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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Promotional art  Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved
Promotional art Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved

"Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent ... But afterwards, there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men sank in a body into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in a like manner disappeared into the depths of the sea." (Plato: Timaios)

So goes the legend of Atlantis. Atlantis was a prosperous, technologically advanced civilization which existed around 11,000 years ago. It was peaceful and virtuous for many generations, until greed began to take control of the people. According to Greek legend, Zeus and the other gods decided to punish the Atlanteans by destroying their entire empire.

Promotional art  Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved
Promotional art Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved

In Disney's new animated movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Milo James Thatch, a young linguist and cartographer at a Washington, D.C., museum plans to find the lost empire of Atlantis. He has spent his whole life studying Atlantis and digging up evidence of its existence. Milo tries to convince his benefactors to grant him the resources he will need for the expedition. Not convinced, they believe Atlantis is a foolish fantasy and a waste of time and money. Milo continues to believe in his dream and threatens to resign from his job.

Milo's benefactors may not have believed in his dream, but Preston Whitmore, a businessman and billionaire, does; and Milo knew that his late grandfather would have as well. Mr. Whitmore was a friend of Thaddeus Thatch, Milo's grandfather. Before he passed away, Mr. Thatch gave his friend a package and told him to give it to his grandson when he felt that Milo was ready. Mr. Whitmore finds Milo and presents him with the gift. Milo's grandfather had left him the Shepherd's Journal, a first-hand account of Atlantis! Mr. Whitmore funds Milo and provides him with an experienced crew, vessels, and everything else he'll need for the trip.

Promotional art  Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved
Promotional art Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved

The crew members include: Italian Vincenzo "Vinny" Santorini. Vinny loves his dynamite and his official title is Demolitions Expert. His family owns a flower shop. Vincenzo Santorini is an easy-going, easy to be around and likeable kind of guy and I found him to be the funniest character in the movie. The captain of the crew is Commander Lyle T. Rourke, who is rough, tough, and likes to be in control. Commander Rourke stands proud and tall as he barks orders and directs his crew. Dr. Joshua Sweet is the crew's gentle, kind-hearted physician. Helga Sinclair is the saucy, edgy second in command on this expedition.

Promotional art  Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved
Promotional art Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved

Audrey Ramirez is the 18 year-old mechanic of the crew. She is tough and tom-boyish. She and her sisters were the daughters their father hoped would be sons. Audrey is cute, sassy, and strong. Wilhelmina Bertha Packard is the dry-humored, somewhat bitter communications expert who would rather be yakking with her friends and considers her job just another thing to add to her busy agenda.

Promotional art  Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved
Promotional art Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved

Jebidiah Allardyce Farnsworth goes by the name of "Cookie". Cookie is the crew's 72-year-old veteran chef who takes pride in his greasy cooking. Gaetan "Mole" Moliere is the geologist, mineralogist and tunneling expert. Mole can't get enough dirt, and has no fancy for soap.

Last but not least, is our hero, Milo James Thatch. Milo is the only one on the crew who can read Atlantean. Milo must guide the crew by reading from the Shepherd's Journal and telling them what dangers to watch out for in the water and where to turn left and right. Not too far along, Milo learns that the fate of the entire crew rests in his hands. Can he guide them safely on their expedition?

Promotional art  Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved
Promotional art Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved

At first, the crew isn't too friendly toward academic Milo, but when they get to know him, they find out that all smart guys aren't dorks. Milo is definitely my favorite character from Atlantis. He is brave, smart and confident. He is determined to realize his dream. The skeptics who put him down will not discourage him.

During their adventure, the crew meets Princess Kidagakash, or Kida, as she likes to be called. Princess Kida was a little girl when Atlantis was destroyed and doesn't remember the disaster. Her father is 20,000 year-old Kashekim Nedakh, King of Atlantis. Kashekim is the only survivor who remembers the sinking of Atlantis, and at first isn't too pleased with the visitors.

Promotional art  Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved
Promotional art Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved

It did not take me long to grow attached to the characters in this movie. I gasped when they encountered danger. I sighed when they narrowly escape death. The characters are definitely memorable, but another addition to the movie was the music. The score was deep and intense. The music grabbed me. It wrapped itself around me like a dark, heavy blanket. The music throughout the movie was instrumental; it had no words. Only the music played during the credits had words. While I have nothing against lyrics, there was no place for them in Atlantis, and I am quite glad that Disney didn't try to squeeze them in. I decided even before I saw the movie that I liked the soundtrack and now I'm sure I would like to save up and buy it! The talented James Newton Howard composed the score for Atlantis. To hear a little of this great music, click here click here.

Atlantis is a great movie. I was looking forward to it since I first heard about it, and on June 3rd, I saw it at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. This movie was so amazing. I got so into it! Some of the scenes in this movie caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end. And when Milo embarks on the journey to find Atlantis, I could just feel his excitement! Some scenes made my spine tingle. I held my breath during many others.

I would strongly recommend seeing this movie, and if you see it at the El Capitan from now 'til July 15, you can visit "Destination: Atlantis" next door. There you can play Atlantean Laser Tag, see aquariums and touch pools, and much more. You can also try out the new Atlantis video and computer games from Disney Interactive. To learn more about Destination: Atlantis, take a look at Sue Kruse's column.

I would say that this movie is enjoyable for ages 5 to 5,000. I give Atlantis two thumbs up!

Ciao!

~Jewel


Jewel's FastFact: On September 15, 1999, Walt Disney World theme parks had to close very early because of Hurricane Floyd. They stayed closed throughout the next day, except for Animal Kingdom which was open from 11:00 am to 6:30 pm. This was the first time in its 28 year history that the Magic Kingdom was closed!


Have any questions, comments or suggestions? Send them to me at coolkids@mouseplanet.com. I'd love to hear from you!

Promotional art  Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved
Promotional art Disney Enterprises, All rights reserved

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jewel
Hi!
My name is Jewel.

I am 13 years old, and a typical junior high student. I live with my mom, dad, and little brother. My family and I have annual passes to Disneyland so we go quite often. I love school, and science has always been a favorite subject of mine. I am in band and hope to be involved in music for the rest of my life.

Right now, my career goal is to become a deejay. In my mind, that is the coolest job in the world! My hobbies include: listening to and playing music, reading, writing, messing around on the computer and hanging out at Disneyland. We have seven cats (four of them found us), a black Labrador, and I have a goldfish.


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