of the city, keeping it from being destroyed by the tsunami. However, it also results in the city being buried beneath the subsiding waters.
In 1914, Milo James Thatch [Michael J. Fox] is preparing his presentation to his employers at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. on the lost continent of Atlantis. He notes that he believes there is a power source that the Atlanteans used and that it could still be hidden within the sunken city. He reasons that there is a book called the Shepherd's Journal that has been seen throughout history that would contain a detailed road map to the city and believes that the book is in Iceland. During the presentation, he gets a call to fix the boilers, revealing that he is not an employed linguist or cartographer, but rather the janitor. The Institution's board then attempt to deceitfully back out. Milo James Thatch chases after them and manages to corner Fenton Q. Harcourt [David Ogden Stiers], who completely dismisses the existence of Atlantis as myth. Even when Milo James Thatch threatens to quit, Fenton Q. Harcourt notes that the search for Atlantis is a career killer, which is what happened to Milo James Thatch's late grandfather Thaddeus Thatch.
In preparation for the expedition to begin, Milo James Thatch discovers that Lieutenant Helga Katrina Sinclair [Claudia Christian] is more than just Preston B. Whitmore’s personal assistant as she is the expedition's second-in-command. He also has run-ins with the elderly cook Jebidiah Allardyce “Cookie” Farnsworth [Jim Varney] and demolitions expert Vincenzo "Vinny" Santorini [Don Novello] before Preston B. Whitmore [John Mahoney] introduces him to the expedition's commanding officer Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke [James Garner]. Announcements are heard from elderly radio operator Wilhelmina Bertha Packard [Florence Stanley], with the last being for final boarding on the advanced submarine ship the Ulysses. After Milo James Thatch waves Preston B. Whitmore good-bye, the submarine is launched.
Milo James Thatch and Princess 'Kida' Kidagakash start to get to know one another as well as understand where each came from. Kida tells of her witnessing the great flood, which shocks Milo since it makes her much older than she appears. Milo James Thatch attempts to find out about the power source he is looking for, but gets side-tracked with another shock when it is realized that no one in Atlantis can read the written Atlantean language. Through Milo James Thatch, he and Princess 'Kida' Kidagakash are able to figure out how to activate one of the Ketaks before they tour the city. The tour is really Princess 'Kida' Kidagakash leading Milo James Thatch towards a deep pond underneath which a great number of written information is found. Milo James Thatch and Princess 'Kida' Kidagakash swim around with Princess 'Kida' Kidagakash's crystal providing light needed for Milo James Thatch to read. Milo James Thatch discovers that the power source he's been looking for is the very crystal that took Princess 'Kida' Kidagakash's mother and it is the reason Atlantis is still able to thrive alive. However, the location of the “Heart of Atlantis” is unknown and Milo James Thatch suspects the missing page contains its whereabouts.
An enraged Rourke goes after Milo James Thatch with an axe, during which he breaks a glass hole from the container. Milo James Thatch notices one of the glass shards has elements of the crystal and uses it to cut Rourke when he holds him up by the neck. The cut causes elements of the crystal to mix into Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke's blood, turning him into crystal form. Nevertheless, he still attacks until a chance positioning causes Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke to shatter after connecting with the still turning propellers of the hot air balloon. The act disconnects the container, though Milo James Thatch has to move it fast to prevent the hot air balloon from crashing down upon it.
The Atlanteans thank those who helped Milo James Thatch save them, donning each of them with crystals and providing them with an acceptable pile of gold to return to the surface with. Milo James Thatch is staying behind, as Milo James Thatch and Princess 'Kida' Kidagakash have fallen in love and he is needed to help the Atlanteans rediscover their lost culture. Back on the surface, Preston B. Whitmore debriefs Vinny, Sweet, Audrey, Mole, Cookie, and Packard into rehearsing a false story about them finding nothing as well as the made-up fates of Lieutenant Helga Katrina Sinclair, Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke, and Milo James Thatch. While going through photos Wilhelmina Bertha Packard took, Preston B. Whitmore discovers a package for him containing a picture of Thaddeus and child Milo James Thatch, a crystal, and a message thanking him on behalf of the Thatches for helping them realise their dream. Back in Atlantis, Milo James Thatch completes the construction of a stone effigy of Kashekim to join the other past kings orbiting the “Heart of Atlantis” as it once again hovers above the newly restored city.
Overall, I think the art style and production of ‘ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE’ was brilliantly done, especially by the artist Mike Mignola who brought this animated film some unique artistic influence. ‘ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE’ has nothing like the twitchy horrible visual business of the ghastly horrible animated film of ‘Tarzan’ I thought the end title song was really nice and luckily nothing like the cringe-worthy song, that was so painful, especially hearing the ghastly droning voice of the pathetic misplaced Phil Collins arena rock that plagued ‘Tarzan.’ I felt this animated film had a lot of potential, but in the end Disney people played its typical emotion cards and had a slight tear near the end of the animated film. Some things can always be counted on, and Disney has always known how to tug at heartstrings, and even trying to experiment with their craft, they have not lost the art to bringing the Disney magic to the screen and ‘ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE’ is well worth viewing and I am definitely going to give it a second viewing, as it never lets you down with slow action moments and really keeps the pace of the action going.
Blu-ray Video Quality – Walt Disney Studios in the UK, presents the 2001 original film its 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio in a stunning 1080p resolution. While colours are sometimes slightly muted in this animated film, but now and again you get stunning lush splashes of colour at effective intervals, the transfer of the animated film has no problems at all representing the intended look of the films production value. The contrast is beautifully realised in each, and sharpness is all one could hope for. Black levels are impressively deep and there is no banding or interfere with the transfer, which of course gives us a sterling picture quality. The white subtitles used when foreign tongues are being spoken in the film are very easy to read. All in all the overall depth to the image is impressive throughout and is maintains an enjoyable high quality atmosphere all the way and long-time fans of this animated film will feel more than satisfied by what you view throughout the 92 minutes.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Walt Disney Studios in the UK, presents this animated film in a fantastic awesome 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix and is very impressive throughout the original animated film. There is some always welcome directional dialogue, though most of the dialogue-heavy communication is contained firmly in the centre channel and is always easy to understand. There is powerful deep base used on several occasions and a terrific use of the entire soundstage to represent the action-heavy moments that sometimes pan from front to back. James Newton Howard’s bombastic brilliant composed music score gets the full surround treatment. So all in all there is a strong dimension with the surround sound mix and makes this a really exciting surround track with bass that significantly makes all the difference, and there is definitely clear improvements are found with the clarity of uncompressed audio. It's a totally magnificent awesome audio presentation from start to finish and all your speakers will definitely get a great workout, but make sure the neighbours are not around to hear it.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: Deleted Scenes No.1  [1080p] [16:56] Here with this first lot of deleted scenes, you get to view four individual titles that are: “The Viking;” “The Squid Bats;” “The lava Whales” and “The Land Beast.” With the last three you only get to view animated rough sketches. You can as usual either play them separately or Play All.
Special Feature: Deleted Scenes No.2  [1080p] [7:40] Here with this second lot of deleted scenes, you get an introduction with each title from Producer Don Hahan and Directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise and the three titles you get to view are: “Play The Rat;” “Milo Meets Helga” and Cookie Singing.” Once again they are only in the form of animated rough sketches. You can as usual either play them separately or Play All.
Special Feature: How To Speak Atlantean: With Marc Okrand  [480i] [1.33:1] [2:11] Here we get to view a very bad quality audio and video presentation by Marc Okrand is an American linguist, well known as the creator of the Klingon language. Here Marc Okrand gives some very basic English words that is translated into the Atlantean language. One thing I do not understand is that they show clips from the Disney film ‘The Reluctant Dragon,’ especially with the nerd with glasses Buddy Pepper (Studio Guide) who is trying to guide that idiot Robert Benchley to meet Walt Disney and they now and again show the translated Atlantean language at certain parts of the Disney film with the English spoken words.
Special Feature: Stone Giant Outtake   [1.78:1] [00:33] Here once again we get an introduction from Producer Don Hahan and Directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. One thing that I could not understand, is that is far too short and I just didn’t understand what it was all about or why it was included.
Preview Trailers: Sleeping Beauty – Diamond Edition [Blu-ray] [1080p] [2.20:1] [1:07]. FROZEN [Blu-ray] [1080p] [2.35:1] [2:32]. Disney XD [1080p] [1.85:1] [3:04]. Where’s My Water [Download] [1080p] [1.85:1] [3:36]
Finally, kudos to the Walt Disney Studio for trying something different with their epic animated adventure ‘ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE.’ This is a classic action adventure film. It is equal doses of Jules Verne, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Star Wars. Atlantis is filled with action, adventure, comedy, and more all set against the backdrop of a mysterious world. The animation in this film is beautiful. While it doesn’t necessarily break new technical ground, it makes up for it in excitement and imagination. The characters use fantastic machines, wear wondrous costumes, and have distinctive looks. The world is based on the unique styles of famous comic artist Mike Mignola and his artistic touch is all through the animated film and gives it a feel different from any other Disney film. The characters in this film were perfectly cast. I must also comment on the rousing soundtrack by James Newton Howard who does a great theme to the adventure that you’ll have stuck in your head well after the film. He also creates some unique music for Atlantis that is an interesting mix of Asian and Indian music. This will be an interesting CD to add to your collection. Highlights of the film include an attack on the submarine by a Leviathan, an underground aerial battle, and a grand finale involving an exploding volcano. If you are a fan of Walt Disney animation or adventure films, you’ll want to see ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE,’ and I am definitely going to give it a second viewing soon, as it has all the elements to keep you viewing this animated film throughout the running time of 92 minutes. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom