Sunday, February 23, 2014

Project Disney - Atlantis

Project Disney: The plan is to tackle all of the Disney films, re-reading the classic stories and tales that inspired many of them and to look at how the changes the filmmakers made, the new elements they introduced and the essential elements they kept. We will, of course, be talking about the films as movies as well, saying why we enjoy them and what some of our favorite moments are, but our focus will be on looking at them as adaptations. For the films that are not drawn from any one work we’ll be looking at some of the possible literary influences that we see in the stories. I am participating in Project Disney inspired by Picture Me Reading!  

Project Disney this time around is Atlantis : The Lost Empire.  This time around it was more difficult to find the source material.  I found that there was inspiration from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (which is a book I am glad I read for this project).  In this book though Captain Nemo and crew only stop by Atlantis for a brief period in the book.  You only see a few ruins and Captain Nemo goes during the night only allowing moonlight to reflect on Atlantis. The ship though in the Disney film Atlantis does remind me though of the Nautilus which is the submarine used in the book.

Another source of material for the movie is readings by Edgar Cayce. This man is known as a psychic who would answer questions while hypnotized.  Cayce said that there was a giant solar crystal activated by the sun which gave Atlantis power energy, which is where Disney got this idea from.  Cayce said the power crystal was used too high, causing earth quakes.  What Cayce has to say about Atlantis is quite interesting... especially that the United States would eventually find a death ray that was used on Atlantis.

Next up another source material for this Project Disney is Plato's Atlantis. For those that don't know Plato is a philosopher from ancient Greece. Plato mentions in 360 BC that Atlantis was a huge naval power and had concurred some great European and African nations.  It was destroyed when trying to concur Athens.  Plato says that Atlantis "sank into the ocean in a single day and night of misfortune."  It is because of this many people dispute whether Atlantis is real or added to Plato's tale to make it better.

Atlantis has always fascinated me. I love the tale. I remember when the Disney movie Atlantis came out I was very excited.  A character named Milo, works for the Smithsonian in Washington DC and tries to convince his employers that there is a still a power source buried with Atlantis. This stone is actually the Heart of Atlantis.  His employers will not let him explore this theory so he returns to where he lives only to discover Helga. Helga tells him that her employer Preston Whitmore would like to sponsor a trip for Milo to go to Atlantis.  Whitmore also has the Shepard's Journal which has directions to Atlantis in it.

Milo and crew end up at Atlantis and meet the people there.  Including Princess Kidagakash aka Kida, who takes Milo to her father.  Kida believes that perhaps Milo an help the Atlanteans rediscover their dying culture.  She and Milo go and explore some caves in water where there is writing in Atlantean, which she cannot read.  Milo discovers from the writings that Atlantis' power source is from the crystal.  When they come up from the water the rest of the crew is there only to reveal they are taking the crystal.  The crystal is discovered and Kida becomes one with it.  There is a little battle and most of the crew stay in Atlantis with Milo, while the evil crew take Kida away.

Milo speaks to Kida's dad and discovers that he was using the crystal's power to destroy nations.  The crystal become too strong for the King to control thus sinking Atlantis.  Another battle frees Kida from the crew, and Kida is freed from the crystal's power.  The crew who stayed with Milo return to the surface but Milo stays behind. He and Kida build a family and rebuild Atlantis.

This is  not my favorite Disney movie but I enjoyed rewatching it (it's on Netflix right now).  While I like it, I don't love it.  I never really connect with the crew.. though I do love Milo's character.  I love the look of Atlantis.  Very pretty.   I think the Atlantean language is neat and Disney actually created a brand new language for the film.   A fun film to watch!

Check out my other Project Disney:
Snow White
Peter Pan
Treasure Planet
Sleeping Beauty
The Great Mouse Detective 
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Princess and the Frog
Beauty and the Beast
Lady and the Tramp
Alice in Wonderland
The Rescuers
The Rescuers Down Under
Oliver and Company
The Little Mermaid
101 Dalmatians
Fantasia 2000
The Jungle Book
The Emperor's New Groove
The Sword in the Stone
The Aristocats
The Lion King
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Robin Hood
The Black Cauldron 
Mary Poppins
Lilo and Stitch
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Make Mine Music
Fox and the Hound
Melody Time 


  1. I love Atlantis! I wish that it was more popular, it seems to be one of those more underground Disney flicks!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  2. I have to agree. This film does not get a lot of love. And it's beautiful. Also.. a little educational about the story of Atlantis. I mean... yes it's all myth but a historical myth. Such a pretty film too once they get to Atlantis.

  3. Nice review. I was always fascinated with Atlantis too, my dad had a book about it that talked about Cayce and Plato's story. Really fired my imagination. Good stuff.

    I always thought the Nautilus was way cool too! :)

  4. This Project Disney caused me to be even more interested in the Atlantis story. It had been a long time since I watched the movie and I am glad I revisited it. I didn't know about Cayce until I started doing research for this book. So fascinating.

  5. Here's another Disney film I haven't seen yet! I'm glad to know it's on Netflix though, I've added it to my queue! The story of Atlantis is fascinating though - I didn't realize there were so many sources for the tale! I've never even heard of Edgar Cayce as well, so your post was very informative, thank you!

  6. The guy who created the Atlantean language is the same guy who created the Klingon language for Star Trek. What a fun job that must be. Somehow my guidance counselor neglected to mention 'Imaginary Linguist' as a potential career...

    I haven't seen this one yet, but it keeps popping up over the past couple of weeks. Perhaps the universe is telling me to watch it. I'll keep an eye out on cable.

    I haven't read Cayce for years, but he was an interesting dude. If I was an eccentric billionaire, I would definitely dig around the Sphinx and the Pyramids in the spots his visions told him house the secret antechambers containing all the secrets/ goodies. (Probably just BS, but hey, that's how I'd spend my money. I'd love to know.)

  7. Oh I loved this movie! It seems like it's not your typical "princess/prince" movie and I love that they didn't use the standard faces that they use for their characters. I have to watch it now! lol

  8. I find this man... Edgar Cayce soooo interesting. I started doing research about him and couldn't believe I hadn't heard of him before. The Disney team using his stories really made a big difference in the film. In fact...I would say the film is almost strictly based on his stories. He also said that eventually what happened to Atlantis would happen to the United States. We would use too much power (electricity) and it would take out the country!

  9. I didn't know that bit of trivia about the language. Imagine what a fun job it would be to create language. Like Elvish in Lord of the Rings.

    Cayce is fascinating. I really want to learn more about him. Is there a book you recommend about him? I didn't want to make my post too long, but I also read that everyone who went under with him in hypnosis about Atlantis was actually someone who died when Atlantis fell. Well that is what he said anyways. I just love all this!

  10. The Disney movies without the typical princesses are the one that don't get much love I feel. And they should!! Sometimes those can be the cooler movies like this one. I think this one also didn't have an musical numbers in it, which also turn people away. It's too bad!

  11. I think this is my favorite Disney Cartoon. I use to watch it over and over and over again.

  12. I came across him via a book by Graham Hancock, but the name of that book escapes me at present... I want to say it was either Fingerprints of the Gods or Heaven's Mirror.

    He pops up all over the place, though, once you start going down these paths. Cayce casts a long shadow! (And I agree - I love all this stuff.)

  13. That is so fun to hear! Not many people really love this movie so I am glad that someone is giving it some love. It really is cute... I love the guy who is always saying BOOM!

  14. this is SO COOL!! what an awesome idea for a post series-- plus you get to re-watch all the awesome Disney movies! I love it!

  15. I know... I love this too. It is one of the most fun feature I have done on my blog. I love Disney so this has given me the opportunity to learn what is the inspiration for each film.

  16. Woh, I seriously don't think I've ever even heard of this Disney movie! I must track it down asap!

  17. I think it came out in 2001 so it's been a while since it's been released. Good movie to check out.


    I did a review on this one awhile ago although I never labeled it as a project Disney since I didn't read any of the source material. I always just thought this movie was based off the legend of Atlantis. I'm going to read Plato's and Cayce's account then put that into my review of the movie so it can count as a project Disney. You are doing so well keeping up with these. I will have one coming up for Tangled later this month.

  19. Thanks for linking it up!! I look forward to your Tangled post too.