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   Rants & Raves / Atlantis: The Lost Anime

Disney has long been known for not having a single original idea, but this one really takes the cake. Their new "original" movie, Atlantis, is nothing more than a ripoff of Nadia, a Japanese television series. Michael Hayden has put together this hilarious (and brutally honest) side-by-side comparisson!

"Nevr heard of Nadia till it was mentioned in this NG. Long after we'd finished production, I might add."
- Kirk Wise, the director of 'Atlantis: The Lost Empire'

Nadia:
The Secret of Blue Water

Produced by Gainax, released in 1990

 

Atlantis:
The Lost Empire

Produced by Disney, released in 2001

Our hero, Jean, a nerdy yet sweet inventor who gets caught up in a quest to find Atlantis. Along the way he falls in love with a girl unlike anyone he's ever met before. Accessories: big round glasses, red bow tie, assorted charts and scientific equipment.     Our hero, Milo, a nerdy yet sweet scholar who gets caught up in a quest to find Atlantis. Along the way he falls in love with a girl unlike anyone he's ever met before. Accessories: big round glasses, red bow tie, assorted charts and scientific equipment.
 
 
 
The heroine, Nadia, an exotic young woman who turns out to be a princess of the lost empire of Atlantis. To save her empire from invaders, she must unleash her hidden power. Accessories: blue crystal pendant, skimpy bikini 'n' sarong costume, gold armband and hoop earings.   The heroine, Kida, an exotic young woman who turns out to be a princess of the lost empire of Atlantis. To save her empire from invaders, she must unleash her hidden power. Accessories: blue crystal pendant, skimpy bikini 'n' sarong costume, gold armband and hoop earings.
 
 
 

Nadia’s pendant
 
Kida’s pendant

The Nautilus,
a high-tech submarine with an international crew
 
The Ulysses,
a high-tech submarine with an international crew

The first officer
 
The first officer

The ship’s doctor
 
The ship’s doctor

The gunnery sergeant / helmsman
 
The gunnery sergeant / helmsman

An underwater battle!
 
An underwater battle!

A mysterious crystal power source
 
A mysterious crystal power source

To save Atlantis,
the heroine activates her pendant…
 
To save Atlantis,
the heroine activates her pendant…

…and merges with the power source!
 
…and merges with the power source!

Some images taken from another Nadia versus Atlantis page. Hey, fair’s fair — he took some of my images and most of my text!

But what about the plot?

Surely the plot is different, and that’s what counts, right?

Nadia:
The Secret of Blue Water

Atlantis:
The Lost Empire

The story begins in… France, 1889 America, 1914
Where our hero, who is… A sandy-haired boy with round, oversized eyeglasses and a red bow tie A sandy-haired man with round, oversized eyeglasses and a red bow tie
Runs into… A beautiful, hot-blooded mercenary named Grandis A beautiful, cold-blooded mercenary named Helga
They wind up together… On board a high-tech submarine with an international crew On board a high-tech submarine with an international crew
Engaged in battle with… Scary, otherworldly villains A scary, otherworldly giant lobster
After many adventures1 they find… An underwater crevasse An underwater crevasse
Which leads to… A chamber filled with strange bones A chamber filled with strange carvings
From which the crew… Heads for open space, then holds a memorial for those who died along the way Holds a memorial for those who died along the way, then heads for open space
They end up in… Atlantis Atlantis
Which is… A dead civilization A living civilization
At the center of which lies… A massive crystalline structure A massive crystalline structure
Which is linked to… A small blue jewel worn as a pendant A small blue jewel worn as a pendant
Around the neck of… The heroine, who doesn’t fully understand what it’s for The heroine, who doesn’t fully understand what it’s for
Because as a child, she… Lost her family Lost her mother
But she discovers that… These crystals are the power source for Atlantis These crystals are the power source for Atlantis
Which explains why… The bad guys are so interested in Atlantis The bad guys are so interested in Atlantis
So they can… Capture and use the power source Capture and sell the power source
While the rest of the world… Plunges headlong into war with a secret society Plunges headlong into war with Germany
But the heroine stops them by… Using her pendant to merge with and control the power source Using her pendant to merge with and control the power source
And when it’s all over… They fall in love and live happily ever after They fall in love and live happily ever after

1 Keep in mind that we’re comparing a 39-episode television series with a 90-minute movie.

Adapted from the Anime News Network. Check out the accompanying article.

Well, they draw from the same sources…

…so a few similarities are inevitable!

Indeed, both productions are a hybrid of the “steampunk” adventure fiction written by Jules Verne (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) and the modern Atlantis mythology popularized by Edgar Cayce (On Atlantis). As such, similarities are inevitable – similar sources, similar plots, similar scenes, similar characters, similar designs.

Uh-huh.

You want equal time? Go read Disney’s Atlantis and Nadia by Marc Hairston. But before you go, please take with you this parting thought

Send comments and suggestions to mhayden@silverhammer.org. In particular, I could use a good pic of Milo and Kida together…

2001.05.29

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