Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001 Movie)

“Atlantis: The Lost Empire” is an animated science fiction adventure film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures in 2001. It was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise and is the 41st animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series.

The film is set in 1914 and follows the story of Milo Thatch, a young cartographer and linguist who dreams of discovering the lost city of Atlantis, a mythical civilization believed to hold great power and knowledge. Milo is recruited by a wealthy eccentric named Preston Whitmore, who funds an expedition to find Atlantis.

Milo joins a diverse team of explorers and specialists, each with their unique skills and backgrounds, on a high-tech submarine expedition to find the legendary city. Among the team are Commander Rourke, the leader of the expedition, and Kida, the Princess of Atlantis, who is deeply connected to the secrets of her civilization.

As the expedition reaches Atlantis, they uncover the advanced technology and culture of the long-lost city. However, they also discover that not everyone on the team has noble intentions, and greed and betrayal threaten to destroy the ancient civilization.

“Atlantis: The Lost Empire” was praised for its unique visual style, which combined traditional hand-drawn animation with computer-generated imagery. The film featured an impressive voice cast, including Michael J. Fox as Milo, James Garner as Commander Rourke, and Cree Summer as Kida.

While “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” received mixed reviews upon release, it has since gained a dedicated fan base for its adventurous storyline and imaginative world-building. The film explores themes of discovery, friendship, and the consequences of greed while presenting a new and intriguing take on the legend of Atlantis.

In addition to the film’s release, “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” also inspired a direct-to-video sequel titled “Atlantis: Milo’s Return” in 2003 and became a part of the larger “Atlantis” franchise in various Disney media.

Overall, “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” remains a notable entry in Disney’s animated filmography, showcasing the studio’s willingness to explore new genres and storytelling styles while delivering an entertaining and visually stunning adventure for audiences of all ages.

Fun Facts

  • The film was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, known for their work on Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
  • “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” departs from the traditional Disney princess formula and instead focuses on a group of explorers searching for the lost city of Atlantis.
  • The movie incorporates a unique visual style, blending traditional hand-drawn animation with computer-generated imagery (CGI).
  • The voice cast includes Michael J. Fox as the protagonist, Milo Thatch, and James Garner as Commander Rourke.
  • “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” features an adventurous storyline that combines elements of science fiction, mythology, and exploration.
  • The film was inspired by the works of Jules Verne and other adventure literature, as well as the legend of the lost city of Atlantis.
  • The movie’s production took place during a period of transition for Disney Animation Studios, as they were experimenting with different storytelling approaches and animation techniques.
  • “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” received mixed reviews upon its release, but has gained a cult following over the years, appreciated for its unique setting and bold departure from the traditional Disney formula.
  • The film’s marketing campaign included tie-in merchandise, video games, and a themed attraction at Disney theme parks called “Journey to Atlantis.”
  • While “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” didn’t achieve the same level of commercial success as some other Disney films, it remains an intriguing and visually stunning entry in the Disney animated canon.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Animated
  • Box Office: $186.1 million
  • IMDB Link



  • Directors: Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
  • Producer: Don Hahn
  • Music: James Newton Howard

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.