It's innate for us humans to seek adventure and discover hidden secrets the Earth and its past civilizations has to offer. Well, too bad the greatest surreal adventures can only be found on TV or film, practically speaking. And so, here are 5 great animated films to quench your thirst for thrilling adventure:
The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
Everyone knows the sassy Incan Emperor Kuzco (David Spade). The Emperor's New Groove is considered as one of Disney's best films in their post-Renaissance era (1989-1999). The film stars Kuzco, a vain, selfish Emperor who turns into a llama as a result of a failed murder attempt by his former adviser, Yzma (Eartha Kitt). Kuzco then goes on an adventure to reclaim his throne with the help of Pacha (John Goodman), a humble villager. Long story short, it's a film about a dethroned selfish royalty who'll have a change of heart as he goes on a journey to reclaim his throne. As Kuzco says, "It's all about me".
The Emperor's New Groove was one of my favorite Disney films as a kid. Though it's not a Disney Princess film, I still think Kuzco qualifies as a Disney princess - and the most fabulous one at that! All that sass, great taste in style, and of course moral values (at the end of the film, in case you were looking).
The Road to El Dorado (2000)
Ever wondered who these two are but never had the slightest idea from which film they came from? Well, now you know. Dreamworks' The Road to El Dorado centers around the story of two swindlers, Miguel (Kenneth Branagh) and Tulio (Kevin Kline), who are mistaken for gods in the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. If it's a precolonial adventure you're looking for, The Road to El Dorado is your film.
The Road to El Dorado is one of those films with great bromance chemistry. Other than getting in and escaping trouble together, Miguel and Tulio are the testament that friendship is more important than material things. Definitely #FriendshipGoals.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Maybe you're in for the classic 'search-for-the-lost-city-of-Atlantis' adventure. Atlantis: The Lost Empire was the first science-fiction film in Disney's animated feature category. It revolves around the story of Milo Thatch (Michael J. Fox), a linguist and cartographer who inherits The Shepherd's Journal that was believed to be the key in finding the lost city of Atlantis. In short, the film is about finding the lost city of Atlantis.
As a kid, I've always wondered what would be hidden under the ocean or in the center of the Earth. Atlantis perfectly depicted that for me. To be honest, I found the film to be too short. I wish Disney could've added more 'discovered gems' in the film as Atlantis is one of the most intriguing fictional islands (though I still believe it's real!). Overall, Atlantis is one of the best Disney animated films.
Treasure Planet (2002)
In search for pirate tales? Or maybe adventures in space? How about pirates in space? Well you're in luck! Disney's Treasure Planet is the answer to your divided love for space adventures and good old classic pirate tales. If you recall back in 2002, the story revolves around Jim Hawkins (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), John Silver (Brian Murray), and (of course) a band of pirates who sail the vastness of space in search of the legendary 'Treasure Planet' If you're in the mood for some treasure hunting with a twist, then you should definitely watch Treasure Planet.
In my own opinion, Treasure Planet is way underrated. Should it have been released on a different period (or maybe at this time), I think it would've had a shot at the box office. The art direction alone is amazing! Plus, the animation industry today like to experiment with plot twists. The "pirates-in-space" concept would really appeal to today's audience.
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)
Ever dreamed of sailing the seven seas? Dreamworks' Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas will give you a glimpse of what it feels like. The film stars Sinbad, a pirate who sails the seven seas to retrieve the stolen Book of Peace from Eris the Goddess of Discord in order to save his friend's life. It's another pirate tale but infused with Greek mythology! Also, Brad Pitt provides the voice for Sinbad.
What I loved most about Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is how Dreamworks made use of both traditional hand-drawn animation and computer animation. Until now, it still amazes me how well both animation styles combine. I hope the animation industry will continue this animation style- it's a compromise for those who prefer either 2D or 3D animation.
The greatest surreal adventure stories are always present in animated films. What are you waiting for? Go pack for the greatest adventure of your life! By 'pack' I mean bring out the popcorn and start watching.