Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Atlantis The Lost Empire |
2-Disc Collector's Edition
Actors: Michael J. Fox, Jim Varney, Corey Burton, Claudia Christian, James Garner
Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Animation
Set your course for the ultimate undersea adventure of discovery and amazement in this state-of-the-art 2-Disc DVD Collector's Edition. Begin your journey by exploring the action-and-effects packed 2D/3D animated feature a... more »
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A nice departure from the usual Disney fare
D. Swensen | Manifesto, MT USA | 06/26/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For the most part, Atlantis is a fun, popcorn-munching movie that's a real treat, and takes some refreshing steps away from Disney's usual formula of dancing teacups and ambitious orphans. However, it is not without problems.First off, the good: This movie is beautiful. There seems to be an attitude with some moviegoing audiences that movies with a lot of visual effects are "just a bunch of CGI" or concentrated too deeply on special effects. True, Atlantis has plenty of computer-generated images, but they blend seamlessly with the animation and make for a visually stunning movie. I know the words "visually stunning" get bandied about a lot, but this movie had some serious eye-candy -- enough to make me want to see it again. The story, while not revolutionary (the mythical and mostly nonexistent "original plot" is highly overrated in my book anyway), is refreshing and not painfully post-modern, as too many movies of this type seem to be. No one says "don't go there," or "talk to the hand," which I fully expected to happen. There were no cute animal sidekicks, which I found almost impossible to believe, especially in a Disney film. For the most part, this is a movie that can appeal to adults as well as kids -- that is, seldom insulting the intelligence of either. There are some great, exciting action scenes, with hot air balloons, flying mechanical shark-ships (not as stupid as it sounds), high-speed chases, and huge underwater monsters. Now for the not-so-good. The movie rushes through its material so fast it can barely get out of its own way. Characters almost trip over one another in their mad dash to blurt out expository dialogue. Moments of characterization go by so hastily, you'll miss them if you blink. Presumably, this is some sort of pandering to the Pokemon generation who can't keep their attention focused on anything for more than three or four seconds, but I feel this movie would have been much improved by extending it, if only by about fifteen minutes. This mad-dash school of filmmaking applies to the middle act of the film as well. In one scene, the main character gushes over a beautiful and ancient stone pillar -- seconds before the demolitions expert blows it to bits. A funny moment, but Atlantis almost slides into self-parody in this regard; the whole movie spends a few short seconds establishing the beautiful setting of Atlantis, and then promptly sets off a chain of explosions or another chase scene. The biggest annoyance for me was the incredible, Nautilus-like submarine that get smashed to pieces before we even get to really see how cool it is. Disappointing. I just wish they could have slowed down for a couple of scenes. I went into this movie expecting a lot less than what I got. It starts out a little clumsily, and (as previously mentioned) whips through the exposition entirely too fast. But the story is engaging, and the finale satisfying. The movie does contain some material that might be a little strong for kids -- there is a rather high body count, though all the death takes place "off-screen" -- you don't really see anyone getting killed, at least not directly. As violent content goes, kids have probably seen much worse on network TV. Overall, I really recommend you see this movie on the big screen, with the full sound and picture -- this is one movie that pays off well in Dolby Digital."
Stunning Vision, Fun and Action, But a Confusing Plot
Sir Charles Panther | Alexandria, Virginny, USandA | 08/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Overall, this is good fun. It's an exciting film, highly imaginative, and visually spectacular, with a story that moves very quickly albeit thoroughly confusingly. I happily recommend it for family viewing.
Compared to recent Disney releases such as Cinderella II - Dreams Come True (Special Edition), 101 Dalmatians 2, and all of the other poorly done and profit-driven knockoffs, this film is an original gem. The animation is excellent, the characters are interesting and fun to watch, and the overall story is compelling, as well as very fast-paced. The movie certainly is suitable for kids as young as three or four, despite some of the more esoteric, non-sensical plot twists. We've got spectacular scenery, gadgets, battles, action, and explosions and fire, more than enough to keep the little ones fully engaged throughout. No sex, no drugs, no profanity, and only a little bit of blood (although the bad guys most certainly do get killed, neither graphically nor gloatingly).
Most impressive in this film is the artistic vision. Atlantis provides a fantastic opportunity to be creative, and the animators do not disappoint. The relatively modern (1907) setting allows some technical and scientific freedom for the animators, which was taken full advantage of. Everything is huge, massive in scale, from the steamship and its submarine, to the Leviathan guardian, to the tunnels and artifacts of Atlantis. For me, this is the most enjoyable part of the film, simply looking at the landscapes and backgrounds the animators have provided as backdrops for the action. This is excellent work, truly spectacular.
The cast is wonderfully diverse, ethnically, physically, and in terms of education, abilities, and hygiene. It's a really truly honestly and genuinely wonderful rainbow of diversity and teamwork, because, you know, it's only when we let go of our prejudices and overlook stereotypes that we can triumph over adversity. That being said, the strangest and filthiest member of the crew is the non-stop butt of jokes, derision, and less than thoughtful treatment by the rest of the team.
There's a minor problem, though. As dad to a six- and three-year-old, I've seen this film maybe 60 times in the past three months. As many times as I've watched it, I still don't grasp the entire concept of the Atlantean power crystal, how it "chooses" a host, what the crystal-host does, what exactly becomes physically of the crystal-host, and how the chosen individual interacts with it. Sure, the impossible-to-miss end-state is a human-interfaced and -generated automatic defensive system which protects the entire city, but all of the story elements don't make it clear how this all comes together. This is a bit anal, I know, but it just doesn't make sense.
Violence, yeah, there's enough of it, but precious little blood, and no gore. It's family-friendly violence, where the bad guys disappear neatly and completely in spectacular swirling, spiraling balls of beautifully rendered, parti-colored fire, with no suffering depicted. Early on we see an entire submarine and crew go down, and a little memorial service to commemorate the loss of 200-odd folks. There is also some good explosions during the final battle, with ball-of-fire ends to both bad guys and much fewer non-star Atlantaean good guys. None of the bad guys make it out alive, and the two bad-guy leaders die more or less visibly, but again, without blood or gore. The one, probably most direct instance of violence, is the bad-guy leader punching the enfeebled king of the Atlanteans in the stomach. The king later dies of his (internal) injuries, but the time-separation between the act and its results lessens the impact of the killing.
The uplifting aspects are just as powerful, and in the end the focus of the story. We have the love story between the leads, as well as a totally predictable yet nonetheless powerful shift in alliance from the established team members to that of the Atlanteans when it comes time to do the right thing. We see love and sacrifice, traits my six-year-old picked up on with no prompting from me.
All in all, this is a very enjoyable film. I dwell on the violence to inform only, so don't take it to mean that the film is full of violence; it is not. Overall, it's about adventure, the excitement and wonder of discovery, and what can be done when you choose the hard right over the easy wrong."
JM Yoda | Nebraska, United States | 06/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw ATLANTIS last night, accompanied by my 65 year-old mother, and we both had a great time. No, it's no LION KING or BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, but it's not meant to be either; it's meant to be something different for Disney, and it is. The action scenes are amazing, sometimes evoking for me images from the STAR WARS movies. The dialogue is often sharp, fast and hilarious (maybe a little too fast to follow for younger kids), and lots of our fellow adult audience members were laughing out loud. The voice talent is, as always with Disney, fantastic; Michael J. Fox does a terrific job as Milo, Leonard Nimoy is perfect as the aged Atlantean king, Cree Summer is proud, intelligent and earnest as Princess Kida, and Milo's fellow adventurers are all equally well done. I didn't find the storyline at all difficult to follow, and while the concept of the giant crystal that keeps Atlantis alive is a bit "new-age", I don't think kids will have a problem with it. It's sci-fi, it's fantasy, it's adventure - it's awesome! It's also a whole lot more than what you've seen in the previews and commercials, so go see the movie TODAY! You'll have a great time, and it might just spark your interest in the search for the real (hey, there is intriguing evidence) Atlantis. Adventure lives!"
Skillfully made, but doesn't quite work (great DVD edition!)
Craig MACKINNON | Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada | 04/01/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Milo, a mild-mannered linguist, is recruited by a reclusive billionaire to participate on a quest to find the lost continent of Atlantis. Joining him on the trek are a motley assortment of colourful characters, and together they battle subterrainian monsters and eventually find the lost continent. However, not all the characters have noble motivations..... This film was meant to be a departure from the standard song-and-dance musicals that we are used to from Disney; instead, Atlantis offers up a Japanimation vision and an action-packed thrill ride that never quite comes together.The film is visually fantastic, seamlessly blending traditional 2-D hand-drawn main characters with 3-D computer-generated vehicles and landscapes. For any given scene, you can't tell the difference, showing the skill of the animators (and the directors for getting everyone on the same page). In addition, the sound and score are flawless. Unfortunately, the story and characters don't quite live up to the visuals and sound. The secondary characters get equal screen time, and Milo never develops a comraderie with most of them. This becomes glaringly obvious when it comes time to choose up sides for the confrontation between the noble explorers and the greedy plunderers. The motivation of the characters seems driven by the plot instead of vice versa.This Special 2-DVD Edition has everything you could ever want to know. There are numerous little documentaries covering all aspects of the filming. The most interesting are those covering the voice actors (it's always interesting to see the real faces behind the voices). In addition, there are some cut scenes (most of which are crudely drawn and never finished) and over 1000 (!) storyboards and concept drawings covering all aspects of the development of the film. There is a directors' commentary voiced-over the film iteself, along with cut-aways showing development aspects that blend into the film. That the extras on disc 2 rarely duplicate the extras spliced into the directors' commentary is a testament to the care with which this DVD edition was put together.Thus, although the film is a treat to watch and listen to, I found it a little contrived and it never quite worked for me. As a child, I never liked musical numbers in animated films, but Atlantis seems to be missing its soul because of the lack of songs. This Special Edition DVD is better than the film deserves, I think, and anyone interested in the creative process behind making a Disney animated feature will find a lot in the extra features."