On the occasion of the 20 years of “Atlantis, the lost empire”, here are 5 Disney animated feature films which did not obtain the success they deserved.
ATLANTIS, THE LOST EMPIRE (2001)
Released 20 years ago (already), in the midst of a particularly rich program which included the first parts of The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, Atlantis, the Lost Empire unfortunately did not make a lot of waves ( except the one that engulfed the ancient city at the start of the feature film). This 38th Disney classic, handicapped by ruthless competition, has therefore barely recovered in terms of revenue.
Directed by the excellent duo Kirk Wise / Gary Trousdale (known in particular for Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame), Atlantis is however not devoid of qualities, far from it. Endowed with epic sequences (the opening of the film and the meeting with the Leviathan, to name a few) and a visually very convincing universe, the film is mainly carried by a soundtrack to give you chills, signed by the brilliant James Newton Howard.
TREASURE PLANET (2002)
In big loss of speed in the early 2000s – when the competition has already passed the second by offering animated films in synthetic images – Disney seeks to renew its image while retaining its identity. Throughout the studio’s wanderings, which constantly oscillates between heritage and originality, new feature films follow one another in theaters. And even if the golden age of the 90s is already far away, and the public much more timid than before, some nuggets still manage to hatch.
Despite a catastrophic score at the box office, La Planète au Trésor, an animated and steampunk adaptation of the famous novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, is thus among the very good Disney of this complicated period. Directed by John Musker and Ron Clements (known for Aladdin or The Little Mermaid), carefully packaged in first-class animation and punctuated by an epic soundtrack from James newton howard (again!), the film benefits above all from a powerful emotion that only Disney studios have the secret, in particular thanks to the touching relationship between the young Jim Hawkins and the cyborg pirate Long John Silver.
Even if it is completely logical to praise the qualities of Fantasia, first of the name (monument of the animation made by Walt Disney in the 40s), it would be advisable not to forget his heir, released 60 years later, and equally impressive.
Sharing a single segment with his elder (the famous Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas, worn by Mickey), Fantasia 2000 also gives the disturbing impression of seeing the scores of a symphony orchestra come to life before our eyes. Among the many essential sequences of this film as magical as it is powerful, we will particularly remember the fluttering Fifth Symphony by Beethoven, the vertiginous Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin and above all the breathtaking Bird of Fire by Stravinsky, a masterful apotheosis of the film.
BROTHER OF THE BEARS (2003)
Few of the Disney feature films have gone so far in emotion and tragedy! Also released in the mid-2000s, Frère des ours, 44th animation classic from the enchanted studio, offers you a prehistoric epic among magnificent American expanses, carried by a poignant, touching and even overwhelming story when the final twist of the movie.
Without revealing more to you in order to preserve the effect of surprise, let us specify nevertheless that this film of Bob Walker and Aaron Blaise – which we sometimes forget that it is among the Disney productions as it went unnoticed when it was released – benefits of a high quality soundtrack, composed for four hands by the duo Mark Mancina / Phil Collins, who already officiated on the excellent Tarzan.
So don’t hesitate to go on an adventure alongside Kenai, this young hunter transformed into a bear after having killed a grizzly bear.
SCROOGE’S FUNNY CHRISTMAS (2009)
As the end of year holiday season is fast approaching, the time is ideal to (re) discover this real gem. Adaptation of a Dickensian tale that we know by heart, Scrooge’s Funny Christmas manages to surprise us, in particular thanks to the skillfully distilled magic of Robert Zemeckis and the talent of a Jim Carrey at the top of his form. .
Technologically very accomplished, and entirely produced as a performance capture, this animated roller coaster – punctuated by an enchanting score by Alan Silvestri – invites you to spend a Christmas night unlike any other in the company of Ebenezer Scrooge, an old man bitter and eaten away by avarice, whose life is about to change …