A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie is scarier and more intense than much Disney animated fare, with larger-than-life scenes of mass destruction (by crushing tidal wave, sea monsters, molten lava, and more). There are also lots of dive-bombing planes and guns, a huge robot monster, fire, and the deaths of hundreds of anonymous sailors. Characters are mean to each other, and some betray each other. Major characters are in peril, and some are killed. One character is a chain-smoker, and there are jokes about whiskey and sleeping in the nude.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In this action-packed animated adventure, scholar and linguist Milo Thatch (voiced by Michael J. Fox) dreams of finding the lost city of Atlantis, which had been his grandfather's quest. A wealthy friend of his grandfather's offers to fund an expedition, and Milo sets off on a submarine led by Commander Lyle T. Rourke (James Garner). The expedition culminates in a ferocious battle with the monstrous Leviathan, which destroys the ship and kills most of the crew. The survivors face obstacles but finally make it to Atlantis, where they meet Princess Kida (Cree Summer). She wants to make friends with the strangers, but her father wants them killed so that no one else will find Atlantis. Can Milo find a way to save what's become his real home?
Is it any good?
Disney departs from its traditional animation formula with this nonmusical, intense action adventure about the search for the legendary city that mysteriously disappeared in ancient times. Fox appealingly provides Milo's voice, and the movie does a good job of showing a diverse group of characters working well together -- plus, there are both male and female good guys and bad guys.
But parents should know that this is a decidedly different Disney animated feature -- it's rated PG for violence, and it earns that rating. There are many intense action scenes, the characters are mean to each other, and some are killed. One character chain smokes, and there are jokes about whiskey and sleeping in the nude.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the action violence in this movie compares to other animated movies. Does it seem more intense? What if it was live action?
An anachronism is something appearing in a time different from the one it belongs to (i.e. a phone showing up in a movie set in ancient Greece). Are there anachronisms in this movie? Does that bother you?
Kids might want to learn more about the legends of Atlantis and read about the Greek Island of Santorini, which may be the source for some of them.
- In theaters: June 15, 2001
- On DVD or streaming: January 29, 2002
- Cast: James Garner, Leonard Nimoy, Michael J. Fox
- Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: action violence
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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