ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), (PG)
CAP Score: 66
CAP Influence Density: 0.61

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

ATLANTIS: The Lost Empire (PG) -- a plot reminiscent of The Little Mermaid...

"Too intense for kids this age." This came from a father in the audience with his four and five year old sons. It also came from the theater manager. And I agree. This was a cartoon requiring experiential maturity. Little if any of it was understandable by the inexperienced target audience. Not necessarily because of the ignominious "adult" content but because of its subject matter and the level of delivery.

In 1914 Washington, D. C. Milo Thatch (Michael J. Fox), grandson of an explorer and adventurer, vows to find the lost empire of Atlantis his grandfather could not find. Earlier, Atlantis was purported to be off the coast of Ireland but by unique discovery, Milo deems the lost continent of Atlantis to be off the Coast of I-c-eland, not I-r-eland. In a rather real-world depiction of the brutality of the money world, Milo is professionally brutalized by the Smithsonian Board from whom he seeks funding for an expedition to find Atlantis. Linguist Milo works as the Smithsonian janitor -- the boiler room expert.

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But all is not lost so early into the picture. Crackpot and philanthropic egocentric billionaire Preston Whitmore (John Mahoney), being a good friend of Milo's grandfather and after a period of teasing and leading Milo on, comes to the rescue with an underwater armada to put Nemo to shame. Leading the "pack" of what turns out to be villainy was Commander Rourke (James Garner). Included were Rourke's second in command, voluptuous temptress and opportunist Lieutenant Helga (Claudia Christian); the excavation expert Moliere the Mole (Corey Burton); a street-smart wrestler-fighter-mechanic named Audrey (Jacqueline Obradors); medicine man Dr. Sweet (Phil Morris); slop-slinger Cookie (Jim Varney); furnace (chain smoker) communicator Mrs.Pachard (Florence Stanley); demolition specialist Vinney (Don Novello) plus a cast of an hundred or so expendable crew members.

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Launching the expedition, Milo and crew encounter some sea monsters amidst the wreckage of thousands of sunken ships. Defeated and destroyed, the crew escape in life craft, oddly enough with all the equipment they need, including machines bigger than the life craft. It's a movie.
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Surfacing they find Atlantis and in a plot reminiscent of The Little Mermaid the Atlantian princess, Kida (Cree Summer) begins to fall in love with Milo. Due to a 1000 years of luxury, Atlantis has fallen into disrepair and is in desperate need of someone to translate Atlantinease. None of the 1000 year old Atlantians could read Atlantinese. Luckily, Milo, being a multilinguist, knows how to read Atlantinese and reveals instructions left by the predecessors on how to operate the scientific wonders left by them. Everything seems to depend on the crystals each Atlantian wears about his/her neck. The crystals are ignition keys for hovercraft ... and possess magic healing powers, not only of human injury but of inanimate atrophy from neglect. The crystals also serve as key ingredients in awakening nine mighty "Iron Giant" robots which form a protective bubble about Atlantis that saves Atlantis even from flowing lava. Sounds like a plug for the mystics who believe in the magic of crystals.
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Much of the ending minutes are spent displaying the salvation and restoration of Atlantis. This is a rather magnificent artistic marvel and color splash with no equal. Atlantis is definitely not one for which you could safely check you brain at the door, but it is also not one free of questionable or even corruptive influence. The CAP scoring range for PG movies is 86 to 68. Atlantis earned a 66. Contributing to the score equivalent to PG-13 movies ( 67 to 55, making this "P13G" or a "13PG" movie) were issues such as much automatic gunfire to kill, attempted murders [Ps. 11:5], defense killing [Exod. 20:13,.Rev. 21:8], physical assault and much disaster footage. While there were no noted examples of foul language and only one use of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11], there were many noted examples sexual in nature; sensuality in dress and mannerisms, implied nudity, tale of a homosexual kiss, adults in underwear and more [1Cor. 6:18-20]. At least 12 times smoking was noted. There is more to the ignominy of *Atlantis*, but the listing in the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- is the best place for them.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ].
  • Ps. 11:5 The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.
  • Exod. 20:13 You shall not murder. [ratsach {raw-tsakh'}: murder; slay, kill, premeditated, as avenger.]
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [pornos {por'-nos}: one who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator], and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain [shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity]: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless [naqah {naw-kaw'}: blameless, innocent] that taketh his name in vain.
  • 1Cor. 6:18-20 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. ["spirit" includes mind and heart.]

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Atlantis (2001) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • disaster imagery
  • many disaster deaths. some by explosion and fire (unseen)
  • assault with firearms
  • gunfire to control
  • firearm threat
  • physical assault
  • attempted murder (five)
  • beating/brutality
  • long battle sequence with unseen deaths with gunfire to kill
  • great fall with no consequences which would likely kill

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • deceit by treachery

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • female sensuality
  • implied nudity
  • tale of homosexual kiss
  • adults in underwear
  • sensuous dress
  • sexual innuendo
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • God's name in vain once and without the four letter expletive
  • healing by crystal touch
  • walking on water
  • levitation
  • much crystal magic

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • defensive murder

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I aplaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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