Others have said it, but I just can't get over it: Atlanteans from the time of the Mebelmok are still alive today, but they don't know how to read their own language. Even granted that Kida was a toddler and the king was blinded (assuming that Atlantean has no equivalent to braille), even if you make the Wild Mass Guess that only the royal family lives for thousands of years (with the commoners living mere hundreds) this is impossible. There must have been at least one literate adult among the survivors, and teaching Kida would have been one of their first priorities. By all rights, Atlantean as a written language should be alive and well, with Kida teaching people how to read the walls, not asking to be taught. But no, they had to give the Mighty Whitey something to do.
It's possible that she read all the directions but misread the vital one.
Milo: While your hand was on the inscription pad?
Kida: Yea... no.
Not really. Milo doesn't have to take any particular time or effort to read the instructions, so they're apparently both legible and straightforward. If Kida could read at all, she would have been able to read them herself, especially because she's clearly been trying to get the fish-speeder to work for some time. The things she has done so far have been trial and error - which the fish-speeder is apparently designed to prevent from working. Sensible, since children carry around those crystals, too.
They could live in an orally driven society. It's been thousands of years since Atlantis sank into the sea and the culture has been declining ever since. Maybe the adults were too busy figuring out how to survive to place much importance on reading, so gradually the skill was just lost. Or the language could have evolved - how many people do you know who speak ancient Greek? Old English is generally unintelligible to modern speakers, and even if you read it it makes no sense. Therefore it's easy to assume that if (and it's a big if) the need for written communication got lost, the language moved on and left the writing behind.
Atlantis wasn't an orally-driven society before it sank - they've got writing all over the damn walls, after all. And you'd think that one of the most important things they could do for their survival was to make sure everyone was still able to use their technology (which, after all, was still undamaged and functional in 1914). Your linguistic explanation would work just fine for us surface humans, but it ignores Atlanteans' extended lifespans. Remember, Kida herself was alive at the time of the Mebelmok, and she's only aged from a toddler to - at the oldest - her early twenties since then. All it would have taken was someone taking the time to teach her - just her, never mind everybody else - how to read back in the day, and written Atlantean would never have been lost.
Since only those of royal blood can join the hive crystal its possible that many 'common' Atlanteans don't have a good grasp on what the Mebelmok was and why it all happened that way. Because of the king's rage and grief over his wife's assumption he may have outlawed reading and writing to prevent such tragedies from happeninging again.
Hmm. Not impossible, but it would require two major assumptions: 1) that the Atlanteans wouldn't decide that the king had gone mad and depose him, and 2) that Atlantean commoners were much less long-lived than the royal family, so there were no literate adults left when the ability to read became necessary to save the city from invaders.
Also, Atlantis could have been set up parallel to ancient Christianity, where only those in power (nobility/clergy) could read, and the "poor" didn't. If that was the case here, with a lot of history, I could see them losing their written language to being the case. Also, Rule of Drama.
A technology-driven society couldn't function that way. People need to be able to read manuals and instruction books. And the whole point of the Headscratchers page is that we think something pushes the rules too far.
The writing on the walls could have been an official style. Something similar occurred in ancient Egypt, where you had hieratic writing for everyday use and hieroglyphic writing for religious/formal functions. Only priests could read hieroglyphic writing, as it was considered a mark of their position. If the Atlanteans who weren't priests use a different type of writing and all the priests are dead, then that explains why Milo is the only one able to read. After all, if a modern-day Egyptologist were to travel back in time, his skills would be markedly different from those of the common people. And hieratic writing wasn't carved into the walls or onto the Rosetta Stone.
Fair enough for the walls, but surely technical instructions like the ones on the fish-speeder would be in hieratic writing instead of hieroglyphics.
I thought only the royal family lived that long. The only ones left from that period would then be the king and Kida, and the king could have refused to help rebuild his civilization beyond keeping his people content because he has seen what power-hunger and arrogance leads to.
Yes, but even if the king and Kida were the only survivors from the time of the Mebelmok in 1914, there were surely some literate survivors of the original disaster, who would have continued educating their children (including Kida).
If one uses the ages that the King and Kida were at during the introduction scene, and assuming that the regular people of Atlantis have lifespans as long as the royal family, the surviving adults would be ancient. "Surviving", because they just had a major cataclysmic disaster and you can see that a good portion of the population was left outside of the protective shield when the continent sank. There's also the fact that the King alludes to the continent sinking because of them getting arrogant or abusive of their technology. They seem to regard the Kings of Old with some sort of religious significance, as opposed to historical or as another form technological protection. So it's entirely possible that the people of Atlantis who survived the disaster figured that their gods were punishing them for their technology and abandoned it until it was forgotten. Kida found it and was the first person in some time to try to use it. That would also explain why the people seem so surprised when Milo leads them to the flying machines later.
This seems plausible to me. Consider what happened in Final Fantasy X: Sin destroys the cities that rely heavily on machina, and not only do people abandon them, but the damn church starts teaching that machina are inherently evil. The situations aren't that different, apart from the lack of religious authority in Atlantis. Unless the king did in fact outlaw the machines, with this as his justification.
According to the Disney Wiki, the king was afraid that other Atlantians would attempt to use the crystal as he did (which was, you know, what ultimately led to the place being sunk) and passed laws forbidding the people from learning the language to keep that from happening. If we assume that most of the adult population was either killed in the sinking or died of old age or other causes (malnutrition, health issues, etc),
Perhaps Kida didn't know her own written language because she has dyslexia. That's how I always Handwaved to myself.
That was my guess too. I also thought that maybe the Great Crystal was rewriting minds (either hers or all of Atlantis) to think in its terms. Since it's from a distant planet, maybe that planet's writing system (or heiroglyphs, or runes, or whatever) was being written into their minds. There was no example of that writing anywhere, so they couldn't read it, but it had replaced all their knowledge of their OWN writing system in the years of direct, inescapable exposure to it. It may have affected Kida more than anyone else because it was preparing her to be its Vessel/Avatar/Host.
One possible concept is the complexity of the Atlantean language. Take this, for example: What wasn't destroyed during the Mebelmok? The royal palace, some civilian housing, and religious structures and foundations which merely sank. Now imagine that in one day everything but your neighborhood was wiped out in an instant, including Libraries, Schools, etc. etc. In Ancient times, literature was a luxury, and when the flood occured, that luxury was nearly entirely wiped out. Now, even if you were the most literate adult in Atlantis after thousands of years away from contact from your language due to most of it being sunk, most of it being criminalized and so on, after thousands of years would you really recognize complex writings required to operate machinery? You can communicate just fine, but it's been so long since you've seen it that you can only pick up on so much, which is why Kida was still able to read the instructions, but she couldn't make out more complex symbols due to a lack of resources. It seems logical when you account what all was destroyed as opposed to what all was preserved, and when you think of it, the only reason people nowadays have an easier time reading is because we've integrated it into our everyday lives. We depend on it. Most likely not the case way back then.
i always thought it had something to do with the crystals, if its has the power to give extended life to Atlanteans, then there is a possibility that it has also the power to take away knowledge as well, perhaps in someway its alive since weve seen at begining in the film ,kida´s mother become one with the crystal. So in oder to prevent the crystal from being used as a weapon again it took the ability to read which was essential in order to use those flying machines
It is entirely possible that Atlantians have lost the ability to read, and by extension, write. It happened to the Acient Greeks in the late Bronze Age and resulted in a period that lasted roughly four hundred years called the Dark Ages. The Greeks only accquired the knowledge to read and write because they adopted the alphabet of a trading people known as the Phoenicians (the same ones that are in Homer's Odysessy). It's acctually a case of Fridge Brilliance because the Atlantians have had little to no contact with any civilisation after the sinking of Atlantis so therefore they couldn't have gotten the knowledge of how to read and write.
What if Atlantis had already been in decline for an extended period prior to the cataclysm? If their society had been declining for decades or centuries, it's possible that the ability to read had been lost and they were essentially operating in a cargo cult (thus why the King managed to accidentally destroy their civilization- he was using weaponry that he no longer understood). This is borne out by the fact that Atlantean technology survives with no maintenance (so they wouldn't need to remember how to build or maintain it) and barring a little bit of idiot-proofing in the ignition department, is very intuitive and easy to use (they get the hang of it in minutes once Milo shows them how to turn it on again).
This premise actually isn't too farfetched.For a real-life example, Linda Schele is a renowned archaeologist who is known for teaching the modern Mayan people their indigenous language.
Help me with the timeline. It's established that the movie is set in 1914 (for the humans, at least). Yet dialogue suggests Atlantis sunk hundreds if not thousands of years prior. Kida tells Milo she remembers the day Atlantis sunk and Milo calculates that she has to be a hundred years old. Um, what? Did Atlantis sink in 1814 instead? Or maybe I missed the point and Atlantiens just age slower than humans?
He actually said 'eighty-five... eighty eight hundred years old,' which if anything would be too long. But from the context he's probably overstating the age.
Yes, you did miss the point. Atlanteans, at least the royal family, age much, much slower than surface humans due to their connection to the Heart of Atlantis. This was part of what made it so urgent that Rourke be stopped from removing it: the Atlanteans weren't just losing their power source - it was entirely possible that losing the Heart would kill them all.
Supposedly, the Atlantians can understand the explorers because they speak a root language from which English (and French) descended. I'm willing to buy that Atlantian language contains the words (or at least words similar enough) for them to tell what the explorers are saying, but how on Earth do they know how to only use "English" words when speaking to them?
Compound this with the fact that English and French are not even derived from the same root language (English is a Germanic language derived from the Angles and Saxons, French is a Romantic language derived from Latin) and the fact that even sharing a common root would still make the languages near-impossible to translate immediately and on the spot. Try speaking Italian and translating Spanish. Sure, you could figure some words out, but differences in verb usage, sentence structure, and pronunciation would make it very, very difficult to have a meaningful conversation between the two.
No, English and French DO share a root language. The PIE language is the obvious example here. English and French could have split as little as 3500 years ago.
And even if you assume that all Indo-European languages (which both English and French are) are descended from Atlantean, how would that help with communication? Old English is completely unintelligible to modern English speakers, with a completely different grammar system and three genders. Speaking a certain language is far from a guarantee that you'll be able to understand its descendants. And anyway: Atlantean and English are different languages. Except for a few cases of mutual intelligibility, you can't magically speak another language fluently with no studying whatsoever, even if they are related.
Dude, that whole thing was just a handwave to get over the communication problem; else everybody would have to speak through Milo and there would be a lot more subtitles. It makes absolutely no sense if taken seriously.
Note to Milo and the heroes rescuing Kida...JUST POP THE DAMN BALLOON WITH YOUR ENERGY SHOTS.
Perhaps they were afraid that it would cause her to fall too fast.
Also, the resulting explosion might've obliterated her seeing as she was in crystal form and all. That or she'd melt in it before they got down to rescue her.
Or they were afraid that by doing so would active the dormant volcano — which, you know, did happen when Helga popped the balloon.
Speaking of the balloon battle, why did he have those planes packed away? When they started out, they had no idea that there would be any space to fly, you know, because of the water, they only found out on the submarine, so does he usually pack fold-able planes with him wherever he goes?
this becomes horrifying when you realize that thoes planes must have been stored in the escape pod's and that many people died because there was not enough room.
Not really horrifying at all. Most of those that died did so because the escape pods they were in were destroyed. There were originally five pods, not counting the two-man "fighter" pods. Only one made it. If one could hold all the people we see during the memorial service as well as all that equipment, then there was plenty of room for all 200 of the Ulysses's crewmembers in the five escape pods, which probably also held even more equipment. Everything on the expedition that cannot be found in period photographs was a custom job. That all had to be carefully packed in, checked multiple times by the crew, and approved by the officer in charge of loading equipment. Whitmore placed the order for those ships. He's crazy, not stupid.
One thing I never could understand. When Rourke and others finally reached the Heart of Atlantis, it looked like they have no idea how to take the giant sphere flying high above. And the next move of that thing? It packed itself in compact Kida!box, thus simplifying the task of stealing it. Why? How could this help to protect Atlantis?
The heart of Atlantis only seems to have a few measures of protecting itself. These are A: protect the entire of Atlantis with a force field, but this would be useless in this case. B: Transport the heart into a person and hope they will not be destroyed. Besides, although it might be alive, it seems to be a kind of Hive Mind, it might not be that smart.
It may have been trying to trap Rourke/the others, since it crystalizes everything it touches. It just didn't work because Milo told them not to.
Another possibility is that since option (A), as stated above, was not a variable for the crystal it's possible that it was leading the threat away from the city and would've killed them when it was at a safe enough distance from the people it was trying to protect. Then it'd simply waltz back.
This troper was under the impression that there was something still wonky going on with the Heart at that point. The impression she got was that there was supposed to be some machine-like reaction, like 1.) Crisis strikes, 2.) the Heart takes the nearest member of the Royal Family to power it 3.) the Heart stops the crisis, 4.) and the member of the royal family is returned. Given that the Heart didn't work properly after the king abused its power (it didn't return Kida's mother, and was only able to shield part of Atlantis), it seemed that the vague abuse of it somehow corrupted it into not working properly as a defense mechanism. That would explain why it possessed Kida at such an inopportune moment. It saw the invasion of Rourke and the others as a danger, but was unable to function properly to get to actually fixing it. As to what fixed it by the end...well, not entirely certain. It could have been some result of Kida, one of the few Atlantians desperate to actually solve the problems of her society, being the one at the wheel, so to speak.
This might be a stupid question, but...how exactly did they get Crystal Kida into that box? When she came down from the light show, it looks as if she just kept walking in no particular direction. Did Rourke have time to run up to the surface, drag down a giant metal container, and just wait for Kida to walk into it? It's made clear that nobody mortal can touch her without getting crystallized.
Considering air vehicles were on a submarine expedition, it's not much of a stretch to believe they just happened to have a metal box with them.
Second bother: Rourke was crystallized when Milo sliced his arm with the glass. Okay, great. But then...why does he turn into a wailing ice demon? I know it adds a bit more horror to the climax, but...why? Nothing was mentioned about the crystal turning people into monsters.
I always interpreted it as a direct poisoning of the body with the crystal tainted glass (and that he turned into a crystal demon, not ice), rather than simply absorbing the rays of the giant crystal. Remember Milo told everyone to not touch CrystalKida, and her being confined in the box almost instantaneously affected the glass.
Milo and other characters harp on about how taking the crystal out of Atlantis will kill the Atlanteans, but only a couple of mentions are made of the potential danger to the surface world if it got into the wrong hands. So, if I'm following Milo's logic, the death of an already dying civilization is somehow a greater evil than the use of the crystal as a WMD. Values Dissonance, much?
Taking the Heart of Atlantis out of Atlantis will definitely kill the people there. Taking it to the surface world only might kill the people up there. The Atlanteans were a more pressing issue.
It depends on the timing, but if the expedition takes place late in 1914 - which it almost has to, for Milo to jump so quickly to worrying about the Kaiser specifically being reasonable - then their last news from the surface might well have suggested that plenty of people are being killed up there with or without a crystal of vaguely defined powers (that might not even be feasible to turn into a WMD with the level of technology possessed by the warring powers of Europe). The Atlanteans, on the other hand, will die if the crystal is removed and won't die if the crystal remains.
The "sequel" takes place shortly after the Great Depression, yet all of the characters look unchanged (in age and appearance) from the movie? Milo now being ageless is logical. But the crew?
Sufficient exposure to the crystals imparting the same effect Milo got? Maybe you only have to be around them for a little while? And they DID get right up next to the thing, didn't they?
They were given crystal pendants as gifts when they were leaving, right? And the crystals have a "healing power" and made Whitmore feel "fifty years younger", and they are seen to be dimming as Rourke takes the Heart of Atlantis away from the city. It's fair to say that they grant the longevity that the Atlanteans enjoy.
Also, what happened to Kida's tattoos in the sequel?
It's been an absurdly long time since I saw the sequel, but do we actually know that the epilogue of the original movie takes place before the sequel, and that Atlanteans don't just have multiple, sometimes distant parts of the funerary/cornoation process for the once and present rulers? If it does definitely happen that way, maybe Kida's "tattoos" are just ceremonial paint that use the same pigment as her tattoos, and she won't collect the full range of royal tattoos until she has been in the throne for a while, or spontaneously and retroactively becomes male.
Why does a trained linguist have such difficulty pronouncing 'Kidagakash'? It's not that hard to say.
Poor guy was also pretty tongue-tied around her. With a voice and... well, EVERYTHING like hers, it's fairly understandable.
Why is the movie apparently so hated? It doesn't seem that different from most other Disney films, and I don't see any problems with it that stand out when compared to any other Disney film. The animation and voice acting (especially the involvement of Mike Mignola and Cree Summer) is top-knotch too.
There are some people who don't like it because it is so different from ordinary Disney animation. Other people don't like the third act, which does have quite weak motivation for the characters.
Some don't like it because it feels so derivative.
And others would merely like it if it wasn't so derivative, but love it because of the protohistory-punk feel and the Homage factor.
Why are the Atlantian's flying machines shaped like fish? They were built before the city was sunk.
Fish have quite an aerodynamic build, so it would be practical to have them fish shaped. Maybe they decided to fully go with the fish theme after that.
Also, Atlantis was an island and presumably had a pretty big ocean-based life (fishing, trade via sea, etc).
Ever notice that Kida is the only Princess created by Disney to become a Queen at the end of her film?
Also, her dress at the end appears to have a sash of some sort hanging down from the front. The problem is that, only the top part of her sash was visible when she was wearing that dress. What does the bottom part of her sash look like?
An infamous deleted scene from the film was actually originally going to have the movie begin with a team of Vikings making an attempt to look for Atlantis, but are immediately blown up by the Leviathan. How the heck are those Vikings able to get to Atlantis if they all lived at a time long before any submarines were even invented?
The Viking captain is pretty Hot-Blooded, so he might not be thinking far enough ahead/have read far enough ahead to realize they'd need to go underwater to get to the city. Also, the Vikings may not have translated all of the Shepherd's Journal yet.
They simply would have sailed to the island Aziz found Atlantis in, hence the journal (since that island is all that is left of the original kingdom prior to the Mebhelmok, he got to Atlantis accidentally while exploring the caves inside that island)
And said deleted scene is the only one of its kind to be be fully colorized and animated. Why aren't any of the other Disney deleted scenes animated in full detail like the final versions of their films?
Because it was only after that scene was fully animated that the decision was made to replace it.
And for some reason, the Leviathan in this scene has tentacles. Why does the Leviathan have tentacles? It's supposed to be a giant mechanical lobster, and lobsters don't have tentacles!
The Leviathan has retractable tentacles directly below its eyes. The tentacles come together to fire the beam weapon (a certain amount of energy is channeled through each tentacle, and when all of that energy is combined at one point...), which you can see in the scene where it destroys the Ulysses. The fact that the Viking longship is so small (relative to the Leviathan) is probably why we see the tentacles actually getting used as tentacles (if the thing just smashed the longship with a pincer, the scene would be over in two seconds flat). As for lobsters not having tentacles, the Leviathan is based on a lobster, but is not meant to be a perfectly accurate 1000x scale model of one (it has two sets of pincers, its head can move without turning the entire cephalothorax, its tail is different from a real lobster's, etc.).
Did you notice that Rourke (and to a much lesser extent, Helga) is the only character from the film to actually still appear in the merchandise? Why did Disney still want to market him instead of everyone else from the film? They actually did the same thing with the Horned King.
Poor box office reception. Hence in Rourke went.
Here's one that I don't get. The first time the Crystal took someone of Royal Family, we're suppose to assume that she died, but when it uses Kida to do basically the same thing it did with her mother, why did it give Kida back? Why didn't it give back her mother? What's the distinguishing characteristic between the two characters or the two events?
I assumed the difference had something to do with the 10,000 years of fusion-time difference, and possibly the sheer amount of energy that it originally took to avert the worst effects of the Maebelmok and produce a permanent geological shield to keep the city sustainable.
Why are the Atlanteans still tanned if they're living in a place without any sunlight? If you look very closely, you can easily tell that Kida has much lighter skin than those of the other Atlanteans, but still very tan otherwise. In the sequel, she for some reason has very dark skin.
There is light in Atlantis. Where it comes from is another question entirely.
Brown comes in different shades. It's entirely possible that Kida is just naturally lighter.
How the heck did everyone get back to the surface? They can't use the Rope Bridge anymore since Rourke blew it up, with said bridge built over a river of lava, and the tunnels leading to that kingdom are now clogged up by the now-cooled lava left behind when the volcano erupted (they can't use the Drill Tank anymore since if you look very closely during the scene when they and the just-rescued-but still crystallized Kida are escaping the erupting volcano, said tunneling drill can be seen falling into the lava when they all finally come out). And even if they do find another away around, they have to account for the bridge above the volcano that crumbled apart under their trucks' wheels when the Pyreflies set their camp on fire, and even if they make it back to the air pocket leading from under the Atlantic Ocean, there's still no way out from there since the Leviathan is still waiting for them at the entrance leading to the air pocket.
Actually, in that same scene, you can see a giant narwhal-shaped blimp in that background, and that the Atlanteans would use that blimp to fly the explorers over the river of lava and up the volcano's shaft (it was opened up by Rourke using several explosions so that he and Helga would escape with Kida on their own blimp, their geologist even described that volcano as being dormant, implying that its crater was stopped up sometime after Atlantis was sunk, creating that volcano, but before it was discovered), considering the Shepherd's Journal theory for the Vikings was true. And it's pretty obvious that once the explorers get out of that blimp at the volcano's crater, and head toward the beach surrounding whatever island now sits over Atlantis, Whitmore is probably going to send one of his ships to pick them all up and take them back to Washington, DC.
When Rourke and Helga cross the bridge with crystal!Kida in tow, there's a scene of a few Atlanteans watching the crystals around their necks cease glowing. In the next scene with the king, his crystal is still functional, and in a scene shortly after that, many crystals are glowing and functional because Milo walks the group of Atlanteans through starting the fishmobiles. It's shown multiple times that the crystals are indeed glowing. Continuity error, or is there an explanation?
Possibly that the Heart is sentient, or at least was running off Kida's thoughts for instruction (therefre why it absorbed her temporarily). So she was focusing its energy on important shards of crystal (such as her father's, which was then passed onto Milo- both people she cares about intensely). Possibly Milo's crystal then ecame so charged with energy as he was the one who could prevent them from taking the Heart out of Atlantis, she used it as a beacon, able to energise the other crystals around it so that they could take her and the Heart back into the city so that she could save them.
When Kida is kidnapped (before she gets crystallized), she has just come from swimming and is only wearing her bikini-style top and briefs. This is very firmly established when she fights her kidnappers.Then she is crystallized and the climactic battle happens and ends and the border giants come up and shield Atlantis, etc, and she comes down from the crystal - wearing her scarf-skirt again. Did the crystal fix her costume?
She wearing it before she was crystalised, wasn't she? I imagine that once Milo agreed to lead them to the Heart, they at least let her put her skirt back on.
And even if she wasn't, the Heart can protect an entire damn city from lava and floods and prolongue life for an entire city. I think it can manage a scarf-skirt.