The film's story follows the paces of classic adventure in the vein of Wells or Burroughs in which the main character goes on a journey to find something most people don't even believe exists. In this instance, the hero is Milo Thatch, a nerdy cartographer and linguist who grew up being regaled with tales of the ancient continent of Atlantis by his grandfather. His examinations of an old manuscript found on an expedition in Iceland lead him to discover clues to the location of Atlantis, and soon he is recruited to join a team setting out to find the lost civilization.
Milo is accompanied on this journey by a trope of characters familiar to the genre but still so colorful that calling them eccentric couldn't even begin to describe them. I don't want to take up space describing them as a viewing of the film would be infinitely more effective than any description I could give. But, I will say that the really cool thing about animation (or even comics) is that the characters can be visualized to suggest personality traits. Mignola is a master at character design, and his work here, informed a great deal by the steampunk genre, is able to convey volumes about each character without a single line of dialogue.
As we have come to expect from a Disney film, the animation is topnotch, and I am glad Atlantis was done in the classic hand-drawn style as the look best fits the style. I, by no means, sniff at CGI animated films, but I do believe different techniques benefit different stories. A computer would have made the visuals too sleek, too neat, and Atlantis is a film that is enhanced by the graininess and grit of hand-drawn animation.
When last I looked, Atlantis: the Lost Empire is streaming on Netflix. Think about giving it a try, especially if you have young boys who are too old for lighter fare, but too young for movies like Avatar or most of the Marvel films.