100 Facts About Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Aloha my wonderful!

This week we can celebrate one of the most underrated Disney movies of all time; Atlantis: The Lost Empire. This film does not get as much love as it deserves. The story is fantastic, the characters are fantastic, the animation style is fantastic. I don’t understand why this film does not get more love and appreciation!

36. Atlantis

  1. Atlantis: The Lost Empire was released on June 15th
  2. It is the 41st film in the Disney Animated Canon.
  3. Atlantis is the first science fiction film to be included in the canon.
  4. The film was created by Walt Disney Feature Animation.
  5. It was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise.
  6. Vinnie’s last name is Santorini which is the name of an ancient chain of volcanic islands in the Mediterranean.
  7. They erupted and devastated the Minoan civilization which may have been the origins of the Atlantean legend.
  8. The weaponry used in the film is accurate to that of 1914.
  9. Marc Okrand who created the Atlantean language, also created the Vulcan and Klingon languages.
  10. Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek fame provides the voice of Kida’s father, the King of Atlantis.
  11. Jim Varney who provided the voice of Cookie, died just before finishing the film.
  12. The ‘I aint so good at speechifying’ line near the end of the film is the only line not spoken by Varney.
  13. Steven Barr did the voice for that scene.
  14. Because the movie was planned out as an action/adventure, the production crew wore t-shirts to work that read ‘Atlantis – fewer songs, more explosions’.
  15. Upon designing the city of Atlantis, the filmmakers wanted to avoid the concept of Atlantis as crumbled Greek columns underwater.
  16. Instead, the filmmakers modelled their Atlantis on forms of architecture such as Southeast Asian and Mayan works.
  17. The written Atlantean language is to read left to right, drop down a line and read right to left, continuing this cycle.
  18. It was done it create a flowing, water-like movement reminiscent of the Atlantean culture.
  19. One of the last Disney films to feature a character that smokes.
  20. After Milo gets seasick on the first ship, his line ‘Carrots? Why are there always carrots? I didn’t even eat carrots’ was ad-libbed by Michael J. Fox.
  21. One of the first Disney films to feature an African American character as an important secondary character.
  22. Mike Mignola, creator of the Hellboy comic books, provided many initial production sketches for this film.
  23. Mignola was initially contacted by a Disney representative asking if he would work on the project
  24. Mignola’s first response was ‘How did you get my number?’
  25. Milo Thatch was the first animated Disney male hero to wear glasses.
  26. When the surface-dwellers first meet the Atlanteans, the Atlanteans address them in French, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, German, Greek, Chinese and Taiwanese.
  27. Milo speaks to them in Atlantean, Latin and French.
  28. One of the few Disney films to take place in an actual year.
  29. The fish in Whitmores aquarium are coelacanth’s.
  30. The coelacanth is a sort of ‘living fossil’ in that they were thought to be extinct until specimens were caught in the 1930s, over 20 years after the film is set.
  31. During the campfire scene, Milo comments that the Shepherd’s Journal cuts off, like there’s a page missing.
  32. This mirrors how in real life, Plato’s narrative about Atlantis cuts off mid-sentence because the rest of the manuscript has been lost.
  33. Kida is the first Disney princess to become a queen within her original film, however, her coronation is not shown onscreen.
  34. It was reported in 2002 that when the Submarine Voyage attraction was closed down in Disneyland it was to reopen with the theme of this film.
  35. However, due to negative feedback from critics, the idea was scrapped.
  36. Atlantis has the highest body count of any Disney movie.
  37. Lloyd Bridges was originally cast as Whitmore but he died shortly after production began.
  38. First traditionally animated Disney film since The Black Cauldron to be released with a PG rating by the MPAA.
  39. It is now the 4th fully animated Disney film with this rating.
  40. As the submarine makes its first decent a voice says ‘dive, dive, five degrees down bubble’ the same line, delivered by the same voice, were used in the old Disneyland submarine ride.
  41. Rourke’s gun is a German Luger.
  42. Helga’s gun is a German C-96.
  43. Milo references the Book of Job when describing the Leviathan.
  44. The specific verse he paraphrases is Job 41:18-19.
  45. Kida is barefoot throughout the entire movie.
  46. When Rourke first meets Milo, he tells him he is more of a Western man, which is a nod to James Garner, the voice of Rourke, who was best known for being in the 1950s sitcom Maverick.
  47. In the shot of Ulysses going down into the depths of the ocean, one of the crewmen is seen waving to the camera.
  48. He is visible for a few frames, right after Mile goes out of camera range.
  49. Originally, the final battle was to be on land.
  50. The creators decided to put the action in the air to create a more dramatic sequence.
  51. Rourke’s middle name, Tiberius, could be a possible reference to Captain James Tiberius Kirk from Star Trek.
  52. The spiral ‘Atlantis’ symbol can be found hidden in many places in the movie.
  53. Just before Milo meets the crew for the first time, he claims after being sick he does not eat carrots.
  54. Ironically, Michael J. Fox who made up the line is allergic to carrots in real life.
  55. Tim Curry was considered for the role of the King of Atlantis.
  56. Early in the submrines journey there is an order given of ’15 down angle on the bow planes. Come right 2-4-0’ which is the same order given in the Hunt for the Red October by Sam Neil’s character as the Red October begins navigating Red Route One,
  57. Tommy Lee Jones, Jack Davenport and Kurt Russell were considered for the role of Commander Rourke.
  58. The wave shown near the end of the movie, on the vase The Mole digs into, is a reference to a famous art work called The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai.
  59. The film has very similar sound effects to the film series Star Wars including gun sounds and explosions.
  60. The gas mask wearing henchmen in the movie make sounds similar to Darth Vader’s.
  61. At the tattoo parlour in the Atlantean city, there is a sign that says Eat Fish.
  62. Kirk Wise said they chose Michael J. Fox for the role because they felt he gave his character his own personality and made him more believable on screen.
  63. Fox was also offered a role in Titan A.E and allowed his son to choose which part he should take.
  64. His son chose Atlantis.
  65. Nathaniel Parker auditioned for the role of Lyle T. Rourke but his voice didn’t suit the character.
  66. Don Hahn was however impressed with his performance so cast him in The Haunted Mansion.
  67. At the conclusion of the film, one of the Hammerhead Shark vehicles flies into the ‘fourth wall’ to commence the credits which is almost identical to the end of Back to the Future Part 1.
  68. Michael Cedeno, supervising animator for King Nedakh, was astounded at Nimoy’s voice talent stating he had so much rich character in his performance.
  69. As Nimoy spoke his lines, Cedeno said the crew would sit there and just watch in astonishment.
  70. Rourke is named after an Ayn Rand character.
  71. The film was dedicated to Jim Varney who died of lung cancer in February 2000.
  72. Varney was shown clips of his characters performance during site sessions and said he loved it.
  73. Claudia Christian described her character as ‘sensual’ and ‘striking’.
  74. She was relieved when she saw what her character looked like, joking ‘I’d hate to you know, go through all this and find out my character was a toad’.
  75. Sweet’s supervising animator, Ron Husband, indicated that one of the challenges was animating Sweet in sync with Morris’ rapid line delivery while keeping him believable.
  76. Phil Morris stated that this character was extreme, with ‘no middle ground’ and ‘when he was happy, he was really happy and when he’s solemn, he’s real solemn’.
  77. Kirk Wise and Russ Edmonds, Vinny’s supervising animators noted Novello’s unique ability to improvise dialogue.
  78. Don Novello would look at the sheet, read the line and would never read it again, he improvised the whole movie.
  79. Kirk Wise chose James Garner because of his previous experience with action films, especially war and Western films.
  80. When asked if he would be interested in the role, Garner replied ‘I’d do it in a heartbeat’.
  81. Kida’s supervising animator, Randy Haycock, stated that Cree Summer was very intimidating when he first met her
  82. This influences how he wanted Kida to look and act on screen when she meets Milo.
  83. Jacqueline Obradors who gave her voice to Audrey said her character made her feel like a kid again and she always hoped her sessions would last longer.
  84. David Ogden Stiers later portrayed the character Oberoth in a different Atlantis (Stargate).
  85. Milo and the crew travel under the Atlantic Ocean to get to Atlantis and find shipwrecks.
  86. This may be a homage to RMS Titanic which sank in 1912 in the Atlantic, 2 years before the events of this film.
  87. Sound references to Jurassic Park were used in the movie.
  88. To prepare for the production, the filmmakers visited museums and toured old army installations.
  89. They also travelled 800 feet underground in New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns to observe subterranean trails that would serve as the model for the approach to Atlantis in the film.
  90. Atlantis is notable as one of the few animated films shot in the anamorphoc widescreen process.
  91. The film was originally supposed to provide a springboard for an animated television series titled Team Atlantis which would have detailed the further adventures of the characters from the film.
  92. Due to a disappointing box office intake, the stories originally produced for the series were released as a sequel called Atlantis: Milo’s Return.
  93. An interesting aspect of the film is that very few of the characters are under the age of 30 which is rare for a Disney animated feature.
  94. Atlantis is the first Disney feature since 1995 to have a black character in the roaster of main characters.
  95. Atlantis: The Lost Empire was released on VHS and DVD on January 29th
  96. This film was among Disney’s first major attempts to utilize internet marketing.
  97. Atlantis was promoted at Disneyland with models of Kida and Milo being displayed on Main Street.
  98. James Newton Howard composed the score for the movie.
  99. Gary Rydstrom and his team at Skywalker Sound were hired for the film’s sound production.
  100. Joss Whedon was the first writer to be involved with the film but soon left to work on other Disney projects.

a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below


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