Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 2001. , Walt Disney Pictures. Story by Kirk Wise, Gary Trousdale, Joss Whedon, Bryce Zabel, Jackie Zabel, Tab Murphy, Screenplay by Tab Murphy, Additional screenplay material by David Reynolds, based on the book Atlantis Story by Plato. Produced by Don Hahn. Music by James Newton Howard. Production Design by Matt Codd, Ricardo F. Delgado, Jim Martin, Mike Mignola. Film Editing by Ellen Keneshea.
Charmingly simple animation and some strong voice casting don’t make up for a serious lack of adventure in this Disney feature. Michael J. Fox provides the voice of Milo Thatch, a geeky turn-of-the-century historian who is certain he has the answer to the location of the famed lost city of Atlantis, and if someone would only have enough faith in him to fund his voyage he’d be on his way to find it. A kindly rich philanthropist who knew his grandfather decides to be the very patron, and with a full crew of misfits and heroes Thatch is off on his trip. The film attempts to provide its protagonists some obstacles before reaching the wondrous lost land, but none of them spark up any interest, and when the group finally reaches their destination the story proceeds to get flatter. The writing offers nothing in the way of wise humour or even slapstick fun, and the characters are all predictable a mile away; hard to believe that this one is directed by the very duo (Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale) who gave us the classic Beauty and the Beast. It is also quite apparent that without any songs in it, this is one animated film that definitely needs them.