Atlantis: The Lost Empire is something of an oddity for a Disney film. There’s no songs for a start and the plot is much more of a pulp adventure than the House of Mouse normally delivers. And it’s really rather good.
Set in 1914, the film follows Milo Thatch who works as a janitor in the Smithsonian Museum and dreams of discovering Atlantis. His dreams begin to become realised when Helga Sinclair turns up in his apartment one evening to escort him to the home of eccentric millionaire Preston B Whitmore.
Preston, it turns out, was an old friend of Milo’s grandfather and has a journal that details the route to Atlantis. Not only that, but he is also ready to fund an expedition which he wants Milo to lead. Thus the adventure begins, and what an adventure it is.
This is a film packed with cliches — sunken cities, lost civilizations, unbelievably advanced technologies, strange creatures, brawls, dogfights and even a romance — and they are all handled exceptionally well. If you can imagine an animated Indiana Jones, you won’t be far off.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire is quite a departure from the usual Disney animated fare, but it is also a solidly fun film that is well worth seeing. Go watch it.