Atlantis: The Lost
Release Date: January 29, 2002
Run Time: approximately 96 minutes
Ten-second Rundown: A multi-cultural team of experts search for the
fabled lost city and its valuable power source.
Version: Collector's Edition
Audio and Visual
Commentary with the directors and producer
Virtual Tours of
How To Speak
Tech Specs: Anamorphic
Widescreen (Aspect Ratio 2.35:1), English Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS,
French 2.0, English subtitles, THX Certified.
One of last year's
best adventure films didn't feature a videogame character, though eventually
all the cast did get ported to your Playstations and PCs. And in the
rush to fawn over computer-generated ogres and other monsters, somehow
everyone ignored The Leviathan. But like Warner's The Iron Giant
proved a couple of years ago, box office take often fails to reflect
a film's true quality. So it is with Disney's Atlantis: The Lost
Using a mixture
of computer techniques under the classic 2-D ink and paint method, Atlantis
got a little lost last summer. The film borrows freely from a variety
of sources, combining Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs with a little
slapstick to create something both fresh and familiar. And thanks to
the influence of comic book artist Mike Mignola, there's even a slight
touch of Lovecraft. (Read Jordan
Rosa's full review.)
at the studio determined that the DVD release would not get lost,
and the best word for the special edition is lavish. There seems to
be no end to the supplemental materials, detailing every aspect of production
anyone might want to know about, but wisely left to a second disc.
The main disc focuses
on the film itself, with a sharp transfer that brings out every line
of ink. (I have to thank Disney, in fact, because this DVD sold my wife
on the format.) Though the look of the film is meant to be dark, the
colors are still full and vibrant.
Both picture and
sound carry THX Certification, and if that little logo didn't make it
obvious, your ears would. You can hear every last bit of phlegm in Leonard
Nimoy's voice. It's a good thing.
Disney has added
in not just audio commentary from directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk
Wise with producer Don Hahn, but visual commentary. Whenever a point
in the audio commentary requires a visual aid, the film will stop and
go to the team in their studio. From there they show what they're talking
about before returning to the film.
Some of us have
been waiting for that kind of integration of the extras, and it really
helps to keep deleted scenes, alternate takes and the like in context.
Plus it's just really cool to strain looking for that extra crewmember
waving at the camera from the submarine.
might prove interesting for the kids, but it really only gives cursory
information on each topic. On top of that, the narrator reads his information
uninvolvingly. It might have been better to include the Disney special
from last summer that covered the real search for Atlantis. A little
slick and laden with ABC self-promotion, perhaps, but it still would
have made a good extra, and its absence is curious.
Still, Disney has
more than three hours of extras waiting on the second disc. Chief among
those are, of course, deleted sequences and little "behind-the-scenes"
documentaries. The sheer volume of information is almost overwhelming,
but nicely presented. In some ways, it's the equivalent of an art book;
you can just keep going back to it to see your favorite stuff.
Mine would be the
Mignola Gallery. Though it's present on both discs, the version on the
second one allows you to linger on each sketch. Compare to the storyboards
done before they brought him in, and you can really see the influence
this quirky but cool artist wielded.
The disc offers
three ways to view the supplements, either in one continuous reel, through
a 3-D interface duplicating the submarine bridge, or (for those less
prosaic) in straightforward file form. All three methods get introduced
through a bonus "newsreel" narrated by Preston Whitmore (John Mahoney).
For those who really
just want to watch the movie, Disney has offered up a single-disc version,
with the same attention to technical specs. Either way, it's a movie
you really need to catch up and see.