Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, Featuring the voices of Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Leonard Nimoy and John Mahony.
'Atlantis: The Lost Empire' is Disney's latest attempt to woo the rugrats, and their parents, back to the cinema for some animated action. Taking its inspiration from a creditably diverse set of influences, it represents an attempt by Mickey Mouse Inc. to carve out a niche for itself, in the post Millennial marketplace.
As is fairly obvious from the title, the story revolves around a hunt for the lost city of Atlantis, and quickly becomes a race against time, to stop evildoers from plundering its riches. Along the way we meet the usual set of oddballs and the obligatory beautiful young girl.
Featuring the voices of Michael J Fox, James Garner, John Mahony and Leonard Nimoy, the characters are a likeable and inventively cast bunch. Fox in particular brings to the central character of Milo the same youthful enthusiasm and wide-eyed innocence that made him a star in the 'Back To The Future' series. Garner is also well cast, bringing a laconic, biting edge to proceedings, playing the bad-guy with a tangible relish.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, Disney have made a film that has a significant adult appeal. Influences include The Matrix, Indiana Jones and the philosopher Plato, both in terms of plot and animation. Gone are the saccharine infused songs, the mawkish sentiment and soppy love story, replaced by a soundtrack from Mya, a cynical edge and genuinely thrilling action.
This is a film that truly deserves to be called 'one for all the family'. It contains enough to keep those of us who can remember life before the 1980's occupied while never talking down to the kids. Atlantis may be lost but this film shows Disney finding their feet in the twenty-first century.