I actually watched this a couple of days ago, but I honestly have not had the energy to write about this particular movie. It’s not because it was terrible, because it wasn’t. It is because it was such a huge disappointment since I loved it when it first came out. There are a few things about this that didn’t disappoint, but it had such potential but it’s like they didn’t even try.
Whenever you set out to make a film about Atlantis, you have the opportunity to create a truly amazing adventure film. You can easily have thrilling action, interesting visuals, romance, moments of claustrophobia, among other things. For the most part, Atlantis: The Lost Empire has all that. However, it is destroyed by a shitty script filled with terrible dialogue, cringe-worthy comedy, and a silly plot that would even make James Cameron say how unoriginal it is. Seriously, take away most of the comedy and tidy up the dialogue a bit and you have a great film. The only good thing about the script is the interactions between the characters. I’m sure Joss Whedon was responsible for that particularly aspect as it has his name all over it.
Also not helping things are the incredibly dull voice performances. I like Michael J. Fox (who doesn’t?) but his work here is so bad. It sounds as if he’s just reading the lines and not putting any emotion behind it. But then again, he didn’t have much to work with. The rest of the cast is just as bad.
Hell, even James Newton Howard’s score is kind of bad. Usually, when he scores a bad movie, his works ends up being the best part about it. Not this time though. Not this time.
But if there is something that makes this movie worthwhile is the animation. It is such a gorgeous movie. I’d say it has the second-best animation, just below Sleeping Beauty. They truly get the epic adventure feeling that a movie like this needs to have. And the animation alone makes the first and the last scenes some of the best action sequences to have ever been made for an animated movie. Actually, Mike Mignola of “Hellboy” fame was one of the design artists directly involved in this, and it shows. His work truly makes the animation stand out, and makes a pretty good case towards why CG will never replace 2D animation.
I applaud Disney for trying something different, but ultimately Atlantis didn’t work. It’s a shame such beautiful animation had to be wasted on such a terrible script.