Not many remember the early 2000’s Disney movie “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”, but some of us, like myself included, were one of the biggest fans of this movie. But the one thing that is forgotten about this movie is the fact that it is probably the most diverse, well represented minority movie ever created by Disney, and it is overlooked by so many. Why is that?
Personally, looking at the film, it probably has some of Disney’s finest art in it. The scene were Kida is transformed, the city of Atlantis itself, the machines that they use for the industrial era, it is all so beautiful. But, because of the fact it had not done as well as the company had hoped in the box office, it has long since been forgotten or barely even used in anything.
Many complain there are not very many strong minorities represented in Disney movies, and perhaps that is why the movie was not as well received. As we have moved further into the 21st century there has been a lot more acceptance of these types of movies, and have been a push for them. But let’s take a look at how this movie represented minorities.
First, we have the females in the cast. You have a strong Latina who is not only able to hold her own, independent, but she is also in charge of the whole engineering section on the submarine AS WELL as being an engineer completely. Audrey talks about how even though her father had wanted a son, she still proves that she can do anything that a man can do INCLUDING her sister. We have the female antagonist with the main villain as well. She holds her own, has her own drive, and yes, she uses sex to get her way in the beginning, but she does it as a manipulation tool once, and then uses her strength, and fierce determination to do the rest. She’s even the first mate on the submarine.
Then you have an African American doctor. AN AFRICAN AMERICAN DOCTOR. Even in my real life, I have never been able to meet an African American doctor. They put a strong and honorable profession and they hold such high esteem for Sweet.
Now, he isn’t a minority, but we also have Milo himself. Milo is a nerd for crying out loud. They allow a lanky, geeky, nerd (all terms people use for what Milo is) and show that academia is actually important and can save lives.
We also have the representation of elderly in this movie who are also tough and aren’t weak and feeble in their old age as many believe them to be.
All in all, this movie is a very socially important movie, which I think needs more credit than it’s given. Just because box office numbers don’t succeed, it should be no reason to put such an important film on the back burner.
What are your thoughts on this film?