A Research Expedition



I know it’s been a while since I’ve written a full length article, but I am happy to announce that one should be posted in the near future. Since wrapping up my article on the Black Cauldron I have been undergoing the long and difficult process of researching the history of one of my absolute favorite Disney films, the often forgotten Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Atlantis is truly an underappreciated Disney film, and you rarely hear very much about it, which does make the research process quite difficult. Luckily, I’ve been a huge fan of the film since it first came out in 2001 and have a rather large collection of materials that were sold around the time of the film’s release, including the original two-disc DVD, which is a treasure trove of bonus materials. Much of my free time the past few months has been used sorting through this material, including over a thousand pieces of concept art and a copy of the original annotated script, in order to uncover the true history of the making of Atlantis: The Lost Empire. It’s been another great example of why I often like to call myself a “film archaeologist” and an experience that reminded me much of Milo’s own academic expedition in the film.

One of the elements of the film I’ve always really enjoyed is =how unique the city of Atantis is. It is a far cry from the stereotypical under-water greek ruins that many others have depicted it as. While researching the development of the film, I have discovered just how much effort went into building the word depicted in Atlantis: The Lost Empire. The filmmakers had to conquer the challenge of creating an entire Atlantian culture that would be like nothing the audience had ever seen before.  A ton of effort went into creating this entire culture, and much of the work was never meant to be seen on screen, but simply to make even the animators feel as though they were creating a very real place. This process of building an authentic feeling original fantasy world and culture is absolutely fascinating to me, which is why I have chosen it as the topic of my next full-length article.

So stay tuned for an article about Atlantis: The Last Empire that will be posted sometime in the near future. The film is in my top 5 favorite Disney films and I’m so excited to write about it.

Image Credit: Atantis: The Lost Empire Special Edition DVD

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