Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) ***

PG, 95 min.
Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Writers: Tab Murphy, Kirk Wise, Gary Trousdale, Joss Whedon, Bryce Zabel, Jackie Zabel, David Reynolds
Voices: Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Cree Summer, Claudia Christian, Don Novello, Jacqueline Obradors, Corey Burton, Phil Morris, John Mahoney, Florence Stanley, David Ogden Stiers, Jim Varney, Leonard Nimoy

Ever since Disney wrote a deal with Netflix, I’ve been using my children as an excuse to revisit Disney animation. “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” was the last Disney film to be released before I had children. It was also one of my earliest movie reviews. I didn’t bother to see it when it was in theaters, but I used my five month old as an excuse to rent it. Like he even cared at that age, but hey, I had a kid. That meant I had to watch kids movies. Right?

I guess things don’t really change much, do they? The movie was pretty much as I remembered. It’s always nice to revisit a movie after so long that you don’t remember the details of it. It’s like seeing it for the first time again.

“Atlantis: The Lost Empire” is far from one of Disney’s masterpieces. It’s a good adventure, though. Much like “Treasure Planet”, this movie is a sci-fi adventure based on a story that has fascinated people throughout the ages. It’s the Atlantis legend made fun through the Disney tradition of collecting interesting characters into a canned adventure that’s never offensive and includes various cultures and uses a cleverly funny script to get you there.

I noted that Leonard Nimoy lent his famous voice to one of the elders of the lost Atlantis. This brought to mind his contribution to the last installment of the “Transformers” films, and I became sad. Nimoy has said that he’s finished with acting. At his age, this is one of the few “I’m quitting acting” claims that I’m willing to believe. I would’ve preferred it if “Atlantis” had been his final voice over work, because “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” is a foul mark on a career of a wonderful contributor to science fiction. Luckily, his final appearances were in the much more worthy 2009 version of “Star Trek” and the sci-fi television series “Fringe”.

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