The Lost Empire
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The movie begins thousands of years ago as we see an advanced civilization being swept underwater, but not before a man pulls his daughter to safety as her mother floats up to a strange light in the sky. The light is a giant life-crystal of some sort that forms a protective barrier around the city, that saves it from the giant flood approaching.
Next we are in 1914 Washington, DC where Milo works as a janitor at the Smithsonian. His grandfather was a great explorer and shared with Milo many of his theories regarding Atlantis. Milo has studied many "dead" languages and has put together his own theories regarding the whereabouts of the lost city. He has tried many times to convince the museum board to finance an expedition for him but they think he's just nuts (like his grandfather) and avoid him whenever possible. Finally Milo quits.
Milo is then summoned to the local Billionaire who feels that Milo is now ready to lead an expedition. This Billionaire was a friend of Milo's grandfather and was told to deliver to Milo a package "when he was ready." The package contained an ancient notebook of some kind that Milo believes contains the secret to Atlantis. It is written in a language only Milo can understand.
The Billionaire has formed a Diving team consisting of many experts as well as a submarine that seems more like the Starship Enterprise than a sub. The commander of the ship is Rourke, (voiced by James Garner).
They make their way down towards Atlantis but the sub is destroyed by a mechanical creature that protects an underwater cave that leads to another passageway.
Just before it is destroyed, the main characters escape in a dozen or so smaller ships that get them through the cave and onto dry ground.
One night while camping, small fire flies attack the team and form a huge fireball, setting their entire site on fire. As they are escaping, they fall down a volcano and are stuck. Milo however, didn't fall and his cuts are healed by a beautiful woman named Kida.
Kida eventually leads Milo to the entrance to Atlantis and he is suddenly joined by his team as they have dug their way out.
Once inside Atlantis they meet Kida's father, the King of Atlantis. We learn that Kida is the little girl from the beginning of the film and her father that pulled her to safety is the King. Atlantis is slowly dying and in need of new life. Buildings are falling apart and they're having a hard time finding food.
Kida is even more curious about the outside world than Milo is about Atlantis. They spend an afternoon asking each other questions and Kida brings Milo to an underwater mural that tells the tale of Atlantis. No one in Atlantis can read the old writing, only Milo.
We then find out that Rourke and his team had other plans for their trip. They are after the life-force of Atlantis and soon discover, after killing the King, that the force is under the lake in front of the King's throne.
They go underground where suddenly, Kida, much like her mother years earlier, in a trance like state, floats up to the bright ball of light. When she comes back down she is glowing and still in a trance.
Rourke forces her inside a crate and is planning on taking her back to the outside world, along with the rest of the team. Milo convinces everyone that it's not worth it, it just isn't right as the people of Atlantis will be destroyed without their life-force.
The team agrees but Rourke leaves anyway in a balloon with the crate in tow.
Rourke and Milo fight it out in the air and Rourke swings an ax at Milo, missing him but smacking the crate which cracks it enough for some of Kida's life-force to escape, freezing Rourke and shattering him.
Milo brings the crate containing Kida back to the city where it is opened and all the life is brought back to Atlantis.
Kida is returned to her earlier state and the crypt/shrine of her father is raised up to orbit the now resurgent life-force glowing high above the city.
The rest of the team return to Washington, DC but Milo stays in Atlantis to be with Kida.
They tell the Billionaire that they didn't find what they were looking for and that Rourke and Milo died in the sub accident.
Then they give him a letter from Milo. When he opens it he finds a life-crystal necklace that everyone in Atlantis wore. Milo explains to him that his grandfather was not a crackpot like the rest of the world thought but instead a great scientist whose ideas about Atlantis had been correct.
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