* Warning! This overview may contain spoilers! *
Title: Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Released on: 2001
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi (Science Fiction)
Movie Duration: 1 hour and 36 minutes / 96 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.8 / 10 (stars are rounded-off 🙂 )
Where I watched: DVD
Plot (full-detail): 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, Kidagakash, watches in tears before her father, King Kashekim Nedakh, covers her eyes. The power of the crystal creates a protective barrier around the center 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 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 chases after them and manages to corner Mr. Fenton Harcourt, who completely dismisses the existence of Atlantis as myth. Even when Milo threatens to quit, Harcourt notes that the search for Atlantis is a career killer, which is what happened to Milo’s late grandfather Thaddeus Thatch.
Milo returns home disheartened, only to suddenly meet a woman named Helga Sinclair. She tells him that she is there on behalf of her employer with a proposition. When Milo asks who her employer is, she instead drives him to the estate of Preston Whitmore. Upon arriving in Whitmore’s private study, Milo discovers that Whitmore was friends with his grandfather. He finds Whitmore in the middle of completing a yoga session before pointing out a parcel addressed to Milo from his late grandfather. Milo opens the parcel to find, to his disbelief, the Shepherd’s Journal. Whitmore explains that he is fulfilling a bet me made to Thaddeus by financing the expedition, though it is clear that he is willing to do it regardless because of his friendship with him. Whitmore adds that everything is set and all they need is someone who can read the book, which is Milo. Without much hesitation, Milo agrees to participate.
In preparation for the expedition to begin, Milo discovers that Helga is more than just Whitmore’s personal assistant as she is the expedition’s second-in-command. He also has run-ins with the elderly cook Jebidiah “Cookie” Farnsworth and demolitions expert Vincenzo “Vinny” Santorini before Whitmore introduces him to the expedition’s commanding officer Commander Lyle Rourke. Announcements are heard from elderly radio operator Wilhelmina Packard, with the last being for final boarding on the advanced submarine ship theUlysses. After Milo waves Whitmore good-bye, the submarine is launched.
Milo continues to meet some more of the expedition crew, such as French geologist Gaetan “Mole” Moliére, chief medic Doctor Joshua Sweet, and teenage mechanic Audrey Ramirez before conducting a briefing of where to find the entrance leading them to Atlantis. Suddenly, they are attacked by a giant mechanical Leviathan. Despite best efforts to defend themselves against the beast, all hands are forced to abandon ship after it sustains too much damage. The path to the entrance is located and all surviving ships follow with the Leviathan chasing after them until it can no longer do so. Upon reaching an air-pocket, only a small fraction of the crew have survived.
The remainder of the expedition continues forward with Milo leading the way through his translating of the directions in the Shepherd’s Journal. Tricks are played upon him by other members of the crew until they finally take him in during a stop for rest. Milo comments that the Shepherd’s Journal may be missing a page, but the others get him to ease off the book for a moment. He comments that he is just so excited on being on such an adventure, though the others note their mainly in it for the money. After opening up about himself, Milo gets to hear about Sweet, Audrey, and Vinny, though is warned by Sweet not to learn about Mole’s story. As everyone sleeps, a figure that has been watching the expedition digs through Milo’s possession until it is run off by Milo awakening to use the bathroom. While he is unbuckling his belt, he points the flashlight at what appears to be a lamp. The light causes a wave of fireflies to attack the camp. Most survive the attack and try to escape into a cave, but the amount of weight of their vehicles cause the bridge to collapse.
Most everyone survive the collapse. Examination of their position finds them, according to Mole, placed in the bowels of a volcano that is dormant and will erupt if disturbed by a powerful enough force. Further examination finds that there is a possible escape route through what appears to be the top of the volcano when everyone realizes that Milo is missing. Milo awakens to find himself surrounded by strange figures until one of them pulls off its mask, revealing a human woman behind. She uses a crystal hanging around her neck to completely heal a cut on his shoulder before taking off. Milo follows with the expedition catching up and in the process they find themselves looking at Atlantis, alive and thriving. The figures, discovered to be Atlanteans return with Milo being able to communicate with them before they realize the Atlanteans can speak any language as theirs is the root source for all others. The woman, revealed to be Princess Kidagakash, agrees to take them to meet her father the King. Along the way, Helga expresses to Rourke hesitation about the mission since there are people alive. Rourke, on the other hand, feels it doesn’t change the objective of their mission.
Milo, Rourke, and Helga are brought before the blind King Kashekim by Kida. Only Milo is able to understand through the interaction between the father and daughter that outsiders are not welcome and would have originally been killed on sight. Kashekim then speaks English, recognizing why they’re really down there and tells them to leave. Rourke manages to talk him into letting the crew stay for one night so they can rest and resupply. After Milo, Rourke, and Helga leave, Kida and her father continue to argue with Kida believing the outsiders can help them rediscover their dying culture while Kashekim firmly states their way of life is being preserved. Meanwhile, the crew still wish to get some answers about what’s going on and what to do next. They decide to have Milo speak with Kida. Milo has no trouble talking to Kida as she ends up the one to engage in the conversation.
Milo and Kida 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 attempts to find out about the power source he is looking for, but gets sidetracked with another shock when it is realized that no one in Atlantis can read the written Atlantean language. Through Milo, he and Kida are able to figure out how to activate one of the Ketaks before they tour the city. The tour is really Kida leading Milo towards a deep pond underneath which a great number of written information is found. Milo and Kida swim around with Kida’s crystal providing light needed for Milo to read. Milo discovers that the power source he’s been looking for is the very crystal that took Kida’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 suspects the missing page contains its whereabouts.
When Milo and Kida surface, they are surprised to find Rourke leading the rest of the expedition to begin a more forceful manner in finding the Heart of Atlantis, horrifying Milo that even Sweet, Audrey, and the others are in on it. Rourke reveals to have possession of the missing page and forces Milo to translate by pointing a gun at Kida after he initially refuses since the crystal is needed to keep Atlantis alive. They end up in the King’s chamber as the page notes that the Heart of Atlantis lies where the eyes of the King can see. Kashekim refuses to elaborate on the riddle, even after being punched and under threat of execution, much to the horror of the others. Just before pulling the trigger, Rourke is able to figure out the riddle that the middle of the room leads to the chamber containing the crystal. Rourke and Helga force Milo and Kida to join them as they descend into the chamber to find the Heart of Atlantis with stone effigies of the past kings orbiting it. While Rourke and Milo argue about how to retrieve the crystal, which is levitating in the air, the crystal calls to Kida and she is soon infused with the crystal. By warning of Milo, they do not touch her while Rourke’s men place her in a container.
Just before Rourke and the rest of the expedition make off, Milo makes another plea that their actions will kill the Atlanteans. Sweet, Audrey, Vinny, Mole, Cookie, and Packard decide to side with Milo, not wanting the death of innocent lives on their conscious. The pleas fall on deaf ears with Rourke, who destroys the wooden bridge to keep them from following. With the Heart of Atlantis no longer in the city to keep it powered, it places Atlantis and its civilians in danger. Milo meets with the dying King, who explains that the Heart of Atlantis calls upon one with royal blood to bond with to protect itself and the people, heaving developed a consciousness of its own. Because of his arrogance in ruling Atlantis with the crystal, it became too strong to control and it lead to the sinking of the city as well as his wife being sacrificed to save them. Before he dies, he notes that the crystal needs to be returned not only to save Atlantis, but to prevent Kida from being loss by bonding with the crystal for too long. After a encourage talk from Sweet, Milo directs everyone to a Ketak and how the crystals they posses still has enough power to activate them.
Rourke and his men blow a hole through the top of the volcano and attempt to fly out through a Gyro-Evac when Milo and the others arrive to stop them. During the battle, Vinny accidentally discovers how to discharge an energy bolt from the vehicles to counter the guns and firepower Rourke and his men possess. Milo and Vinny then distract Rourke and Helga while Sweet and Audrey try to release the container with Kida. Though Rourke and Helga drive off Sweet and Audrey, Milo crashes his Ketak into one of the balloons and causes it to slowly descend. Helga tries to lighten the load, but they are still dropping when Rourke decides to push her off. She manages to swing back on and kick him around for betraying her, but he catches her and throws her off for good. Milo and Rourke get into a scuffle with the balloon once again ascending, but a badly hurt Helga gets back at Rourke by firing a flare gun and destroying the main balloon, thereby causing it to descend permanently.
An enraged Rourke goes after Milo with an axe, during which he brakes a glass hole from the container. Milo 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 Rourke’s blood, turning him into crystal form. Nevertheless, he still attacks until a chance positioning causes Rourke to shatter after connecting with the still turning propellers of the hot air balloon. The act disconnects the container, though Milo has to move it fast to prevent the hot air balloon from crashing down upon it. The crash is enough force to cause the volcano to reawaken and Milo and the others quickly bring the container back to the city. Milo opens up the container and Kida and the Heart of the Atlantis ascend. They awaken giant stone guardians to create a force field to prevent lava from destroying the city. With the city saved, Kida is released from the crystal and into Milo’s arms.
The Atlanteans thank those who helped Milo save them, donning each of them with crystals and providing them with an acceptable pile of gold to return to the surface with. Milo is staying behind, as he and Kida have fallen in love and he is needed to help the Atlanteans rediscover their lost culture. Back on the surface, 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 Helga, Rourke, and Milo. While going through photos Packard took, Whitmore discovers a package for him containing a picture of Thaddeus and child Milo, a crystal, and a message thanking him on behalf of the Thatches for helping them realize their dream. Back in Atlantis, Milo 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.
- Michael J. Fox as Milo Thatch
- Cree Summer as Kidagakash “Kida” Nedakh
- James Garner as Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke
- Corey Burton as Gaetan “Mole” Moliére
- Claudia Christian as Lieutenant Helga Sinclair
- John Mahoney as Preston B. Whitmore
- Phil Morris as Doctor Joshua Sweet
- Leonard Nimoy as Kashekim Nedakh
- Don Novello as Vincenzo “Vinny” Santorini
- Jacqueline Obradors as Audrey Ramirez
- Florence Stanley as Wilhelmina Packard
- David Ogden Stiers as Fenton Q. Harcourt
- Jim Varney as Jebidiah Allardyce “Cookie” Farnsworth
- Frank Welker as Leviathan (a creature that guards the entrance to Atlantis)
My Rating: 4 stars (out of 5 stars 🙂 )
Lessons (I learned):
Never stop fighting for what you believe in. Just look at Milo. As you can see in the beginning part of the movie, Milo was very determined to discover the lost empire of Atlantis. His mission is just a continuation of what his grandfather has already started. Even when other people think he’s crazy and nuts because they think Atlantis is non-existing, he still continues to carry on researching for more information to support his claim and to go an expedition to discover the said empire.
Do the right thing. Milo’s ‘friends’ weren’t that close to him and all they wanted was money. Audrey knew it was wrong to destroy the Atlantean civilization by taking away their only way of life so he decided to go on the side of Milo. Then, the rest of the team followed. Except Mr. Rourke and Helga. People get rewarded by good deeds. By the end of the story, we can see that the team except Mr. Rourke and Helga weren’t ‘rich’ because they did the bad thing. As a reward of the team saving Atlantis, they got rewarded by ‘some’ riches of the Atlanteans. Keep in mind to always do the right thing because you never know what you’ll get as a reward.
Keep going forward. No matter what happens, keep going forward. If there is a problem, face it. We can’t do anything to erase what had already happened. What we can only do is find a solution to that problem. If we don’t find a solution, then, we will be stuck trying to find one. Just try to be able to solve something. Don’t look back. Just live in the moment, as I like to always say. YOLO!
” When you hit the bottom, the only place to go is up. ”
– Thaddeus Thatch