Wednesday, 10 June 2015

A journey to a lost culture

Hello, Dreamers!

This week I want to talk about one of the less popular Disney movies.

Let's talk about

Atlantis: The Lost Empire is the 41st movie in the Disney Animad Canon, released on the later half of 2001.

It is the story of several characters.

On the one hand, it is the story of the royal family of Atlantis, the King Nedakh and his daughter Kidagakash 'Kida' Nedakh; how their city disappeared and their lives after the night and day of misfortune.

On the other, it is the story of a young cartographer and linguist Milo Thatch, a driven yet down on his luck young man that discovered that a journal exists that tells of the way to reach the lost city.

Together, they solve crimes discover secrets of the ancient past!
The supporting cast is a varied group of people of all backgrounds, all with different areas of expertise that make them part of both the team that first found the journal Milo had theorized about AND the team that would eventually reach Atlantis.

I make a point to mention this because Atlantis is one of the best examples of representation in Disney animation, having a truly polyethnic and multinational team be the focus of the story, and while the movie is about a single character, they are all given backgrounds, importance and stories of their own that do not detract from the main plot but enrich it in a way that is seldom seen.

French, Italian, Latina, African American...
The artstyle and animation of this film are outstanding, with a great many of the vehicles designed for the movie being modeled via computer and then blended seamlessly into the traditionally painted backgrounds. Considering the many vehicles present in the movie, both in Atlantis and in the caravan that makes its way there, this is no small feat!

Add that to the unique character designs, where there is a subtle yet well done difference between Atlanteans and non-Atlanteans, where the latter are designed to be more angular while the former have slightly more curved designs to them.

One of many vehicles. Truly a piece of art.
All in all, it is both technically impressive and a step in the right direction when it comes to respectful representation of different cultures. While not perfect by any means, and with a story that does not much in new ways (to the point that Stargate's first film fans might notice a few similar plot threads); it is still a decent movie that is well worth the watch.

Had to include one of the beautiful cityscapes!
I hope you give this animated film a try, and if you do, let me know what you think!

Now, heads up. I may not be able to write next week's Of Stories and Dreams, I am going on a trip for a week! I will, however, try to write one in advance. If you see one up on Friday (I REALLY need to get back to updating on this blog's original update day), then I managed. Otherwise, you can expect two entries two weeks from now!

Thank you for your time, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Keep on dreaming!


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