Despite the fact that at the time Atlantis: The Lost Empire It wasn’t a success, and Disney put it in the “failures” category, twenty years after its premiere, becoming a cult film of a mixture of philosophy, mythology, science fiction, action, and adventure.
Released in 2001, this movie was one of the films that helped usher in a new phase in Disney animation, known as the Post-Renaissance Era, which ran from 1999 to 2008 which was a period of less successful projects than anticipated.
The company’s animators wanted to distance themselves from the Broadway musical format, which marked the style of ’90s films.
Atlantis started preparing after that Hunchback of Notre Dame (ninety-six and ninety-six). Directors Kirk Wise and Gary Truesdale wanted to do something completely different: a retro adventure inspired by classic action movies and Jules Verne stories like Twenty thousand leagues in a submarine voyage, where there was a lot of documentation and research.
in this way, Atlantis It was the first Disney animated film to put songs aside to tell a deeper story, grounded in philosophy and mythology, and with more action. In fact, according to Trusdale himself when he made the movie, he had T-shirts made for his team in which he could read “more blasts and fewer songs.”
One of the elements that made the difference between Atlantis: The Lost Empire And previous films were his unique style. The character, submarine, or flying vehicle design is personal to comedian Mike Mignola (Hellboy).
“The work has been great, out of three or four of my surreal experiences I’ve had with Disney. In the past few years, a lot of people have come to me and said, ‘Have you worked at Disney?’ Atlantis? ‘ He seems to have a second life,” Minola recalls in a book (belonging to the Disney archives) that collects his drawings and notes on the film.
It is located in 1914, Atlantis It tells the story of a young linguist and cartographer Milo Touch who discovers a Bible, Pastor’s Diary (An ancient manuscript containing directions to the Lost Empire), which will take you to the lost city of Atlantis, which was consumed by a massive tsunami centuries ago.
On this perilous expedition, join the crew of a fantastic submarine, and together they find a highly advanced civilization living in the depths of the ocean.
The film’s directors wanted everything to be real and believable, so they commissioned linguist Mark Okrand (who is also the creator of Klingon in Star Trek) who developed the Atlantean language that appears in the texts of the Shepherd’s diaries and in the city of Atlantis.
Inquisitive language reads like this: first from left to right, then go down to the next line, and read from right to left. Okrand created it in this way to somehow mimic the movement of water.
Despite being the first animated sci-fi movie, risking a legendary story, choosing a different design and having thousands of hidden curiosities (the last movie to show a smoking character, the protagonist doesn’t have the characteristics of a classic hero, there are too many deaths, etc…) It was a box office success.
The film was too childish for adults and too mature for children, and it performed moderately at the box office. The budget is between 90 and 120 million dollars, it collected 186 million globally, and of this amount, 84 million were obtained in North America (according to data from the specialized site Box Office Mojo).
Due to its mediocre set, Disney not only considered it a “failed movie” but also decided to cancel a TV series – it was already so advanced and its chapters gave life to a poor sequel, Milo’s return (2003), which premiered live on DVD- and a water park attraction at Disneyland in California (US).
However, 20 years after the first show Atlantis: The Lost Empire It is beginning to be valued and considered a cult. Several occasions have been considered to create a version with real actors, an idea that has yet to come to fruition.
Editing: Emilio Gomez
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